A physicist loose among the liberal arts

The Saga of Wigend’s Chicken Run

During last fall’s fundraiser for Signum University, Dr. Prof. President Olsen committed to running from the Shire to Minas Tirith in the form of a chicken.  In Lord of the Rings Online, that is.  The Great Mythgard Chicken Run took place on January 30th.  I watched it on TV. Despite (or possibly because of) its absurdity, it was an interesting introduction for me to the LotRO world.

Of course, a chicken doesn’t stand a chance alone in the Wild.  He had companions, so the quest should not fail.  As the crowd of Mythgardians, elves, dwarves, hobbits, men, and other chickens, swarmed through a square in Edoras, temporarily quadrupling its population, I was provoked to tweet, “I would like to hear the minstrels of Rohan sing of the gang of weirdos who ran through their lands with a flock of chickens.”  Be careful what you wish for on the Internet.

Tom Hillman started it, and deserves at least half the blame.  The narrative lines are mine; the funny lines are his.

From dark Dunharrow in the dim morning
with hen and hatchling strode Hampshire’s son.
‘Gainst foes and foxes, fighters protecting him,
to Minas Tirith the tourist came.
With Foghorn Leghorn, long enduring:
son, I say, son, strong in scorning.
For no lectures would he linger in Lamedon or Lebennin.
His clumsy coursing carried him forward.
Even women long-skirted outran wingéd Wigend
Politely pausing until his approach.
From Rammas Echor to the door of Rath Dinen
Into every breach he stuck his beak.
‘Til his goal achieved, glory gaining
He gracefully tumbled from the Tower of Guard.
In red day dawning crew he loudly.
Eleven herbs and spices seasoned breast and drumstick
Biscuits in bucket, slaw on the side
Sweet was the feasting, so the songs tell us.


I’ll show myself out, thanks


Conference: Inklings and Science


  1. DMae

    This is brilliant.

  2. Jay K

    Love this! Well done!!!

  3. Nicely done, Joe. I have reblogged this at

    Thanks for putting it all together like this

  4. Arthur Harrow

    Brilliant! All he needs now is a side of El Wings (who came to him frying…)

    • Joe

      The true lesson here is that you can’t really say you’ve read Tolkien if you skipped over the poultry.

  5. Somehow, I only just noticed “Dr Professor President Olsen.” Shouldn’t that be “Herr Dr Professor President Olsen”?

    Trish’s reading went very well tonight, by the way, though as you predicted “winged Wigend” tripped her up.

    • Joe

      For Corey, the thing before “Dr.” should be Anglo-Saxon, instead of German, but I couldn’t figure out what an Anglo-Saxon would have called a “Herr Doktor”. We’d kind of stopped speaking the language by the time universities started awarding doctorates.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén