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The Pecking Order

Cathy Brown

Henny watches helplessly as her entire community of chickens is loaded onto stock trucks, leaving her devastated and alone within a dark, timber hutch, transforming into a reclusive, bitter old hen. A new truck arrives, full of quail. Soon the coop is overrun by the excitable birds and dominated by fame-obsessed and power-hungry Sabrina. Sabrina's fake news and manipulative plans for district domination fool all the quail, whilst Henny hears everything but remains silent.

Sabrina's quest is threatened when Claudia arrives at the farm - an orphaned, wild galah - vividly pink with a mysterious past.

Mesmerised by the celebrity status of the most popular quail, Claudia is obsessed with becoming one of them. Her unusual talents and aloof character prime her to become famous beyond the district. Sabrina will do anything to destroy her, and Claudia will do anything to be one of them.

When deadly secrets are revealed and the dark past meets the future, the battle Claudia and Henny must face is greater than the evil of Sabrina - it's the battle against their own destiny.

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I grew up on a farm, in Central Victoria, Australia. My friends were few, unless you count the birds. So many of them, many injured, or like Clarence, the wild galah that flew down and landed on my head, and pecked at my ears playfully, as I played in the state forest. For years Clarence was my closest friend, listening to my stories, perched upon my shoulder, yet free to fly away. He learned about the turmoil of being a teenager, and I learned the value of freedom. I now live upon a hilltop, with expansive sky, often daydreaming as the birds fly by.