“The Sky is falling…”
- Nondairy creamer in Chester, South Carolina, due to clogged exhaust vents from a nearby Borden Company plant (1969).
- A deplaned cow that sank a boat of Japanese fishermen – no two-legged casualties cited – the bovine cargo ejected from a Russian flight in 1997.
- Predating the Sharknado craze by a few months, a living leopard shark plummeted its way to a San Juan Capistrano golf course’s 12th tee in 2012 doing wonders for John Williams themes everywhere.
- Other items include hermit crabs, Judas tree seeds and the innards of Sputnik IV, the first three satellites adverse to impromptu landings and the good people of Manitowoc, WI.
Whether you know it as Høne Pøne or Chicken-Licken, poultry’s favorite doomsday crier has been around since 1823 thanks to the Danish author Just Mathias Thiele who published a Scandinavian version, separate from the Grimm Brothers’ near-identical tale, in his collection Danse Folkesagn. Thiele’s gift to literature has served pop culture wel—Radiohead, Aerosmith and The Golden Girls having benefitted from Chicken Little references. And while this drumstick-with-a-moral didn’t exactly win World War II, Disney’s 1943 adaptation was created with an anti-Nazi message similar to Der Fuehrer’s Face starring that other feather dweller of renown, Donald Duck.
There was Helen Lyndon Groff, better known as P.L. Travers, author of the Mary Poppins book series written between 1934 and 1988. Sure, Julie Andrews brought her to life, but who can forget Poppins in Neil Gaiman’s “The Problem of Susan” or the Mary/Moore (Alan) connection in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier? Spoiler alert: she takes on the Antichrist, and how.
This fairy-tale file brought to you by editorial assistant Paige Neely and poetry editor Jon Riccio.