The Hidden Message

“Ah, I see what we have here,” he mused aloud.
“So you accept my hypothesis,” his learned colleague replied.
“Hmm, I think, perhaps, that I’m going to have to…”
“Let’s say, for the moment, that there really is more to this than just a chicken crossing the road.”
“Entirely possible,” he agreed, “I think I’m coming to accept your assertion that there’s a hidden message here.”
“Yes, there can be no doubt about it.”

It had become clear to both of them, after hours of studying this simple picture of a chicken crossing the road, that there was indeed a much deeper meaning behind the image.

“Let me take another look at it.”
“Oh, if you must, but there’s a big step between figuring out that there’s a hidden message, and actually deciphering that message.”
“Very true, but we must persevere, the quest for truth will surely liberate us.”
“Eventually, yes, but I doubt that this picture holds any profound truths about the universe.”

You may be inclined to agree with them, however you’d be wrong.
Oh, yes, this was no ordinary picture of a chicken crossing the road, this picture would reveal the ultimate truths of the universe.
Universal truths, hidden in a picture of a chicken, who would have that it was possible?

“Well, I can’t see it,” the philosopher said, a hint of despair creeping into his voice.
“Here, take a closer look, notice how the chicken looks so sad and lonely.”
“Exactly…it’s like he’s lost something, and maybe he’s crossing the road to see if he can find it?”
“Right, it’s like something or someone that’s very important to him had suddenly disappeared and he was left feeling utterly lost and alone.”
“Either that or it’s just a chicken and we’re projecting all of this on to him.”

At that precise moment it dawned on both of them.
Really, it was very simple, the chicken could mean anything, but if you studied it hard enough, you could find your own truth.
Experience told them that they should probably keep this revelation to themselves.

“You…um…don’t think we should tell anyone about this, do you?”
“Oh, no, I don’t know if people could handle finding out that the deepest truths of the universe reside in a picture of a chicken.”
“Unfortunately, I think you’re right,” and with that, they left, hoping that the message would one day be received and accepted.

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Ian Sharman
Ian is a freelance writer and artist. He founded Orang Utan Comics Studio with Peter Rogers in 2006, writes for their Eagle Award Nominated anthology Eleventh Hour and regularly inks for Panini’s Marvel Heroes comic.
Ian Sharman

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