Farmer Jenkins was justly proud of his free-range chicken farm, and particularily of Griselda, his prize layer. So, it came as no surprise (at least to him) when he placed highly in the All-England Free Range Egg Taste Challenge. “Don’t you worry, lass,” he cooed to Griselda as his Range Rover purred through the warm summer night, “next year we’ll come first, I promise.”
Griselda continued sleeping in her carry case, seemingly comforted by the presence of the garish gold-painted plastic statue by her side, which featured a chicken contorted to form an approximation of the numeral 2.
On a whim, Farmer Jenkins locked the award in his office safe when he got home, and returned Griselda to her roost with reverential gratitude.
The next day he unlocked the safe to retreive the award. He had a fair bit of trouble opening the door. “That’s strange,” he murmured, bending down to examine the obstruction. It appeared that the award had somehow moved in the night and jammed part of the door mechanism. “H’mmm, how did that happen?” Farmer Jenkins shook his head. The award appeared . . . bigger, somehow. But surely that was impossible. However, what troubled Farmer Jenkins most of all was the fact that the plastic chicken, what he could see of it, at least, now appeared contorted into the shape of the numeral 3.
As he telephoned his friend Brian to share his puzzlement, he heard a metallic tearing. He stared dumbfounded at an apparition of a plastic chicken rearing above the torn remnants of his safe. And now the wings and body of the plastic fowl appeared to form the numeral 4.
“Did anyone touch it?” asked Brian urgently over the crackly landline connection
“No, no-one,” said Jenkins with certainty.
“Ah, that explains it,” said Brian.
“Oh yes,” concluded Brian. “You see, in an isolated system, hen trophy will always increase.”