Creativity: Chookas who avenge chickens

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The Independent Culture
CHICKEN wishbones make excellent tuning forks for the tone- deaf, as several readers pointed out, though dowsing rods (for gnomes, midgets or Barbie dolls) and catapults were the most popular suggestions.

After stringing a rubber band across the prongs, Iain Cowan gives his to garden gnomes to shoot down flying fish; Kate Nottage uses hers to create a launch-pad for unwanted rodents; R H Arkley twists the elastic with a matchstick, then places it under a book to frighten people when it jumps out.

Otto Black reminds us of the superstition that lies behind the breaking of wishbones: 'Malevolent imps called 'chookas' who feel that humans take unfair advantage of chickens. If the wishbone is not broken, they will use it as a catapult to torment all those who have partaken of the deceased fowl.'

Another popular theme was prosthetic antlers for small reindeer. Margaret McCallum mounts them on the wall as a hunting trophy in a doll's house.

Paul Wright sticks them to the heads of pet hamsters to play the part of miniature reindeer in Christmas festivities. His other ideas include 'keeping a chicken in its desired shape' and 'fastened onto the end of a stick to facilitate operation of a video by pressing 'play' and 'record' functions simultaneously'.

Several readers had the idea of spurs for small-footed cowboys, while R Naylor suggested glueing them to ducks' webbed feet to facilitate landings on frozen ponds. Snow shoes for chickens was his other idea, although with two wishbones needed for each chicken, demand could exceed supply.

The Stafford-Frasers of Ware in Hertfordshire see it as a bilateral toothpick, an eco-friendly sardine can key or a three-dimensional CND logo, while Hannah Kynaston reduced it to a two-dimensional enlarged photograph to be used as a 'lanes merge' traffic sign.

Jewellery, chopstick stands, snooker cue rests, tent supports and props to keep eyes open were also suggested by several readers, but only Judy Cropper stuck them up a (hypothetical) nose to cure snoring. Tony Sandys strung his with peas to create brochettes de petit pois.

Regular contributor Mollie Caird uses hers 'to wish that Creativity would send me champagne as a prize for all my helpful ideas'. We will see what we can do.

This week's object is a black rubbish sack. All ideas to: Creativity, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB.