Odey has upped the ante for poultry accommodation – he’s building a temple for his chickens for which the stone alone costs £130,000…The temple’s roof – adorned with an Anthemia statuette – will be fashioned in grey zinc; the pediments, cornice, architrave and frieze are in English oak; and the columns, pilasters and rusticated stone plinth are being hewn from finest grey Forest of Dean sandstone. Naturally, the doors will be painted in the Odey Asset Management founder’s favourite Hague Blue – “to match the doors around Eastbach Court”, according to the plans…“The temple will be a lovely place when it is finished at the end of the year,” Odey said from a grouse moor. “The chickens will be grand.” — Telegraph, September 25, 2012
Early on in hedge fund manager Crispin Odey’s relationship with his chickens, he made them a promise, about the things he’d do to make them happy. “I’ll move heaven and earth,” he told them. “You’ll be the envy of all the other chickens in the UK. Anything you want, anything you desire, will be yours.” And while a lot of people make similar pledges at the beginning of romances, when things are all heady and you can’t bear to be apart for any period of time, Odey kept his word. By 2012, his chickens were leading the kind of life most fowl wouldn’t dare dream of. Still, there was one thing Odey hadn’t given them, one thing he hadn’t gone the extra mile for. The chickens kept their feelings to themselves for as long as possible and then one night, while they were all watching a documentary about the Taj Mahal, they couldn’t keep their feelings inside any longer.
“Is everything okay,” Odey asked cautiously. “Is something on your mind?”
“We’re fine,” the chickens said shortly, looking in the other direction.
“Okay but…you’ve barely said a word in the last hour.”
“We’re fine,” they said in the tone they used when you knew things were certainly not fine.
“Well, okay then,” Crispin told them, happy to take them at their word. “So today at work–”
“WHAT’S IT GOING TO TAKE FOR YOU TO BUILD US SOMETHING LIKE THAT?!” the chickens blurted out.
“What?? Something like what?” Crispin asked, visibly confused and scared.
“Like that,” they said, jumping up and pointing at the TV.
“The Taj Mahal?”
“YES, the Taj Mahal.”
“I, I…I don’t understa–”
“Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal as a way to honor his wife.”
“But she was dead and–”
“That’s not the point! The point is we live in a bloody coop and you don’t seem to have a problem with that.”
“I didn’t realize–”
“You didn’t realize? You didn’t realize how incredibly demeaning it is for us to leave the main house every night and retire to some shack? Is that how much you think of us?”
“Of course not! You know how I feel about you! You’re the greatest thing that ever happened to me and if I’d known you wanted me to build you something like this, I would’ve done it yesterday, I swear it!”
“Well then it sounds like you’ve got a lot to think about.”
“I’ll pay a visit to my architect first thing in the morning.”
“That’s certainly a start.”
The chickens got up to leave.
“You don’t want to stay the night?”
“Talk to us when you’ve got blueprints.”
“Got it. Right then.”
“Oh and darling? Our style is a bit more ‘Greek Temple’ than Mughal. Good night.”