A large and heavy wicker chicken with internal mechanics that could be used as an explosive. It is described as smelling of brimstone and chalk.
The original wicker chicken is mentioned in Etiquette & Espionage as made by an unknown evil genius in training who attends Bunson's. It was given as a courting gift to Monique de Pelouse. The chicken isn't mentioned again until Manners & Mutiny where Sophronia finds the chicken and uses it to help defeat the Picklemen that had taken over the school.
A wicker chicken later makes an appearance in Changeless inside Madame Lefoux's contrivance chamber. Since the first chicken was made by a young man, gifted to Monique and then destroyed by Sophronia, it can be assumed that Madame Lefoux re-engineered the device.
The wicker chicken appears again in Romancing the Inventor. It is unknown if it is the same wicker chicken that appears in Changeless.
- "Wicker Chicken" later becomes the code name Sophronia uses.
- "Who doesn't want a wicker chicken?" is the most quoted line from Gail's Finishing School series.
- Gail intended it as a throw away concept, until her creative publicists at Little Brown produced a gif of the chicken exploding over the holidays one year. She was writing Manners & Mutiny at the time and decided the chicken must return! It became vital to the plot and is responsible for her favorite chapter title of all time: "Not With A Bang But With A Wicker."
- "There seemed to be an entire assembly line of glassicals in midconstruction and a massive apparatus that looked to be composed of the innards of several steam engines welded to a galvanometer, a carriage wheel, and a wicker chicken." (Changeless, Chapter Four)
- "And another made her an exploding wicker chicken.' 'Goodness, what's that for?' Dimity pursed her lips. 'Who doesn't want an exploding wicker chicken?" (Etiquette & Espionage, Lesson 10)
- "In one corner of Lady Linette's room, in pride of place and quite incongruously surrounded by boudoir-style velvets, sat a large wicker chicken. It was heavy, and something inside was mechanized. It smelled faintly of brimstone and chalk." (Manners & Mutiny, Crisis Twelve)
- "The chicken was bulky, but it was also a kind of projectile, and Sophronia was getting desperate." (Manners & Mutiny, Crisis Twelve)
- "Here I am, infiltrating a stolen dirigible, wearing a wicker chicken." (Manners & Mutiny, Crisis Twelve)
- "That'll teach you to question a lady's wicker chicken!" (Manners & Mutiny, Crisis Thirteen)
- "Sophronia gestured at the exploding poultry, which was currently reclining on her bed in the wicker chicken version of a seductive pose." (Manners & Mutiny, Crisis Fourteen)
- "Madame Spetuna leapt away, managing to evade capture long enough to scoop up the wicker chicken. With a manic look in her eye, she waited, clutching it to her chest, while the men closed in on her. Sophronia, horrified, realized that the intelligencer intended to sacrifice herself! The chicken exploded." (Manners & Mutiny, Crisis Fourteen)
- “Perched in one corner, like some sort of ship’s figurehead, was an oddly sinister wicker chicken. It frowned down upon her with an air of chubby disdain.” (Romancing the Inventor, Chapter One)