Matilda was just another chick in a magic show until the Guinness thing.

Now, she's known globally as well as locally.

Matilda, a bantam hen in Bessemer who has been a prop in the magic act of "Mort the Mystifying and Donna" for years, recently was designated as the World's Oldest Living Chicken. She has a letter and a certificate from Guinness World Records to prove it.

"Matilda is 14 years old," Donna Barton said, pointing to the small gray bird sitting on a perch in a parrot cage. The parrot cage is parked next to one holding her stage companion, Lucky the rabbit.

"She used to have an understudy, but she outlived it."

Donna is married to Keith Barton, also known as Mort the Mystifying, a Crestline area mail carrier who has dabbled in magic for about 30 years. The Bartons have a steady sideline of work at gatherings such as birthday parties. They also did a 15-minute show at the Alabama Theater preceding showings of "Phantom of the Opera" a few years ago.

Matilda's role in the show is to appear as herself in a pan that moments earlier seemed to contain only a fresh egg yolk and a few drops of hot sauce.

Ananova