"Bill, the Ventriloquial Rooster" is a sketch story by Australian writer Henry Lawson. The sketch is one of many to include Jack Mitchell the swagman as its main character and narrator. The story concerns a rooster that Mitchell's family once owned, named Bill, who was unknowingly ventriloquistic and always yearning to fight other roosters.
The story begins with Mitchell reminiscing about the first time a cousin noticed that Bill the rooster was a ventriloquist. Not even Bill himself recognised his own peculiar skill, and he always "thought it was another rooster challenging him, and he wanted badly to find that other bird." When Mitchell's neighbour, an Irishman named Page, brings home a big white rooster, the two birds become involved in a vicious cock-fight. Though Bill emerges victorious, Page announces that it was "a grand foight" and bears no malice, yet he is then constantly on the lookout for a fighting-cock that may topple Bill.
Page borrows an experienced game-bird from town. Page and Mitchell's father agree on a fight, and Mitchell is forbidden to attend. Mitchell scales a tree and watches the fight unfold over a fence. Jim, the more experienced bird, runs Bill in circles for a whole hour until the large rooster can no longer move. Jim then gives Bill a "father of a hiding." Bill, his pride completely shattered after a defeat, is “so disgusted with himself that he [goes] under the cask and die[s].”