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January 16, 2010

A year has passed and pundits had analysed threadbare all the events that counted. But a seemingly innocuous event was missed in the counting. The event, ironically enough, has got to do with counting. Researchers discovered in 2009 that chickens can count. Indeed, folks, do count your chickens before they hatch. For once they hatch they are more mathematically capable than the omelette-loving-numerically-challenged majority human!

Our belief so far that chickens scratch the surface in search of food has proved us to be wanting. Chickens, in fact, were practising their craft of numbers. It is a matter of time researchers will discover that chickens can process even up to googolplex, a number most of us would not even knew existed!

The recent finding gives one jitters. We already know what knowing basic arithmetic could lead to. For instance, basic arithmetic knowledge will make chickens eligible for engineering admissions in T.N (One needs more than math to study liberal arts), work as IT Professionals (non voice, of course), invest in stock markets (and beat the investment bankers hands down), contest in elections (Coalition arithmetic involving ducks, promising that they will be declared backward will produce a winner). Now, the Chickens are also qualified to propose a plan or two to recover the world economy. Phew!

Now we should appreciate the one who first associated the number 65 with chicken is a visionary. He had probably understood the importance of numbers to the psyche of chickens. Sixty five it is believed is considered a sacred number for the chickens. Sixty-five which is being five more than sixty is said to be the only number which is also five less than seventy. No other number possesses this unique property. Sacrificing self for the sake of a chicken 65 is considered an honour in the Chickenstan. For this heroic deed, non-pecking hens await the martyrs in the paradise. Like all original meaningful conceptions this relation of chickens to number 65 was now severely distorted to a silly idea that it is just the number of chicken pieces occupying the plate.

Not just arithmetic but Chickens are philosophically matured, too, it appears. Poor chickens crossing the road were examined extensively and the literature runs into volumes rivaling Shakespearean. Taking offense of this unwarranted ridicule in the name of pun, chickens thus far had simply refused to submit to whims of human folks’ suggestion of crossing the road with a purpose. Why should one have a purpose for a simple matter like crossing the road? Chickens, the brave souls, never play to the gallery in spite of having a heart of chicken’s. Humans also amuse themselves with the egg vs. chicken questions. Chickens had promptly dismissed this as another ‘goosy’ behaviour and considered humans a bit immature and unworthy for knowing their ‘origin of species’. Elsewhere, the Geese association registered their protested for this imprudent comparison and highlighted their ability to fly in formations and mastery over aerodynamics contrasting this with human inability to drive saner irrespective of traffic conditions.

Having known thus far, it all now depends on the progress the researchers make in finding what other hidden mysteries that chickens possess which are concealed hitherto from human knowledge. The findings on cognitive abilities of one of the greatest and tastiest species ever cooked on earth, is considered as a game changer for both humans and chickens as well.

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