World: PURPLE GEESE & OTHER FIGHTING FAUNA

EVERY day, First Lieut. Steven Schreiner, an earnest young infantry officer whose unit guards the strategic Y Bridge in Saigon, dutifully fills in MACV Form 10. He no longer cringes when his buddies rib him about the re port and his peculiar command—a laudable sign of self-control. For MACV Form 10 is the Geese Reaction Report, and Schreiner's platoon includes 40-odd riflemen and a gaggle of six belligerent geese.

Cantankerous Birds. Like the ancient Romans who staked out Rome's Capitoline Hill with geese that would signal the approach of the invading Gauls, the...