Zoology: Chicken Talk

Nationality seems to make no difference at all. "Ga-ga-GAAK, ga-ga-GAAK" means the same thing to a Russian Orloff rooster, an Italian Leghorn, a Cornish cock or a New Hampshire Red. At the sound of the excited cackling, prudent poultry the world over get the same message: "Watch out! Danger!"

Dr. Erich Baeumer, the country physician from Wiedenau, Germany, who translated the warning into people talk, insists that all chickens speak an international language made up of 30 basic sentences. And as a fowl linguist, the portly G.P. speaks with considerable authority. He has been studying the birds for nearly 60...

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