August 1, 02
My wife finally allowed Crazy Ray back on our property. (He was the guy that was with me when I bought the camel.) He and I were standing around among the goats, sheep, geese and chickens admiring Kookamunga, when Ray said, "Ever hypnotize a chicken?"
I had heard that Al Gore could hypnotize a chicken, but put it in the back of my mind when it became obvious that it didn't get him enough votes to win the last election.
"Heck no, but I'm always ready to learn."
So I chased down my favorite rooster, Brewster, which didn't take much effort since I like to hold him on my lap while watching an occasional television program. He seems to like it too. So he allows me to catch and carry him around pretty much at will.
I held Brewster and Ray started twirling his finger around a few inches in front of its beak. That didn't seem to do anything, though.
"Huh! Something's wrong with that chicken. Go catch another one."
No luck with the next one either.
So Ray says, "I don't know what's wrong. My Dad used to take a stick and draw a line on the ground and make the chicken look at it. I could never get it to work, though."
So we got a stick and scratched a line in the gravel of the drive. I put the chicken down on its side placing its beak at the end of the line so that it was staring directly down it going off into the distance. When I let go, the chicken didn't move a muscle for ten or fifteen second. Then it just got up and strolled away. That seemed to sort of work. Enough to intrigue me into going on the Internet to learn more.
I learned that the phenomenon is called "tonic immobility" by animal behaviorists, and it is actually used as a stress test in the poultry industry. If a chicken has been put into a state of fear during handling, the immobility can last hours. The less stressed the happier the chicken. I guess that my chickens are just too happy.
I also learned that you can put the chicken on its back and rub its belly to immobilize it. I tried that one and it seemed to work for as long as I was willing to hold it. I always suspected that a chicken had a lizard brain. It must be true since rubbing bellies is supposed to work on alligators too.
When my mother-in-law found out what we had been up to, she said, "Well, you didn't have to go onto the computer to learn how to hypnotize a chicken. All you do is just tuck its head under its wing and spin it in a circle in front of you about three times, and it will be out."
So I tried that with one of our other roosters. I tucked his head up his armpit and held it there, drew a circle in the air with it three times while saying, "One. Two. Three. Alakazam. Fall asleep, or you're chicken Spam." I then layed him down on the ground and he stayed. And stayed. And stayed. Finally, I pulled his head out from under his wing. His pupils dilated from a constricted state. And he just strollled off calmly as though nothing had happened.
So now I know how to hypnotize a chicken, but the question is what ideas dare I plant in their little minds?
What's next? While doing my internet search, I also found that llamas are supposed to become hypnotized if you gently rub thier upper gums between their split lips. A llama is nothing but a South American camel, and I know that you cam immobilize a difficult horse for shoeing or vaccinating by running a stud chain up under his upper lip.
Well, I've tried and tried. So far, though, Kookamunga just raises his head out of reach every time I stick my finger up his gums. And Crazy Ray wants to know why I am so darned set on brushing the camel's teeth.
I think I'll be working on my Master's of Mesmerism for a while.
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