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Ducks, horses and chickens

What is the meaning of life? Why are we here? What is it all about? These are some questions that have plagued mankind since the beginning of time. This past week, I have been continuously wrestling with my own age-old question: Who would be victorious in a battle between 100 duck-sized horses and one horse-sized duck?

This all started last week on my way home from work while I was listening to a Chicago-based sports radio station. People were calling in to talk about stupid sports arguments that had basically ruined friendships. There were the common Bears/Packers arguments and the obvious Cubs/Cardinals/White Sox quarrels. And then this guy called in saying he and his one-time best friend hadn't been on speaking terms for several years ever since the "duck-sized horse" question came up. Can you imagine getting so angry with your best buddy over such a silly, inane question? I can.

To me the answer is obvious. But in my constant quest for knowledge about the human mind and how it works, I have taken it upon myself to conduct an exhaustive scientific study to prove my deduction. I asked my wife.

Her answer was that 100 duck-sized horses could easily take down one horse-sized duck. She said, "The sheer number of little horses would ultimately spell doom for the one horse-sized duck." I smile when I imagine that sentence coming out of her mouth.

I then furthered my extensive research into the matter. I asked a lady at work. She also sided with the tiny horses. She also mentioned that they would be able to gang up on the big duck, and she also brought up the fact the small equines would be able to outrun the large waterfowl.

Feeling that my research is complete, I have come to this one inarguable conclusion: Women are nuts. I mean c'mon, we're talking about a really, really big duck! One thunderous quack and most of his teeny-weeny opponents would run for the hills. The ones that stayed behind would just get kicked out of the way by a pair of big old webbed feet. The battle would be finished before Duckzilla ever got to use his massive wingspan or the 3- to 4-foot long beak. Silly, silly women.

Even at it's regular size, the duck is one of the most frightening members of the poultry family. Granted, ducks aren't as scary as chickens, but then again, few creatures are. Have you ever looked into a chicken's eyes? I mean, really looked deep into their beady little eyes, down into their very souls? I have. There is nothing but hatred staring back at you. Try it some day if you dare, and you too will realize that chickens don't like us very much.

And who can blame them. Their dislike for humans is justified. It's due to a chicken's undeniable deliciousness. Think about it from the chicken's point of view. They live unassuming, humble lives, and we eat them. They bear children, dreaming of giving them a better life than what they themselves enjoy, and we eat them. Sometimes scrambled, sometimes sunny-side up. There is cause for their animosity.

Last summer, my daughter, wife and I toured the poultry building during the Bureau County Fair. I had this uncomfortable feeling descend over my body the second we walked in and heard the incessant cackling. As we ambled between the rows of wire cages, the chickens kept looking at me in that herky-jerky fashion that only a bird can do. The roosters would ruffle their feathers to establish male dominance over me. I sheepishly looked the other way.

As we neared the center of the enclosure, the cackling sound seemed to stop. It suddenly became dead quiet. In the stillness, I could hear my own heart beating as I looked around and saw all of the poultry looking directly at us. I have seen the movie "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes" many times, and I was pretty sure that I knew what was going to happen next. Some rooster named Caesar was going to open up his cage and start the revolt against his human captors. Later, as he stood upon the burning rubble that was once the Bureau County Fairgrounds poultry house, Caesar would give an impassioned speech (in a voice sounding exactly like Roddy McDowell) to his feathered brethren concluding with the line, "Tonight, we have seen the birth of the Planet of the Chickens!"

It's hard to believe the only thing keeping us safe from total and complete annihilation that day was a chicken's lack of opposable thumbs. As soon as they figure out how to open the latches on those wire cages, the human race is in for it.

So I guess that in the grand scheme of things, when it comes right down to it, worrying about the winner in a fight between a hundred duck-sized horses and one horse-sized duck is really kind of silly, although I think that I need to point out out to the ladies that the ability to rapidly run away from a battle does not necessarily help when it comes to fighting the battle. Silly, silly women.

No, I have much bigger anxieties to concern myself with than foolish things like that. Without a doubt, my biggest fear is approximately 35-40 chicken-sized chickens — with thumbs.

You can contact Wallace at gwallace@bcrnews.com. You can follow him on his blog at http://gregwallaceink.blogspot.com.

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