Scientific Study Finds That Chickens Think about the Future
Chickens do not just live in the present, but can anticipate the future and demonstrate self-control, something previously attributed only to humans and other primates, according to a recent study.
So, what are you thinking about the future right now, Mr. Chicken? Do you think the future includes me whacking your head off with an axe? ’Cuz it does, and I plan to do it just as soon as you stop circling and dodging and trying to peck my eyes out. Yeah, I mean you, rooster. Don’t even pretend I’m talking to someone else. There’s no reason to look over there. That’s a goat. The goat’s not holding an axe. What you need to look at is right here in front of you, the guy with the overalls. And the axe. And the huge lump on his head. Thanks for that, by the way. You’re gonna pay for it, big time. In the very near future. Which I know you’re thinking about.
’Cuz guess what? I read something very interesting in a science magazine about the chicken brain. An organ you will very shortly and abruptly lack. The look in your beady, blank dark eye tells me you’re surprised I can read. Or is it that you suddenly foresee a much different future for yourself? A future wherein you and your head occupy two different locations. Yes, it is all so obvious to me now. The rake positioned conveniently and precisely on the front porch, where I was sure to step on it, smacking myself in the face with the handle. Or the sack of horseshoes that fell on my head. What foresight that took! The sack delicately balanced on the barn beam, waiting for the slightest vibration to topple it from its perch. The advance planning! Every contingency considered. Brilliant. I’ll give you that.
Yes, it all makes sense. The pieces are settling into place. Unlike you, whose pieces soon will be scattered about the farmyard in quite a haphazard fashion. Do you see that in your mental crystal ball? ’Cuz it’s a-coming. You can’t keep that tractor between you and me forever.
Oh, don’t look so depressed. Just because you’ve set unrealistic goals for the future doesn’t mean you can’t change them. For instance, if I were you, I’d focus on short-term goals. Extremely short-term. Now, my goals are pretty much right on course, and I’d say I’m about 15 seconds away from achieving them. So buck up, rooster! There’s always tomorrow. Oh, sorry, not for you. ’Cuz what does your future hold? The same thing I hold. Heh-heh. This axe. It was inevitable, really.