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 Subj:.....Chickens In The Corn (S595)           From the book             "Mathematical Puzzles of Sam Loyd"              Edited by Martin Gardner              From: Dover Publications in 1959 Show the farmer and his wife how to catch the chickens.   In watching the gambols of playful dogs, kittens, and other domestic animals we are often impressed by the way they seem to enter into the spirit of the fun and enjoy the fine points of play, just as human beings do. But for a rollicking exhibition of mischief, or "tantalizing cussedness" as the farmer calls it, I have never seen anything equal to the sport produced by two obstinate chickens refusing to be driven or coaxed from a garden.  They neither fly nor run, but just dodge about, keeping close to their pursuers but always just out of reach.  In fact, when the would-be captors retreat, the chickens become pursuers and follow close upon their heels, uttering sounds of defiance and contempt. On a New Jersey farm, where some city folks were wont to summer. chicken-chasing became an everyday sport, and there were two pet chickens which could always be found in the garden ready to challenge any to catch them.  It reminded one of a game of tag, and suggested a curious puzzle which I am satisfied will worry some of our experts. The object is to prove in just how many moves the farmer and his wife can catch the two chickens. The field is divided into sixty-four square patches, marked off by the corn hills.  Let us suppose that they are playing a game, moving between the corn rows from one square to another, directly up and down or right and left. Play turn about.  First let the man and woman each move one square, then let each of the chickens make a move.  The play continues by turns until you find out in how many moves it is possible to drive the chickens into a position that both of them are cornered and captured.  A capture occurs when the farmer or his wife can pounce on a square occupied by a chicken. The game can be played on any checkerboard by using two checkers of one color to represent the farmer and his wife, and two checkers of another color to represent the hen and rooster.
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