.
.
. .

.
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.

.
.
.

.   ...
.
.
..