On Chickens

Unknown [Kingdoms of Amalur]

Kingdoms of Amalur

Part the First

The chicken is the silent titan upon whose back Amalur sleeps. Universally adapted as a staple in any kitchen of means, the chicken has proven its ability to thrive anywhere with minimal tending. Why, then have so few of us learned folk devoted a tome, or even at least a passage or mention, to the noble animal?

I aim to correct that now. I will conduct an unflinching and holistic analysis of the jungle fowl commonly referred to as "chicken." And, like any sane practitioner of science, I will begin my study with an anatomy of the graceful creature and its behavior.

The most prominent feature of the chicken is, of course, its comb. Colloquially known as a scab-ridge or mitharu's mistake, this floppy mantle of flesh is actually referred to in learned circles as the grossia major (in roosters) and grossia minor (in hens). Many have puzzled over the purpose of these growths, with many attributing them to some tool for communication. But that makes little sense - do not chicks need to communicate? Why don't they have little grossia majors and minors as well? No, the chicken's comb is far more likely a vestigial rest used to be used in fending off predators and navigating their original habitats - oceans. Notice how the folds and contours of these growths resemble the fins of aquatic fauna? It is no coincidence.

There are not only physical characteristics that chickens are reputed for. The chickens - specifically, roosters - are reputed for the diligence they employ when signalling the start of the day. While the degree to which they participate in this behavior is somewhat exaggerated, these reports are based in truth. Roosters are eager to announce the start of every new day, but this behavior goes unexplained. Perhaps they are relishing the opportunity to mate for another day? Perhaps they have an affinity for Helius, god of the sun? In the end, it is unknown.

And the most valuable commodity of the chicken is, ofcourse, its eggs. They are a lifeblood for the peasants and nobleman of Amalur alike, for it is their nourishment that gets us through the days and evenings. But why do chicken lay eggs in such quantities? Is it to ensure that at least some offsprings survive? Instead, I believe that chickens have behaviorally altered their egg laying physiology, colloquially known as an ovipositor matricula, to produce a surplus of offspring as a means of raising their race's global population. No doubt the beasts flourish in captivity, but they desire the freedom of their wild ancestors. It must be their hope, then, that drives them to flood the world with their kind, to the point where ownership becomes meaningless and they are set free.