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A Hen Boy In Illinois

A Hen Boy In Illinois image
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Ou the okl Holland road near Calumet, 111. lives a Germán family with a 12-yearold boy, who is a remarcable phenomenon. He s a boy in every particular, as far as form and feature are concerned, but there the similarity ends. In every attribute of mind aud matter he is exactly like a cliicken. He moves like a ehicken, eats like a cliicken, scratehes like a cliicken, flaps his arms and crows, and sleeps on liis feet eiouched in a corner. Thuse strange traits were imparted to htm by a surgical operation, wherein the blood of a live cliicken was conveyed into his veins to sustuin life duim a protracted siege of fever in which his own blood lamed almost to a colorless liquid. Mention of his case is made in two medical books of recent date, and the case attracted sotne considerable attention five years ago, when the operation was peifornied; but, singularly enough, nothing of it crept into the uewspapers. As the reporter drove up to the house the boy was seen standing by the gate. He could not be mistaken, tor, while two or three other children, like talm yellowhaired and blue eyed, evidently his brothers and sisters, were playing around, he stood perfectly quiet. leaning againat the fence with one toot drawn up, as a dikken someitmes ttmtdsj and wltli his head turned to one side and dropping on his sboulder. His ej-es were closed and he appeared to be sleeping, precisely as a ehicken sleeps- its left foot drawn up and the head under its right wing. The noise of the bugay seomcd to awaken him. He gave a somewhat startléd look, put his foot down and shook himself as a ehicken rufHes its feathers, and, starting oft'with a short, quick step, ran into the garden, where, a moment aftterward. apparently forgetful of what had alarmed him, he stoppcd and began scratching with one toot in soine soft earth beside a pine box, on which stood a saneer of corn ineal and a rusty tin pan half f uil of water. These, it was afterward learncd, were placed there regularly every day for him to fced apon. The boy's inother, it was learned, is dead, Slie dicd about two years ago. The father was away iïom home, at work in the Pullman car heel fonndry. The boy, whose peculiar characteristics make him au object of so inuch interest, is named Charley Wolfson. The driver of the biiiigy who conducted the reporter to the house said that he had heard that up to the time of his affliction the boy was a more thau commonly bright child. Since then he has insisted on laying out of doors, gomg under cover only when it rained, and seeking shelter only in some of the outhouses aloug with the chickens. He never wears any bat, not even in the coldest weather, and never talks or takes any notice of things more than a cliicken. Oue of the children, the oldest gi il, evidently about 10 years of uge, at the reportei's request, called the boy by making a cliicking sound, but he would not con sent to being caught, and iimnediately ran away as au effort was made to take him. The girl said that he often sat on the fence, and not infrequently was found at sundown perched on the Hinb of a tree.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News