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"Regarding"

I grew up with chickens. One of the things you learn fast is the way a chicken looks at something when it's about to peck it, fly on it, or fly over it. There's a particular trick to the way they move their heads -- not just looking at it with one eye, but pointing their beak directly at it and focusing both eyes.

You learn this expression very fast, especially if you wanted to keep eating that sandwich.

We called this "regarding", overloading the word's meaning beyond the mere "to look at attentively; observe closely". If a chicken was looking at something with that intensity, it meant something, and we knew what it meant.

Check out the image here. Not the drinking hen, the one with her face in the camera.

If you ever see a chicken looking at you like that, make sure it's not within beak-range of anything important, such as your eyes. Guard your lunch well.
Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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