When is a chicken your friend? When is he your dinner? TAL's former webmeister Elizabeth Meister talks with Kamiko Overs, an 11-year-old girl at the annual poultry exhibition run by the American Poultry Association in Columbus, Ohio.
Food writer Jonathan Gold tells what it's like to panfry a chicken—with a live chicken watching you the entire time.
When Francois Mitterand knew he was about to die, he decided that the last food to cross his lips would be poultry...a tiny bird that is actually illegal to eat in France. It's a bird that, by tradition, is eaten with a napkin covering your head.
Yet another testimony to the power chickens have over our hearts and minds. Contributing editor Jack Hitt reports on an opera about Chicken Little.
Writer David Rakoff explains how his life was changed—in a single evening—in a room of 5000 chickens.
What divorce looks like from the dog's point of view. This monologue was performed by Merrill Markoe and recorded at Un-Cabaret in Los Angeles.
Some of the scariest stories happen when fluffy, innocent creatures turn murderously evil. This American Life producer Alex Blumberg tells one such story, about a raccoon gone bad.
Host Ira Glass talks with producer Alex Blumberg and his parents about a bad dog they once had, and how nothing—not getting hit by cars, attacked by bigger dogs, or being shipped off to live on a farm—could stop this dog from coming home. "The Cat Came Back" is sung by Nedelle Torrisi.
Host Ira Glass talks with Rosie Schaap about an unlikely love affair between a dog and a parrot, and how the dog betrayed the bird's trust, never to regain it.
This parrot story began as a journalism school assignment. Then, for reporters Alex Lane and Eric Holm, it became something much bigger.
A friend tells Jonathan Goldstein how a trip with a pot-bellied pig ended up revealing his character and making his girlfriend leave. Jonathan Goldstein is the host of the radio show Wiretap on the CBC, where a version of this story originally aired.
David Sedaris reads a new story that explores the age-old question: Can a parrot and a pot-bellied pig find happiness in a world that only wants to pigeon-hole them? David's most recent book is Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim.
Host Ira Glass talks with Andy Woolworth, an executive vice president in charge of new product development at the world's largest manufacturer of mousetraps, Woodstrean Corporation, in Lititz, Pennsylvania. About once a month, Andy is contacted by someone who thinks he's invented a better mousetrap.
A story by David Sedaris about what happens when natural enemies meet, in an Alcoholics Anonymous program, in prison. This story appears in David's collection of animal fables Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk.
David Sedaris reads his new fable about a squirrel, a chipmunk, and a love that could never be. He's the author of many books, including Dress Your Family in Cordoroy and Denim.
The great Christmas classics are all like fables. David Sedaris contributes his own, about barnyard animals who decide to play "Secret Santa." David is the author of many books, including a collection of Christmas stories, Holidays on Ice.
Ralph and Sandra Fisher, who run a show-animal business in Texas, had a beloved Brahman bull named Chance. Chance was the gentlest bull they'd ever seen, more like a pet dog than a bull.
A fable about gossip and the service industry involving a cat and a baboon, by David Sedaris. David's story was recorded live at UCLA's Royce Hall, as part of UCLA's Performing Arts series.
A story by regular contributor David Sedaris involving his sister Lisa, a secret, and her very understanding parrot. David read this story live, and it's on his CD Live at Carnegie Hall. The story is also published in his book Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim.
The story of a typical American family, and how their family dynamic has reorganized itself around an imaginary duck, invented in childhood, who somehow stayed alive well into adulthood. (14 minutes)
Yet another testimony to the power chickens have over our hearts and minds. Jack Hitt reports on an opera about Chicken Little. It's performed with dressed-up styrofoam balls, it's sung in Italian and, no kidding, able to make grown men cry. The official website for the opera "Love's Fowl" by Susan Vitucci and Henry Krieger is http://www.pulcina.org.
Ira accompanies photographer Tamara Staples as she attempts to photograph chickens in the style of high fashion photography. The chickens are not very cooperative. Her photos have been collected in a book, "The Magnificent Chicken: Portraits of the Fairest Fowl." (15 minutes)
A few times every summer, for complicated scientific reasons, thousands of live fish, crab and shrimp wash up onto the beaches of Mobile Bay, Alabama, on the Gulf Coast. It's a natural event—like a hurricane, but good.
You can divide all living creatures into two camps. We humans are in one camp, along with lots of other things like dogs and birds and trees and caterpillars.