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Prologue

Ira goes out birding with birder extraordinaire Noah Strycker, who tells the dramatic story of the bird that changed his life: the turkey vulture.

Act One: Don’t Chicken Out

Carmen Milito tells Ira the story of a date she went on as a teenager, and the bird her mom brought to the occasion.

Prologue

Linda Lutton and her eleven year old daughter Pirecua explain what happened the year Pirecua begged for a gift that she turned out to be allergic to. Linda is a reporter at our home station, WBEZ Chicago.

Prologue

Ira admits there is a question he’s wanted to know the answer to since he was a kid in Hebrew school: Why is it that Jews don’t sacrifice animals anymore? Especially since the Old Testament is so clear that God wants it? Ira talks to religious studies scholar Jonathan Klawans to find out. Jonathan is the author of a book covering this subject, Purity, Sacrifice and the Temple.

Prologue

Ira Glass talks with Scharlette Holdman, who works with defense teams on high profile death row cases, and who has not talked to a reporter in more than 25 years. Why did she suddenly end the moratorium on press? Because her story is about something important: Namely, a beautiful chicken.

Act One: Witness for the Barbecue-tion

Scharlette Holdman's story continues, in which she and the rest of a legaldefense team try to save a man on death row by finding a star witness — achicken with a specific skill.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass talks a veteran police officer about a time in his 20s when he gets sent to a car accident—and it turns out the driver at fault was a nicely dressed chimpanzee. The chimp seemed harmless enough until the other police officer on duty tries to arrest the chimp&'s owner.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass point out that it's not enough this time of year that we eat millions of turkeys. Someone also went to the trouble to make up a song about turkeys getting the supernatural power to play baseball.

Prologue

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.

Prologue

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.

Act One: Duki

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)

Act Four: Trying To Respect The Chicken

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)