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No matter how many centuries divide modern folk from those who came before us, we're really not that different as human beings. Kids in particular.

Young students have always drawn pictures in their schoolbooks at one time or another.

Now, there's evidence that an 18th century child doodled in his notebook, just like any student would do today. However, his renderings were far more sophisticated than a stick figure. And perhaps more bizarre.

One discovery from his chicken-scratch in particular became a viral sensation that is two centuries in the making.


So, apparently, chicken in trousers was a thing. And the internet is making it a current trend.


The Museum of Rural English Life delighted Twitter by digging into their 2016 acquisition of 41 diaries from the Beale family of River Hall Farm in the English town of Biddenden, Kent.

According to Jezebel, the museum discovered a math notebook from 1784 previously owned by a then 13-year-old named Richard.

Richard Beale was quite the scribbler and rendered rather impressive illustrations in his notebook alongside examples of some of his math equations.



The museum's director Adam Koszary told The Guardian that the equations in Richard's notebook were "laid out like a dream."

"But, like every teenager, mathematics couldn't fill the void of Richard's heart. Richard doodled."






But what got the most attention was the sketch of a chicken in pants.

"But there's one thing we didn't expect to see. Richard put an 18th-century chicken in some trousers," Koszary tweeted.

Soon, Twitter was fascinated with the doodle. Maybe chicken in pants is a thing after all and always has been.






Some internet sleuthing revealed that the image of chicken in pants is the coat of arms representing the Dutch village of Hensbroek.


Conspiracy theories of Richard and the chicken began springing up, one of which inferred that the young student may have visited the Netherlands.

But Guy Baxter, associate director of archive services at the museum, dismissed that notion because of the fourth Anglo-Dutch war happening at the time.

"But it is possible that he knew about canting arms. Or maybe he just had a vivid imagination," Baxter surmised.


Even Harry Potter scribe J.K. Rowling took notice and commented about Richard's chicken doodle.


Koszary responded to Rowling and implored the author to dedicate her next series based on the chicken.


Of course, Rowling had already conjured something up in her creative mind.



Koszary said that Richard was "just one of many doodlers throughout history, but it's through these drawings that people from the past are brought to life and made flesh and blood."


Kids will always be kids and occasionally distract themselves in class by doodling. And there's nothing foul about it.

H/T - Wikipedia, Jezebel, Guardian, Twitter

Clint Patterson/Unsplash

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