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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Believe it or not... » » Learned Pigs? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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jondark445
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Hi:

Curious if anyone knows if there was ever a tradition in the sideshow to feature "learned" or "intelligent" animals (as opposed to freak or oddity animals). Did sideshows have animals that "performed" rather than being exhibited?
sescarny
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Absolutely! There was learned monkeys, birds, kangaroos and so much more! The animals would show off particular skills, such as reading, drawing, smoking (!) and lots more. Hope this helps.

Ses
Harley Newman
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Horses, pigs, mules, elephants, etc.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

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Todd Robbins
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But proof, you want proof! And proof you shall have.

http://ephemeralnewyork.files.wordpress.......ties.png

Look to the far left of the stages in the back there and you will see a learned pig act. This poster comes from circa 1904.

By the way, the show depicted in the poster was almost as great as the show JS#3 produced in Coney Island this summer.
Utah_Showman
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BONHEUR BROTHERS'
EDUCATED PONY
"Fi -Fi"
THE HORSE WITH A HUMAN BRAIN
http://www.sideshowworld.com/BarnYard-FiFi1.html

Prof. D. M. Bristol's Equescurriculum, consisting of wonderfully educated horses, ponies and mules,
http://www.sideshowworld.com/BarnYard-Bristol.html
http://www.sideshowworld.com/blowoff-Ama......ors.html
Harley Newman
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There was a trained animal at Coney?

Or was it just paper-trained?
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

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sescarny
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Ha Ha Ha!!!! Harley, you're awesome!!
Harley Newman
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Many things look better on paper.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

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Roslyn
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And of course there's the book of the same name as the thread by a certain Ricky Jay that will tell you about Learned Pig acts along with many other weird and wonderful bits.
The Magic Cafe account of The Conwy Jester, Erwyd le Fol formerly known as Roslyn Walker.
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Kondini
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There was a Learned Dog act working in the UK up till a couple years ago,,,it did arithmatic (Tapping out the answers with its paw)It sang to a backing tape and sold autographs afterwards (Paw print on the reverse of its photo) Cant remember any more details.
thegreatnippulini
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This makes me sad. Last week our baby pot bellied pig passed away. She never really gained weight, and after 10 weeks she only weighed 4.5 pounds. She was the sweetest little animal we have ever taken care of. In the short time we had her, she did learn lots of stuff. Pigs are 4th on the ladder of intelligent animals, just one notch under dolphins. We will miss our little Princess Buttercup.
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gsidhe
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Aw....So sorry Nips...She was a cutie.
Rod Pringle
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Wayne Franzen had an educated horse act in his circus. The horse was Tonto, and would add and subtract by holding a card in his mouth with a certain number on it. Different volunteers from the audience would yell out an addtion, subtraction, or diviion problem, and the horse would pick the right numbers every time.

ROD
trey
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When I was a kid. I played tic tac tow with a chicken. You payed 25 cents. And the chicken would play a game with you. There was also a duck that played guitar. And a chicken that would dance.

Trey
jondark445
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Thanks....what a wealth of information....and love the solid proof!!!!

It wasn't in a sideshow, but I recall being a kid and going to (what I believe was) Steel Pier in Atlantic City. There was a Diving Bell at the end of the pier where you could take a ride down under the water (it was never operational) but nearby there was a little case with a chicken in it. You deposited a quarter and the chicken danced (I like to think they were giving it little shocks through the floor, but that's just me).
Martin_Ling
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My condolences again nipps. I wish I had gotten to meet her.
Todd Robbins
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Quote:
On 2009-09-17 14:49, jondark445 wrote:
Thanks....what a wealth of information....and love the solid proof!!!!

It wasn't in a sideshow, but I recall being a kid and going to (what I believe was) Steel Pier in Atlantic City. There was a Diving Bell at the end of the pier where you could take a ride down under the water (it was never operational) but nearby there was a little case with a chicken in it. You deposited a quarter and the chicken danced (I like to think they were giving it little shocks through the floor, but that's just me).


Not shocks but a heating element that made the surface hot. Not everything can be done with kindness.
Todd Robbins
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And the tic tac toe chicken tradition lives on:

http://www.thetimes-tribune.com/arts_liv......_in_draw

Plus, put "tic tac toe chicken" in the search at youtube and a number of videos come up.
tim_mantis
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A dancing chicken - the joys of YouTube!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUcTvhyof8I&feature=related

Looks like it's not a hot plate in this version though...
Todd Robbins
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Quote:
On 2009-09-18 10:37, tim_mantis wrote:
A dancing chicken - the joys of YouTube!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUcTvhyof8I&feature=related

Looks like it's not a hot plate in this version though...


It doesn't look like a hot plate on that one. It looks like some true animal behavior modification ala B.F. Skinner was used.
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