Ptarmigan

a grouse with completely feathered feet

4/26/2003

"To this purpose likewise is that other way of secret Information by divers Knots tied upon a String according to certain Distances by which a Man may as distinctly and yet as Secretly express his Meaning as by any other way of Discourse. For who would mistrust any private News of Treachery to lye hid in a Thread wherein there was nothing to be discerned but sundry confused Knots or other the like Marks?"

--Bishop John Wilkins, Mercury the Secret and Swift Messenger, 1641.

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