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Chicken knew comet was coming and laid an egg

January 18, 1986 GMT

STUDLEY, England (AP) _ Linda Franklin was $7,000 richer Friday because an anonymous hen with an odd affinity for astronomy laid a Halley’s Comet lookalike egg.

Mrs. Franklin said she found the egg, which has a comet-like mark on its shell, on a farm near this Warwickshire town in November.

Legend has it that some hens lay eggs with such marks when Halley’s Comet comes around every 775 years, and a British egg company offered 10,000 pounds ($14,000) if one was found this time.

Mrs. Franklin, 36, claimed the prize and said she would buy a car with it. The other half of the money goes to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, named for the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, which encourages young people in 40 countries to achievement.