The title is a trigger, the author's name a warranty, and this book is the equal of his excellent last, The Fox and the Hounds (1967). Again Mannix shifts back and forth between natural enemies, dramatizing but not fictionalizing their life experiences in thoroughly entertaining information writing. Whitehackles is a rooster, Ishmael a female Cooper hawk turned chicken thief. Mannix can keep you perched on the crowing edge of suspense in chapters where the ex-game cock, bred and trained to kill but now a Pennsylvania barnyard king, protects his flock from the instinctual, hunger-driven onslaughts of the bird of prey. And, by following each bird from the time it emerged from its shell through the days of their epic encounters, Mannix can set you clucking over the fates of both. He's combined a mass of wild bird lore with a coopful of material on the complex social structure and behavior patterns of domestic poultry. Bet your nestegg on it.