4171. The crows and the pigeons wanted Otis and the Rooster to perform the tic-tac-toe game for them. Actually they wanted the two of them to perform the game as a tournament in order to see who might win four out of seven matches.
4172. The loud argument that had preceded this request for the game had been about the X’s and the O’s. Both the crows and the pigeons wanted to be for the O, and neither wanted to be associated with the X. Otis had to decide. He assigned the X to the crows, and so the O went to the pigeons.
4173. Otis reasoned like this when making his choice, he said, “Crows are more severe, and pigeons have a roundness to them.” This seemed reasonable to everyone, and so the birds settled down to watch the match, and there was stillness all around.
4174. The Rooster scratched out the crisscross pattern in the dirt of the riverbank with his beak, and Otis flipped a coin to decide who should make the first move. In the tournament Otis was to use the O, because his name began with O.