The Attack of the Dead Rooster

 

There once was a happy family of chickens. Among those chickens there were two beautiful roosters.

 

One of the roosters was mild-mannered and happy.  The other one was . . . well – he wasn’t mild-mannered.  Or happy.  He thought he was the boss-rooster and did his best to make his dominance known.  The hens suffered much under his authority.

 

This rooster was so mean, that even the neighbor’s dogs (who have had many tasty chicken dinners at our expense) decided that this guy was just good for nothing.  He did teach the rooster a lesson, however.

 

Despite this scuffle, the rooster survived, albeit with a reduced ego.

 

(By the way . . . the dog who attacked this rooster is dead.  And it wasn’t by my hand, even though I threatened repeatedly to run over him with my car, and would have had I not worried about the damage that would have happened to my bumper and to significant family relationships)

But one day, very recently (yesterday), this rooster made a fatal error.  When I let the chickens out of their coop for a break from  the mud that is their home (with all the rain this week and last), the rooster challenged me to a cock fight.  Now, this has happened in the past and he has received quite the beating.  I’ve witnessed him flying backwards by 10 feet (with help from my foot) he’s met with a broom, and a shoe, a hand, and various other implements of torture by various other people.  But this time, he made his lucky fatal strike.  He spurred my ankle.  With a vengeance.  Had I not been in a hurry, I think I might have sat down and cried.  I didn’t realize the extent of the damage till I got to my destination.  This is the "cleaned up" version . . . I was actually leaving a trail without knowing it)

Now, trust me . . those little puncture wounds (did you see them on BOTH sides of my ankle!?) didn’t hurt very badly.  They didn’t want to stop bleeding, but they didn’t hurt very much.  But my ankle ACHED.  Like BONE-ache.  It was as if poison had been injected into my joint or something (that’s how it felt – it’s not actually what happened).  As the day progressed, the pain increased.  A day later, my ankle looks like this:

Red, swollen, itchy, and . . . not as sore as yesterday, but definitely tender.  And a bit cripple.

 

I called Prince Farming at the office part way through the day yesterday to make sure I didn’t need an amputation or anything.  I could almost hear him laughing at me and I was sure he didn’t understand my pain.  But last night, under the cover of the moon and clouds, that darn rooster mysteriously disappeared.  I asked Prince Farming where he’d been, but he didn’t want to talk about it.  Nor did I.  But my relief is great.  Now guests and family can come and go without my having to chase chickens out of their paths. 

 

- – - – - – - – -

Several Hours Later – - My ankle is more swollen, and more sore than it was last night this time . . . it’s hot to the touch, but there is currently no streaking (indication of infection).  I walked without much of a limp for most of the day, but by this evening I can’t put any weight on it .  Must be time for bed.  I have a presentation to do tomorrow – hope I can refrain from hobbling.

Critters of Gredemmer II

One of the things I remember from my childhood is chickens.  We had them (bantams) in at least 2 places where we lived.  They were easy pets, and could be left on their own with occasional throwing out of a handful of food.  We didn’t have them for eggs – just as lawn decorations, I think.  So when we got the farm, I was certain I wanted chickens.  But Prince Farming is a light sleeper, and he didn’t want a rooster.  That was the one thing I did want – I mean, how quaint is it to be woken up in the morning by the crowing of a rooster.  But that was not meant to be.  Until recently.  A nearby farmer had a rooster.  He thought the rooster was lonely, so he brought over a hen.  The hen laid eggs.  The eggs hatched.  Then all of a sudden he had a family of chickens, and he didn’t want them around his horses.  One day I came home, and Prince Farming and our son were in the barn fixing up a place for this little family.

In this area there are wild dogs and other predators (racoons etc.) that make a chicken’s life slightly vulnerable.  So we were quite skeptical about their longevity.  Wild critters can get inside a chicken coop very easily.  Based on the time we had and the resources immediately available, Prince Farming rigged a really nice little coop.  Except not nice enough. 

The next day the family was down by a few chicks.  So it continued (despite renewed effort for their safety) until it was just one rooster and one chick.  One day we went down to the barn to take some food and we heard the rooster, but couldn’t find him.  Finally we looked up – and there he was in the rafter of the barn.

 

We also heard a chick (still really little – unable to fly) but couldn’t find the little guy ANYwhere.  It was the craziest thing.  Our daughter climbed up on some hay to look around – and she found the chick.  It was sitting on the rooster’s back up on the rafters.

 

How totally cool is that?  The only way for it to have gotten there would have been for it to climb on the rooster’s back before the rooster flew up.  Because there was no hay anywhere close by where they could have done it in small steps.  I just totally marvel at nature sometimes.  I know hens are nurturing and will guard their chicks to the death, but this rooster took on the care of that chick and did it well.  BTW – Our daughter took all these pictures – budding photographer that she is. 

Anyway – the rooster does crow.  People who take walks along the road have heard him.  We don’t hear him from the house because the barn is down the hill and a small distance from here.  That works for Prince Charming.  But now he’s caught the chicken bug. The rooster is all that’s left, and he wants more.  He brought home a catalog of all sorts of critters and the stuff one needs to keep them safe.  So I’m sure there will be more chickens in our future.  And they might even move up the hill to be closer to us – who knows?  But these chickens will be our local egg delivery as well as pets – Prince Farming LOVES farm fresh eggs – brown ones with bright yellow yolks.  Now THAT’S nutrition!

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