When you step out of your vehicle at the Palatial Sealey Doublewide Estate, you cannot miss the fact that we have a plethora of random things strewn about the yard. You may mutter to yourself, “Wow, I never knew the Sealeys were this trashy.” We are. The grounds of the estate are quite horrible, but there is a legitimate reason that we keep a broken rake, a shovel with no handle, a scrub brush with bristles long-gone, and a pool noodle in the yard in December. The reason is pictured below:
This is our current rooster. I hate him with vehement passion. He is evil, sneaky, contentious, crafty, cunning, misogynistic, cantankerous, stubborn, and vicious beyond imagination. I know. You are looking at his picture and saying, “Oh, he is so cute. How could anyone hate such a pretty thing?” Come to my house and find out. But if you see him anywhere near your vehicle, you’d better grab one of the random things strewn about my yard. If it is your lucky day, he will merely flap at you and slowly move his harem away from you. Fat chance. If you see him stiffen his wingtips down and fix you with a steely glare, you had best either get back in the vehicle and go home or take up your choice of weapon from the crap littering the yard. Whatever you do, do not turn your back on him. He will come up behind you more silently than any ninja. Chuck Norris? Bruce Lee? Ha. They would not last five seconds against this pernicious tornado of feathers and razor-sharp claws. Approximately one-tenth of a second before he comes at you with talons of death, you will hear a little chuckle. That’s right. He chuckles. No matter what stylish outfit you have chosen to impress the Sealeys’ impeccable taste, unless you follow my advice, your Armani suit and Louboutins will be shredded before you get to the front porch. The talons go right through all fabrics. I am pretty sure he could get right past a Kevlar vest. Whoever came up with the phrase sexy as socks on a rooster never owned one.
For your education and safety, I have assembled part of my anti-rooster defense kit. All of the following may be hurled or swung with great force: a watering can, a shower-head hose attachment, a rake, a broken rake, a broom, a shovel head, half of a broom, a rock, and a decrepit scrub brush. I have added a picture of an appropriate hat for rooster defense. If you do not understand the importance of wearing the appropriate hat, go back to my home page and click on Incident at a Turkey Shoot. Hats are essential. I would not hesitate to throw the chaise lounge if the situation warranted such action. No matter how hard you hit him, he just gets a little dizzy and walks away slowly with enough swagger to let you know that he could fight you if he so chose.
Because I am concerned for your safety, I am listing additional items that may prove invaluable if the situation escalates.
Things for hurling:
- pool noodles
- an LG 3 cell phone in a pink Otterbox Defender case
- a bucket
- small twigs
- large twigs
- a flower pot
Things for slinging:
- the electric fence handle
- a tree branch
- small children
- a retractable dog leash locked at a carefully-engineered length
Folks at the most risk are those wearing any sort of patterned cloth. The following items pictured have caused A la King (we always name roosters after chicken dishes) to attack me. Please be aware that I was not wearing all these patterns at once. Don’t judge me.
Why do we keep him? Why haven’t we shot him? I am not sure. I will say that a Doublewide Estate is not a home without a rooster. I remember my first rooster, Houdini, with great affection. He kept his hens safe. He could escape from any cage. He followed me as I gardened, waiting for me to throw him bugs as I weeded between the rows of squash. We were buddies. And even when his hens died, he hung around, a lonely old bachelor living for the moment I found a juicy cricket. When we made the mistake of adopting some baby guineas, he took to mothering them like an old hen. He gave his life for those guineas as he fought off some unknown predator. I found his lifeless body in the grass, feathers scattered everywhere, with the babies hiding under the butterfly bush next to the porch. As I shoveled a hole big enough to bury him with dignity, I wept silently. He was so beautiful and so funny. I loved that dadgum rooster as much as any horse, donkey, dog, or cat I have ever had.
We have had several roosters between Houdini and the current A la King: a huge Buff named Pot Pie, Chow Mein, Pastry. None of them had the personality of Houdini, but there was my granddaughter’s Rhode Island Red who ran off the FedEx delivery person. My friend’s husband likes to taunt the roosters. He will rush at them, imitating a rooster attack. I am glad, for his safety, that they have moved to Colorado.
One day A la King will go too far, but that day has not yet come. He earned an extra day yesterday because he noticed a hawk flying across the pasture and herded his hens into the safety of the rosebush that grows through the ironwork of the gazebo. We do like eggs, and we have not lost one single hen since he has been big enough to rush to their defense. There will come a time when he is history, whether through natural or man-made causes, and we will get another rooster. We are stupid that way. I will raise him from biddy to full-blown adult. But I am running out of names. And rake handles.