Thursday, January 6, 2011
I Shot The Sherriff... But I Will Not Shoot The Deputy
It wasn't really the sherriff. It was the goddam rooster.
You remember quite some time ago, when Natalie thought it would be a good idea for the kids to get some eggs to hatch? Yeah? The fuss? The eggs that got roasted by a close encounter with a heat-light? The late-night run to someone else's house (carried out, naturally, by yours truly) to grab three more eggs just when they were hatching? The horrible 24 hour hatching process, kids not sleeping, stupid chicks slow emerging, wet, fugly little buggers?
Yeah. And of course, they were all goddam silky bantams, weren't they?
There were two hens and a rooster. One hen croaked for reasons which may involve over-loving from the Mau-Mau. Possibly. The other has been motoring along just fine. But the rooster decided he should take over rooster duties, and round up the Three Fat Ladies - our black Australorp laying hens.
Well, that was okay. I mean, I could put up with the little bastard crowing. He was well away from the house, down in the chook pen. That was all right.
Except Natalie thinks 'free-range' really truly means 'free-range'. So every now and again, she decides that our spacious, well-grassed, shaded chook pen with its long-term water supply and the feeding stations and all that -- she decides they need to 'really get out and scratch around'.
So they get out. They wander around. Natalie forgets to put them back in. And for about a week, they lurk around the place, scratching, shitting on the deck, etc. Eventually they stop going back to the nesting box to lay, and Natalie decides that yes, finally, we need to round them up.
The only real problem here - aside from the chookshit on the deck - was the stroppy, nasty little bantam rooster. Not only did he take to crowing under the bedroom window at dawn (about 0350 here in temperate Tas) but he decided to have a go at the kids when he could.
Roosters are nasty. Even Jake was frightened of him. And he kept going for faces and eyes.
Eventually, one day while Natalie was away -- but with her permission, I shall add; Mr Rooster having been a very bad boy that day and the Mau-Mau bleeding from an ugly scratch -- I arranged for an accident to befall the rooster. A twenty-two calibre accident.
Too bad. So sad. Goodbye, you vicious little shit.
That leaves only the Three Fat Ladies and the animated mop-head, the last of the silkies, trundling sadly along in their wake.
But damn me if one of the Three Fat Ladies hasn't started trying to crow. Dead serious here, folks. It's not a very good sort of crow, but it is unmistakeable. Not a cluck. Not even a squawk, but a sad, wheezy, tragic little crow, like a rooster with a five year three-pack-a-day habit.
Most pathetic thing I've ever seen.
Natalie says the thing has some kind of gender issues. I don't give a shit. She doesn't go for the kids' faces, and she still lays an egg a day.
Now, all I have to do is round 'em up and get them back in the pen again...