Fowl locked up after spiritual book bash

The rooster rushed me as I turned my back. I had just gotten two paperback books from the mailbox and was preparing to feed him.

He got right into my face. Literally, as I bent to ward off his assault with the only protection I held in my hands. The books.

I hit his head with one. The “Kabbalah And The Power Of Dreaming: Awakening The Visionary Life” by Catherine Shainberg. Did nothing to halt his progress.

I switched to a book on Christ, striking the Sombitch with “ISSA: The Greatest Story Never Told,”  a novel, by Lois Drake. I immediately felt the old Catholic guilt, and was glad I had “pulled my punches” with both smacks.

I kinda lost it then. I had just used writings from two religions as a weapon in each hand. They’re books involving beliefs from the Old and the New Testaments, and neither seemed to work for me.

Sombitch Rooster - 1 & 1/2 ft tall

So I hollered for my son, Nicholas, to come to my aid. (The rooster is afraid of him, I guess because he yells at the Sombitch.) I pleaded, raising my voice in a near cry, hoping my son would help me before I killed his pet — the one he raised from a chick in a lighted cardboard box in his bedroom. Yes, I was torn between fear of taking the life of this fowl, and him drawing blood from me. Again.

Got away from the rooster, using a pole to push him, chasing him up the backyard steps of our Conshohocken, PA, home. I opened the kitchen door, feeling sorry for myself. Had to turn to a teenager to help an old war veteran deal with a scrawny little bird. My pride was at issue. The rooster struck fear in me. I “wanted” to hurt him, but could not because of . . . maybe . . . empathy? A sense it would be wrong to kill something with seemingly no morality and little intelligence? A being I’m quite fond of when not attacking me? (All of the above?)

My 18-year-old son, taller than me by four inches, confronted the rooster like a drill sergeant on a new recruit. Cursed at the rooster and herded him into the shed at the top of the hill. Locked him in a metal cage we keep in the converted chicken coop. Passed a sentence that would keep the fowl in the cage for 48 hours.

Solitary confining a rooster felt like the right thing to do.

It was punishment that seem to fit the crime, providing retribution, a loss of liberty and enough time for the critter to contemplate its sin.

We let him out after serving only 24 hours. My liberal nature kicked in. How could a rooster know the difference between right and wrong? He’s just a bird with a bird brain and no sense of morality. It’s up to humans, enlightened creatures that we are, to understand such higher values. To be kind, loving and forgiving.

But, it sure was fun imagining the rooster’s neck being stretched on the chopping block. Found I was getting quite attached to it. “Detaching” the Sombitch’s head, that is, perish the thought of anything else.

10 comments on “Fowl locked up after spiritual book bash

  1. […] knew what he was doing. He had done this before. (See Fowl-locked-up.) For nearly two months, I wore a black eye patch, having suffered a torn retina, and then later, a […]


  2. […] an assault, to attack with the spurs, his “weapons of my mass destruction.” (See fowl-locked-up-after-a-bash) The smaller birds no longer fear a pecking from the king of the patio. Perhaps now they can get […]


  3. sparrow says:

    :). . . .it is hard isn’t it?. . . .no where have i ever read a scripture or a sutra on what to do with a cocky rooster!. . . One would think Buddha, Jesus, Krishna, or even Mother Mary would have something profound to say about what to do with roosters. . .

    Michael have you thought about taking him to the vet and having him neutered? I have never heard if they do something like that with chickens but you might give your vet a call? ( i am trying to write that with a straight face.)

    Maybe there is a home for wayward hormonal driven roosters with small brains and sharp spiky claws? Maybe look for that in the yellow pages?

    Forgive me for the length of this story but if you have not heard of Mike the Headless chicken it would make one think twice about chopping his head off.

    This is Mike’s the Headless Chicken’s story;

    September 10th, 1945 finds a strapping (but tender) five and a half month old Wyandotte rooster pecking through the dust of Fruita, Colorado. The unsuspecting bird had never looked so delicious as he did that, now famous, day. Clara Olsen was planning on featuring the plump chicken in the evening meal. Husband Lloyd Olsen was sent out, on a very routine mission, to prepare the designated fryer for the pan. Nothing about this task turned out to be routine. Lloyd knew his Mother in Law would be dining with them and would savor the neck. He positioned his ax precisely, estimating just the right tolerances, to leave a generous neck bone. “It was as important to Suck-Up to your Mother in Law in the 40’s as it is today.” A skillful blow was executed and the chicken staggered around like most freshly terminated poultry.

    Then the determined bird shook off the traumatic event and never looked back. Mike (it is unclear when the famous rooster took on the name) returned to his job of being a chicken. He pecked for food and preened his feathers just like the rest of his barnyard buddies.

    When Olsen found Mike the next morning, sleeping with his “head” under his wing, he decided that if Mike had that much will to live, he would figure out a way to feed and water him. With an eyedropper Mike was given grain and water. It was becoming obvious that Mike was special. A week into Mike’s new life Olsen packed him up and took him 250 miles to the University of Utah in Salt Lake City .

    The skeptical scientists were eager to answer all the questions regarding Mike’s amazing ability to survive with no head. It was determined that ax blade had missed the jugular vein and a clot had prevented Mike from bleeding to death. Although most of his head was in a jar, most of his brain stem and one ear was left on his body. Since most of a chicken’s reflex actions are controlled by the brain stem Mike was able to remain quite healthy.

    In the 18 MONTHS that Mike lived as “The Headless Wonder Chicken” he grew from a mere 2 1/2 lbs. to nearly 8 lbs. ( Mike’s owner began to take him to all the country festivals for all to see the “Headless Wonder Chicken”)

    . In a Gayle Meyer interview Olsen said Mike was a “robust chicken – a fine specimen of a chicken except for not having a head.” Some longtime Fruita residents, gathered at the Monument Cafe for coffee, also remember Mike – “he was a big fat chicken who didn’t know he didn’t have a head” – “he seemed as happy as any other chicken.” Mike’s excellent state of health made it difficult for animal-rights activists to garner much of a following.

    Even now the town of Fruita celebrates Mike’s impressive will to live, not the nature of his handicap. Miracle Mike took on a manager, and with the Olsens in tow, set out on a national tour. Curious sideshow patrons in New York , Atlantic City , Los Angeles , and San Diego lined up to pay 25 cents to see Mike. The “Wonder Chicken” was valued at $10,000.00 and insured for the same. His fame and fortune would earn him recognition in Life and Time Magazines. It goes without saying there was a Guinness World Record in all this. While returning from one of these road trips the Olsens stopped at a motel in the Arizona desert. In the middle of the night Mike began to choke. Unable to find the eyedropper used to clear Mike’s open esophagus Miracle Mike passed on.

    Now, Mike’s spirit is celebrated the third weekend in May. And all around the world there are Mike the headless chicken fan clubs.


    • contoveros says:


      Yipes! Never knew this could happen. Gotta get the Sombitch fixed, if I can do it. Neighbor told me two hens “flew the coop” out of our yard and were seen on a nearby street. They came back, but I wonder if they were trying to get away from the rooster.

      Will take some action, short of the AX.

      Great story.


      michael j


  4. tinapeacock says:

    What a chicken … lol 😉


  5. He really is a Sombitch isn’t he? I mean there you are, fixin’ to feed the ungrateful Sombitch and he attacks you.

    It’s his brain size. I’m certain of it. Look at the size of his head – how can you fit much of anything (much less a brain) in something that small?

    Poor Sombitch – brain-challenged.


    • contoveros says:

      Brain-challenged is right. But how the hell can he keep coming back for more and more, getting knocked down time and again?

      Does he not remember I feed him and have no eyes for the hens? Small brain is as small brain does.


  6. *dies laughing*

    O.M.G. – sorry – not laughing at your pain hun, really.

    Roosters may not know much of human quests for enlightenment but it seems they do know how to claim their piece of the universe and defend it if need be.

    Already I know you are more highly evolved than I am because I would have rung his neck first and thought of a way to explain it after the evidence had been consumed – er – discovered.

    Luv n’ stuff,


    • contoveros says:

      It’s part of my karma. I must learn to live with these attacks for something I did in a previous life. Or was it because of something I did in this life?

      Saints preserve us!

      michael j


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