Cock-sure rooster leads in race to Hades

They stood eye-ball to eye-ball, only inches away.

One stretched, only to see the other match the move immediately, with nary an eye blink, nor a muscle flinch.

There was a meanness in their beady eyes. And if looks could kill, both would be lying dead where they stood.

Roosters. Little six-inch pecker heads. Squaring off like it was Tombstone Territory and they were gunfighters at the OK Corral. They actually live in a renovated Guinea Pig’s cage along with six other chickens. But, they stood apart from the rest, as they circled in the small space, never giving an eighth of an inch to the other.

Heads stretched up and down as one followed the other, hoping to find a weakness in the others defense. Holy crap. They’re not two months old yet, and they’re starting to spar already. What’s going to happen in the next several weeks when they outgrow this cage?

Eight feathered critters grace this home we carved out of the Second floor bathroom of our Conshohocken home. I still “hand-feed” the youngest chick, picking it out from the rest and setting the bird safely in an open box for chicken feed I mix with water. Easier to peck and eat until it gets used to harder food to crack. Doesn’t know how lucky a bird can get. Too soon, the world will offer a welcome where competition, survival of the fittest, and questions of where one fits in their “pecking order” will dominate their short live spans.

All but the baby chick have changed colors. Five are mostly white with a few dark spots here and there. They get white from the bantam rooster that “sired” them. The largest is a gentle black one that’s gotta be a hen. It’s Michele the Hen’s chick. Both are dark-colored. The slowest of them is a tan one that we also hope will be an egg-layer. It favors Hillary, the tan hen that patiently sat on them week after week until hatched.

Cock-sure intentions may lead one astray

We will keep both if they are not males.

To hell with roosters, is what I say. Got scars to show where this attitude developed. Roosters learn to fight from the beginning. Have an aggressive streak that would put a Mike Tyson to shame with an ability to bite off two ears, not just peck at one. I can see why they’re used in cock fights all over the world.

They gotta feel pain. I have to swat “Sombitch” Rooster three times a week and “push-shove” him the other days in efforts to get through our back yard where he has staked a claim to his fiefdom. He still comes at me, ready to battle for blood, which he has spilled on more than one occasion.

He is a leader. But, does he lead simply by force or with a mix of compassion? Does he protect against predators, like he did against the baby hawk or falcon, out of a concern for his “roost?” Or is it just male pride, a foolish belief that one must dominate another to elevate one’s feeling of superiority in life? A “false” sense of superiority?

That’s why I feel comfortable in condemning the “Sombitch.” He’ll do well in hell. Fighting a bunch of cocks who fight first and never think to question until later. Am I certain he’s headed down below? No. To paraphrase Ben Franklin, my favorite Philadelphian, death and taxes are the only things in life one can be cock-sure about.

4 comments on “Cock-sure rooster leads in race to Hades

  1. kim says:

    I always kinda liked Foghorn Leghorn, but you’re showing me his other side there, Michael.

    Like

  2. Sombitch rooster knows only one maxim: it is better to be feared than respected.

    All managers from hell know this one. 🙂

    Like

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