“What’s wrong with the Truth?” the White Knight asked.
“The truth shall set him free,” the Black Knight added.
The Salt of the Earth Lady, meanwhile, lectured: “Isn’t it time to stop protecting your son from the harsh, cruel realities of Life?”
When you ask for guidance in “signs,” they come in all shapes and sizes. Planned to tell my son a lie, but now I’ll stick with the truth, no matter how it may hurt. It’s simply the right thing to do.
I was seeking answers this morning, trying to solve a dilemma raised by a concern for my son, and my responsibility to our neighbors. How can I please my son in dealing with a pet he raised and cared for, while also removing a nuisance that grew while letting a rooster strut and crow in our back yard?
“Give me a sign” I whispered prayerfully, easing into meditation. I started a slow count to 20, when my son interrupted at 13. It was 6:30 in the morning! He never gets up this early. It’s summer break as he awaits going to community college next month.
But, there he was, standing in front of me. It was a sign! Get moving, Michael J.
But where to? I had planned to drive to a farm outside Atlantic City where my friend, Oleg, suggested I throw the rooster and those he sired over the fence. The kind farmer would take ’em in, he said. I’d tell my son I left the fowl with Cousin Rose, a place we’d be assured they wouldn’t be slaughtered automatically. My son helped me get the birds in my car and off I drove, not sure if my plan to tell a white lie was right. A mile away from the house, I cursed myself. “Damn it.” I realized I left my glasses home. How can I drive 140 miles round trip with out spectacles? Now, I have to look for a place near home. I’m good on roads I’m familiar with, but don’t want to drive without spectacles on those I’m not.
My friend Natale, Oleg’s wife, suggested a farm near our Conshohocken, PA, house. Got there with hardly a peep from the hostages in the back seat, despite a few crows by Sombitch Rooster.
“I can’t take ’em” the woman at the commercial farm flatly said. She looked rugged. Thin and wiry, with a no-nonsense approach like that of Rosie the Riveter in the World War II poster with a muscled arm raised. A real salt of the earth type. Told me people shouldn’t have chickens if they’re not prepared to kill them. I felt foolish being so sensitive about dumb farm animals. But, I wouldn’t take them to the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) where she said they’d be gassed.
She made a phone call, and someone suggested a nearby Nature Reserve. Off I flew, glad to get away, and soon pulled into a gravel road leading to a large spread of forest land just outside Roxborough, a section of Philadelphia. The office had not opened yet. I debated with myself. If they open in 10 minutes, I’d talk to them about taking the birds. If I gotta wait an hour, I’ll let the chickens loose right here.
They opened in 30 minutes. I took that as a sign to follow a middle path, one suggested by road workers I met at the site, and I drove toward the shelter where injured animals are attended by the Reserve. Driving there, I saw a car with two employees. I hailed to them. One said they couldn’t take them, but the other said an adjoining Urban Farmstead — one with chickens and rooster — just might.
Drove through what felt like a “mountain” path, only to see a 6-foot fence and a locked gate prevented me from entering. Threw the birds over and last saw the rooster and his “roost” checking out their new home among people I am sure will care for them.
What about telling a lie to my son? Still planned to do it, but asked for another sign while speaking to a nurse I knew who was swimming at a nearby fitness center. She had stunning white hair, kinda like the bantam rooster. She refused to validate my action. Advised me to tell the truth after I explained how police came to my house with “noise” complaints, and that our back yard was “raided” by the SPCA for, of all things, “cruelty to animals.” All because of that rooster. (See spca agent & animals)
An African-American fellow with stark black hair also advised me to tell the truth. We shared locker space as I told him my tale.
I visualized both as “Knights” providing a message from a higher authority, and I took it as a sign from them to tell the truth. The whole truth. And nothing but the truth. So help me . . .