Friday, July 20, 2012

Lynn's Comments: There was a single rooster on the farm and he had become downright mean. Don figured that the hens had all been eaten by pigs or other animals while they slept in the barn, so the old bird had nothing to do and took his frustrations out on everybody. We were told to wear boots and to use them if we had to--since the rooster would often pull a surprise attack. He frightened Aaron, who was low to the ground, so we figured we had a choice: get the rooster a partner or put him down.

Just about then, the washing machine died, so Beth and I set out to find a replacement. An ad in the paper took us to a neighbouring community. The folks who were selling their machine just happened to have some nice white hens, so we added the price of a fat one to the price of the washer, loaded them both into the back of the truck and drove home. The men folk had stopped for a beer and were standing in the yard when we returned. Beth held up the burlap sack with the hen in it and announced that the rooster's new mate had arrived.

If there was opportunity for a wager out on the farm, the guys were keen. How would the new lady be received? Beth and I said she'd be attacked as soon as she hit the floor. The guys were more circumspect. They bet ten bucks that the rooster would be a gentleman. He'd welcome her to the pig barn, show her around, and THEN get to courtin'. Beth carried the sack and hen to the barn. The upper half of the doorway was open and the rooster was resting on a hay bale just inside. Beth lowered the sack over the barrier and shook it gently. The hen bounced onto the straw with a startled "AWWWKKK?!" The rooster awoke and was instantly on her--wings flapping and legs astride. We told the guys to pay up.

For a few days after that, we saw the hen and rooster together. They pecked around the yard and seemed to be happy. Aaron found eggs in the sod pile--a sign that the marriage was successful--and then the hen disappeared. Like the rest of the chickens, she had simply vanished.

For awhile, the rooster looked for her and then he got mad. He attacked Aaron and then me. He flew at Don's face while he was putting out feed and that was the last straw. Beth and I were getting dinner ready when we saw Don take his rifle and go into the bush behind the barn. We heard a sharp crack and then he returned. He had solved the problem "the way it's done on the farm." The rooster was gone forever...but his story lingers on.

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Originally Run: 1983-07-22
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