Today’s entry is far more mundane. Our subject: roosters.
“Roosters?” you say. “How common! How basic! Write about something interesting, like wolf-deer!”
Ah, but see, roosters are interesting. At least the one I’m going to write about is. He’s the rooster of Mindy’s mom’s flock (I’ve nicknamed him Gaston, but he isn’t responding to it,) and I’ve trained him to do this:
Yes, he is taking a piece of bread from my hand. When we first got out here, he would run away from us, with all his hens following. Maybe he was traumatized after July’s chicken butcher, or maybe he had more common sense then. Then, one day, I threw him the crust of a sandwich I had eaten.
At first he was like:
Then he was like:
Now, as I walk along the driveway, I hear this hilarious “pat-pat-pat-pat-pat” behind me and see him running after me, begging for something. I admit, I usually try to have something on hand. So far, he likes bread, crackers, and onion rings; he dislikes cold french fries and tofu; he tolerates mushrooms. The hens are also starting to follow me around. They are almost more fun to watch — the little grey one of the flock is the fastest, and I love to watch her dart in, steal an onion ring, and then take off running with it in her beak.
It’s easy to see why chickens in general have become such close companions. They’re easy to raise, don’t take up a ton of resources or space, provide meat and eggs, and are incredibly charismatic. You can find references to them, particularly roosters, in cultural narratives worldwide. The Chinese zodiac includes the rooster on its roster, and you can find references to roosters throughout both Testaments. Multiple cultures from the Hmong to the Yoruba to the Khasi incorporated them into their belief systems, and roosters were used for divination purposes by Zoroastrian cultures and ancient Romans, among others.
But moreover, roosters are hilarious. I mean, you stop and think about it — this little ball of strutting feathers and loud crowing is nothing more than a male chicken. They take themselves so seriously (roosters have clearly never heard of rule number 6!) And yet they aren’t so proud to come racing after me for a crust of bread.
So here’s to you, rooster. Thanks for making the farm a more more entertaining place. It would not be the same around here without you.