Posted 04-27-2004 at 18:40:11
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I had, I say, I had, two roosters. And no I am not trying to sound like Foghorn Leghorn, I just feel the need to emphasize the HAD part. As this is a working farm, on occasion, someone will pull up in the yard wanting to buy livestock. A couple of weeks ago, a fellow showed up wanting to buy a rooster. All the 'passable' roosters had already been sold, and as I was not home to stop him, Jake sold him Big Red. MY Big Red.
The Big Red that started out as a baby Rhode Island Red chick and lived through cats, dogs, weather, a rumble with Jill in the middle of the night (it's a long story) the other roosters, and even pigs, and was earmarked to take Brewster's place when he caca's his last doodle-doo. Big Red was every bit a gorgeous, mature rooster, and one of the few on the place that has never tried to do me bodily harm, and I love him. Needless to say we had a scene.
I missed him when we were clipping the wings on the hens Sunday night. For some reason it just hit me that I hadn't seen him around in a while.
"Where's Big Red?" I demanded.
Jake was standing there with the six feet of three chickens in each hand and I knew the second I looked at his face that he was at the root of the disappearance. He opened his mouth to speak and I nailed him.
"You sold him, didn't you? Don't even answer 'cuz I know you did. Who to? Don't even tell me 'cuz it doesn't matter, 'cuz yer gonna get him back." He opened his mouth to speak again and I cut him off again.
"Don't even tell me that you can't, 'cuz yer gonna. I don't care if you have to walk across hot coals. I don't care if you have to brave he11 and high water and put your soul in jeopardy and you lose limbs in the process, yer getting Big Red back."
"Kind of attached to him, were you?" He ventured.
"You need to not get loose with your mouth when your tied down with fifty pounds of chickens." I growled.
"I can dump 'em." He shrugged, but didn't quite pull off the devil-may-care look he was shooting for.
"Then you'll just have to catch 'em again."
"I caught 'em once, I can do it again."
"STOP changing the subject! Who has Big Red?"
"Rocky who?" Don't even tell me 'cuz I don't wanna know. Just call him up and tell him I want my rooster back. How much did you sell him for?"
"Are you crazy!?" I shrieked, and all six chickens joined in. Once they all settled down again, I informed him that being a full-blooded Rhode Island Red and over a year old as well, the rooster was worth a minimum of twenty bucks, but if I had chosen to sell him, the price would be a hundred. Since nobody is crazy enough to pay that price it was a sure bet that he'd still be knocking around the house doing his rooster thing.
"Well, I didn't know." Jake said, his face going red.
"Well there's a funny thing about not knowing. The only cure for it, is asking. I always have my cell phone, why didn't you call me?"
"I don't know."
"And by the way, where's the five bucks?"
"I used it to buy something to drink during baseball practice."
"What'd you buy?! Jack Daniels?!"
"Is this 'Rocky', the Rocky that's in the phone list on my cell phone?"
"All right." I stuck the shears into the dirt at my feet.
"I'll call him up myself."
"No." He said, barring my way to the gate, his arms outstretched, all six chickens just a flappin' and squawkin' to beat the band. "No, don't do that. I'll call him. Give me 'til tomorrow. I'll bring Big Red home." He promised.
"All right then. But you dam well better."
Time was up this morning, and no Big Red adorned my yard, so I called Rocky myself.
"Hey, umm, this is Jake's mother. I understand he sold you a rooster a couple of weeks ago. That rooster wasn't for sale. I was wondering if I could buy him back from you."
"Well you sure could..." Rocky informed me, with all the warmth and sympathy of a man who knows when a mistake has been made. Rocky immediately found himself a warm, soft, place in my heart for all eternity. Until he finished his sentence.
"...but my wife just called and told me that something broke into the coop and killed all my poultry. That rooster was among 'em. I'm afraid he's dead."
Don't even tell me that.
(to be cont)