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Kountry Life Humor

The Leghorn Rooster
When I was about 10 years old and growing up on a farm in Iowa, the ruler of our chicken house roost was an elderly and very cantankerous Leghorn Rooster. Anyone who lives or has lived on a farm knows the importance of having a rooster in the chicken house. My mother refused to go near the chickens unless she knew exactly the whereabouts of the cranky rooster. I've seen her throw a five-gallon bucket of grain, a water pail full of water, or just about any other animate object at or towards this rooster to break his stride so she could safely exit the chicken house. Among my myriad chores around the farmstead was the evening collection of eggs. Each evening, like clockwork, I would open the doors of the chicken house and let the feathered critters out to pick up scratch grain around the yard. With the addition of state-of-the-art nest systems my egg gathering duties were quite simple. Take the wire basket, raise up the front of the 'Roll-Away' nest and lift the eggs out and place them carefully into the basket. Not at all hard for any 10 year old. I usually left the basket of eggs sit while completing the rest of the 'chicken chores' like filling feeders and making sure the automatic waterers were clean and working properly. I would then pick up my basket of treasures and head for the house. All the while wondering how much money I would make come the next egg pick-up day. My allowance was the change from the egg sales. I always hoped that it would be more that 50 cents but it seemed like it was more often around 15 cents. Eggs did not fetch more than around 30 cents a dozen in those times and we usually had about three 30 dozen cases come egg day and that was Mom's grocery money. She got the green and I got the change! One rather sultry July eve I had diligently done my 'Chicken chores' and was heading for the house with my basket of gold. Out of the corner of my eye I happen to see our cranky Leghorn rooster coming up behind me on the run. Rather than take the rooster up my backside, I turned around and put that pail of gold between he and me. While jockeying for his attack position he didn't know quite how to deal with that basket in front of me. I continued walking backwards toward the house and then it happened! My lights went out, the egg basket was on the ground surrounded by a gooey mess of whites, yolks and eggshells. I had walked backwards smack into the only tree between the chicken house and the farmhouse. After shaking off the cobwebs, I gathered up the good eggs and safely made the back steps to the house. I left the basket there and rushed in to ask permission of Mom to SHOOT that rooster. After briefly explaining what had happened to part of her grocery money, she quickly assessed her lack of love for this rooster and agreed to let me draw my genuine pump action, hardened plastic stock, Daisy BB gun from the mitten box behind the back door. With a growing knot now the size of a golf ball on the back of my head, out into the yard I went! Armed and ready for the big showdown, I spotted the grocery money thief casually being himself behind the chicken house. I carefully took aim and squeezed off a shot! Dead hit! Right in the left eye! That rooster went up in the air and back down before I could 'pump' in the next BB. I approached with caution but all for naught...that rooster was DEAD. I picked up my kill and slung my genuine Daisy over my shoulder and headed for the house to show off my marksmanship skill to Mom. I placed the rooster near the steps to the backdoor and ran in to announce the 'kill' and asked Mom to come look. Her supper preparations ceased in a hurry as she joined me at the back door. 'Where's the rooster'? 'It was right there'! That wiley rooster had disappeared! Now the knot on my head was really throbbing as I again returned to the safari. Not to be out done, especially by this rooster, I found him out behind the brooder house looking as mean as ever. I grabbed the 2x4 used to prop open the chicken house door and did a marvelous Olympic quality javelin style throw and nailed him right into the wall of the brooder house. This time he had definitely 'Bought the farm'. I carried him again but this time to dispose of him properly. My brother and Dad were cleaning out calf pens in the barn and I threw that wretched bird into the manure spreader. He was quickly covered up and before you know it was on his way to rooster heaven in the pasture. My father drove that load to the field as my brother started preps for the evening milking. When Dad returned from 'spreading' his load he couldn't wait to tell me the most amazing thing I had ever heard. The Leghorn rooster with one eye and probably some broken bones had successfully gone through the manure spreader beaters and WALKED AWAY! I don't know what ever happened to my feathered friend, the grocery money thief, or the 'Cock of the chicken house walk', but one thing I do remember - That rooster NEVER come back to our chicken house! And for all I know he probably found a new farm to terrorize while living out the rest of his nine lives. Hopefully one without a 10-year-old boy with a genuine pump action Daisy BB gun.

Bob Bennett, from WA, entered 2000-01-28



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