Monday, March 06, 2006

Cock-A-Doodle-Die

Farm Week* continues with the latest installment of our Man Against Beast series:

When I was a young fellow, coming up on the farm, my grandmother lived with us. During the day she was cared for by a woman, Mrs. Smith,** who lived down the road in Schuyler (world-famous home of the Waltons). There are two things you should know about Mrs. Smith. First, she was batshit crazy, like bipolar, running-around-the-house-naked-stuffing-wet-rags-in-faucets-to-keep-the-demons-out crazy. Second, she had a pet rooster (one might, I suppose, argue that this is actually merely an addendum to the first item).

Everyday, she would bring the rooster with her while she tended to my grandmother, holding it in her lap as my father drove her to and from the house. During the day, the rooster spent much of his time in the kitchen sink, but sometimes it would venture out into the yard. This is where the trouble started.

Roosters are often portrayed in farm literature as proud, and noble creatures. Perhaps they usually are, but this one wasn't. He was a spittin' mean, nasty beast, with huge spurs on his feet. And for whatever reason, he hated me. Whenever our paths crossed, he would charge right at me, wings flapping, beak pecking, spurs flailing, until I turned tail and hauled my skinny butt into the safety of the house.

After several encounters like this, the adults finally counseled me, "Stand your ground. He'll leave you alone." I didn't like the idea but decided that they knew best and I would follow their advice. At our next meeting, I steeled myself, stared him straight in his beady, poultry eyes, and stood my ground. He ran straight at me and gouged his spur straight into the flesh below my knee. Blood ran down my leg, soaking my sock, as I hobbled into the house to seek medical care.

Then I had an epiphany. I asked myself, what makes a man? Is it blind, stubborn, foolhardiness, so called "bravery," in the face of any danger? No. It is the use of tools to torment and suppress beings with fewer and crappier tools.

We met once again. He stared at me with blood-lust in his eyes, scratched the ground, and charged. I turned around and ran. But this time I didn't vanish into the house. I stopped at the porch, grabbed a broom, and turned. Suddenly it was a whole new game. I believe even the rooster, in his feeble chicken-brain, realized the gig was up. This time, it was I who charged, broom swinging, with gleeful joy in my eyes and hatred in my heart. The rooster ran as fast as his little chicken-legs would carry him, scurrying this way and that, until I finally relented, secure in the knowledge the rooster would never trouble me again. It was a merciless rout. Man: 1. Beast: 0. Victory, sweet victory, was mine.

Then I chopped him into little bits and threw him on the chicken house roof...***

* As always, the Slimbolian Calendar applies.

** Name changed to protect the batshit crazy.

*** Just kidding, Mr. SPCA.

6 comments:

  1. Maybe you should have et him. Tough meat, though, I hear.

    I will give up my story tonight, or maybe tomorrow morning -time is gettin' me today.

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  2. That is too friggin' funny. My father grew up with chickens and detested the them. Thought they were just fowl....pun intended.

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  3. Awesome.

    It's through these little glimpses that I can see what has made you the person you are today.

    We had a mean-ass rooster too when I was a kid, and a lack of available broomsticks. Fortunately, I could run faster than the chicken, though admittedly me screaming and flailing across the yard yelling for mom is not the Hollywood ending your martial-arts victory inspires.

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  4. "The person I am today?" What is that Slimbolala, Tormentor of All Creatures, Great and Small?

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  5. I think the actual score is Man: 1, Beast: 1. He did draw blood after all...

    Although, clearly you were the winner in the end.

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  6. Mere technicalities.

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