“Greater love hath no man than he lay down his life for another”
~ John 15:13
Requiem for a Rooster
For the last year, we’ve had a rooster. We used to have three but two of them went in the soup pot (see my post Sunday, Bloody Sunday). Now we have none. Josée came home today, late afternoon while I was still at work. As she walked up the drive, she saw a white headed imposter up the driveway. Hurrying inside, she saw another in the long grass, just out the back edge of the gardens, head bobbing up and down. His gold eyes caught her look of shock as she realized what he was doing. Feet quickly into her rubber gumboots, she sprinted up the path but to no avail as golden eye launched into the air, a pulpy, crimson coloured mass clutched tightly in one of his cruelly taloned feet. Our rooster was no more; two eagles had made short work of him.
The other chickens were in the coop, terrified into statuesque poses, in the hopes that silence and stillness would cause the raptors to pass them by. Two hens were outside still but frozen, unable to move. Josée easily picked them up and took them into the coop with nary a fuss or cluck from either. We’ll see how the hens are in the morning. Hopefully they have short memories.
It’s funny how the death of a chicken makes me pause for reflection and I’m not trying to be silly here. I didn’t mind our rooster, although he didn’t like my galoshes and often attacked them. He did great work though; always chaperoning his charges around the yard, keeping a watchful eye on them. If anyone (or thing) got too close, he was quick to rally them to the safety of the coop. He’s dead and more than likely it was not a pleasant death. He gave up his life to protect his chickens and when I thought of his last moments, I will admit that I got a little choked up. Would I do the same for my family? My friends? My cause? I don’t know. This rooster was acting on instinct and reflex but he acted nonetheless.
How would you respond?