John 15:13

“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?

Categories: Commentary, Farm stories | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “John 15:13

  1. Mae Robinson

    Ben & Josee
    It saddenes me to hear how your rooster died. I hope your chickens are able to avoid the same fate.
    I think eagles are majestic in flight but there are far too many on Vancouver Island preying on our pets, chickens etc. We have a family of eagles in the field beside us and much to his displeasure our cat has to stay inside much of the time.

    • Thanks for the kind words, Mae! In my mind, the eagles were here first so it is us that have to adapt to them not vice versa!

  2. Excellent post, Ben! Personally, I find chickens and roosters very strange creatures, but I guess I’m impressed that the rooster’s instinct was to protect his harem. Not sure it equates with a human doing something brave, though – if thought was involved I think you can count the chicken out. Thought provoking story,though. Maybe a little plaque to commemorate his heroic last stand?

    Dave B.

  3. Super post Ben.
    Sad to read that the young fella has met an untimely end. I often wondered how long it would be before one of the fowl was taken from the air or from the ground. Once they began to range far and wide from the safety of the coop and its netting mesh over the top, the game was on. I too was attacked twice by the young, energetic bird as he did his job. However, his prowess as a protector was sometimes overplayed as he tried to peck scratch, maim the hand which fed him. Though I’ll miss him as a character, my greater concern is how the death affects the rellies and whether their egg production goes down. Still, I will spare him a thought as I top my next boiled egg!

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