So Long Old Friend

From Day One, there was one chick that was bolder and more curious than the rest.  I would play my guitar or mandolin and that chick would come running over. It got handled the most by everyone too.  It was hands-down my favorite.  However, I was noticing changes.  This chick grew the fastest and got a comb much faster and much bigger than the others.  It also started “taking care” of the other chicks.  In other words, it started looking like a rooster.

When we got the 8 chicks, the feed store said the “sexing” was 98% accurate.  I was hoping with 8 chicks, we might stay under the “pushing it” limit, but that also explains why I did poorly in my college probability course.  Getting all female chicks is important because our town has an ordinance against roosters.  Your dogs can bark all night, the trucks can make all sorts of noise, and people can scream at one another in a drunken rage – but we draw the line with a crowing rooster.  We are, after all, civilized folks. (That is American sarcasm for my readers outside of the USA.)

I kept trying to tell myself that this favorite chick was not a rooster.  She was just a big, strong girl who liked to be the boss of … everyone.  “She” still would come up to me and eat out of my hand.  We still had our conversations, but something was coming between us. I thought maybe it was me.

This morning, however, “she” started crowing.  Well, not really crowing, more like a cross between a scream and someone gargling. It was over.  She was a he.  Now I know that many, many people would look at him as dinner.  Me, I stopped eating chicken 10 weeks ago when I was wiping the chicks butts so they would not get pasty butt…something I never envisioned myself doing prior to 10 weeks ago.

So, through an informal network of chicken owners, I found a kind couple who raise roosters and allow them to live out their lives under the cliffs of Butte Creek canyon.  We brought the young cockerel to the people along with a bag of feed.  They remarked on how pretty he was and healthy looking and that he would have a fine life among the  hens once he gets a little older.  They asked his name and I said, “Clint.” He was named after the greatest male actor of all time, including the early Greeks.  Clint Eastwood, yes.  I did ask them if they played the mandolin or guitar?   They said “No,” but they do like and play Country Western music.  I said, “That’ll do.”

As I drove away, leaving Clint in the arms of his new owners, I felt sad. Who in the hell gets attached to a chicken!!!  I need to go watch a Clint Eastwood movie and toughen up.