These Canada geese live near us and are frequent
My mother has written another story from her childhood in Gloucester, where her parents ran a country store in what is now the music room and main office of Ware Academy (formerly the Day School) in Gloucester.
A Personal Rooster
by Chesapeake Bay Mother
Male chickens, if numerous, are unwelcome in a flock for the following reasons:
1. Only one rooster is needed per chicken yard to keep the girls egg-motivated.
2. They usually aren't good eating...too tough and stringy.
3. They don't lay eggs.
One is tempted to see a barnyard parable coming.
They do strut around and announce the sunrise, with a wide margin of error. Saturated in hostility and suspicion, they are armed with ankle harpoons called spurs, which are capable of gashing rawhide. Once I saw a rooster open up a woman's wrist in a way befitting a highly motivated suicide attempt; and she was trying to feed him. Needless to say, they don't attract friends. They do inspire fear, perspiration, palpitations and personal bests in sprints.
My pet rooster, "Alawishus," may have been something of an anomaly. A gift from my best friend in sixth grade, he was kindly trained in his first moments of life to provide a people-friendly foundation. That training seemed to tone down his natural inclinations. Or perhaps I flatter myself and should credit his congenital limp for his congeniality. At any rate, he was beautifully colored, if somewhat awkward in a chase, giving advantage to fleeing humans.
He had no fan in my father. Especially when he would station himself under our house and practice his scales for the following morning's cantata. My father never cursed, but you could tell by the way he bit his lip that he really wanted to lay down some four-letter words. I feared for old Alawishus.
The trick in dealing with Alawishus was to make offense your defense. When I saw him getting in character for the role God had made his burden, I would rush up and grab him before he worked up too much macho, and place him in my lap stroking his face just under the eye. (You know, this might have worked on Husband.) This action promptly made him doze off, losing his page in the book of Fowl Assault. When finished stroking, I would put him down and he'd just walk off like some disoriented, feathered amnesiac.
The Browns, our neighbors across Indian Road, had a flock of chickens in a pen. One morning I noticed a small chicken-shaped dust cloud moving across the field that separated us. He had evidently used his mystic mind control to lure one of their laying hens to wrench herself free from captivity and join him in a poultry rendezvous. I felt guilty about such an ill-gotten chicken gain, but after all she had come of her own volition and seemed content.
So it was that they lived happily ever after, roosting in the Canadian Hemlock in our front yard, until each died from natural causes, hopefully. At least that is the story I was told.
To be safe, I gave up eating chicken for a while.