By Bernie Bates
I was born back in ‘55, I’ll save you the math, I’m 56. And it took until today, before I suddenly realize, that this old rooster has been trained by a crafty hen.
I’m now a sober person, a non-smoker, and nor do I flock around – if you know what I mean?
And all this time I thought that I ruled the roost. But today it hit me like a run away train: I’ve been trained to come when I’m called. Not only that – when I think about it – I sit, fetch, guard and I’ll be damned if I don’t wag my proverbial tail at the same time.
I’ll bet a lot of male readers are now shaking their heads in acknowledgment and the old hens are nodding their heads and grinning from one side of their beaks to the other.
It took all this time before I realized that I’ve been cut from the heard, hog tied and made to beg for a bone like an old horn dog. But it just didn’t happen over night. Oh no. It took her years and years, little by little one peck at a time.
As I said: crafty.
Before I knew it, it was just easier to obey than it was to fight the rope. Before I knew it, it was just easier to roll over and play with the remote control. And it’s not that I consider myself to be hen pecked nor do I cower like a whipped puppy. I stand my ground and growl when I’m cornered … then I agree with my lovely dove.
At first, I was in charge of everything as far as the eye could see. Then over time I let her take charge of little decisions – like paying the bills and buying the bacon. And as time passed – this once proud peacock got plucked and put to work.
Did I mention that it wasn’t until today that this moment of clarity happened to me? Crafty, eh?
I may still strut like the cock of the walk – but I now know better than to ruffle the feathers of my ol’ hen. My story is much like the tortoise and the hare, but with a twist. In my case, there is no finish line, no winner. Just comfort, trust and someone to hold hands with.
They say that us artist types are a little different, a little off center – one might even say a little flighty. And I suppose that I am much like a let-go-balloon. If not for a grounding force who knows where the winds would’ve taken me. I could’ve lived the high life – then again I could’ve just went pop.
Some roosters settle down and raise a happy little brood. While others nest with many chick. But it’s never very long before they find bigger breasts, longer legs and they just flock off.
It begs the question: are roosters meant to roam or are they bound to be
cooped up one day? When I was a bantam weight cock, I too roamed both near and far. I think age has a lot to do with a cock-a doodle do’s attitude. Every rooster has only so many sun rises.
I no longer rise with the sun and loudly announce the new day. I now take life a little slower and with a measured step. But from time to time I can still crow with the best of them.
I always encourage the young people I meet to see a few horizons before they build a nest and crack open a few eggs. It’s better for all concerned if both young men and women experience life beyond the barnyard.
As to the question of who came first: the rooster, the chicken or the egg?
Most roosters would say that they are at the top of the pecking order. And the hens would say that roosters are just clucks. I guess it just boils down to whether or not you’re a good egg.