Randy the Rooster
I have dragged my feet on blogging for years now, because I am only too aware that once a thing is posted on the internet, the cat is out of the bag, so to speak, and those words are PERMANENT. Being the sort of person who thinks out loud, I suffer from foot-in-mouth disease, and frequently have to dislodge my toes from my tonsils. But as I am, after all, a writer, and it is only fair that prospective buyers should have the opportunity to sample my wares, I am resolved to publish my warts and foibles for the world to see.
What gives me courage, however, is that ‘the world’ is not likely to see much of them at all. With millions, maybe billions of people out there blogging about everything from sand sifting to bodily functions, I doubt anyone will see my first posts except those who already know me and therefore, my flaws. That being the case, I am going to start by telling a few stories which are already favorites in the hope that they will at the least, read it through.
So I’m going to start with a joke told me by my dear friend Ann, who’s probably laughing in heaven right now. Ann liked to laugh.
Ann was helping me put up fences on the six acres of urban farmland we leased from BART for our llamas when we were startled by vigorous crowing from the top of the shed. We looked up and there was a tall, red-gold rooster. It wasn’t the first time; being close to the highway meant that people were always dumping unwanted animals, and roosters were illegal in town. What was different about this one was that he was still around a week later, meaning that he had enough smarts not to become dinner for a hungry fox, hawk, or raccoon.
“He needs a name,” Ann said. I’ll call him Randy.”
“Why Randy?” says I.
“After the rooster in the joke,” says she. And she proceeded to tell it.
It seems there was a farmer whose hens didn’t produce very many chicks. So he shopped around for better rooster and found one that was advertised as extremely virile. He drove many miles to fetch this prepotent poultry paragon and put down a good price.
When the farmer got him home, he set him down at the door to the chicken shed and gave him a bit of advice. “Now Randy, there’s a hundred hens in there, and I don’t want you to wear yourself out. You have weeks to get the job done, so take a few at a time.”
He opened the door and shoved Randy in, and that rooster got right to work. The squawking, cackling and crowing were like nothing he had ever seen. The farmer watched in consternation. Randy apparently had no concept of ‘pacing himself’.
When the farmer finished his chores, feathers were still flying in the henhouse, and he became afraid that his valuable rooster would die from overwork in the first day. So he rounded up Randy and put him in the barnyard, away from the hens.
When the farmer brought the cows home, he saw a quacking huddle of geese in the barnyard. Randy was in the midst of them, doing what he did best.
The farmer broke it up and shooed the geese back to the pond. But when next he went by the barnyard, Randy was at the guinea fowl.
By that time it was getting dark, and he knew the guinea fowl would go to roost in the trees, where Randy could not get them. So he went in to his supper, thinking that the next day he would build a pen just for Randy.
But in the morning he saw vultures circling the barnyard, and when he ran to see, there was his new prize rooster, flopped out dead.
The farmer knelt down by the feathered form, shaking his head sadly. “Randy, I told you to pace yourself. But you just couldn’t, and now look at where it’s got you.”
The rooster opened one eye a crack. “Shhh!” he said. He pointed a wing-tip upwards. “Buzzards.”