I am trying to be grateful for chickens. I’m doing my very best. There is a rooster in my front yard and he seems to be calling to chickens everywhere to unite and he does so with a very loud cockle-doodle-doo from under my office window. Now I’m all for freedom of speech and the debate on the chicken or the egg hasn’t actually been resolved once and for all, but I’m trying to work in here. I’ve said as much to this rooster through my raised window, but he ignores me, pretends he’s searching for seeds and bugs, but his little act isn’t fooling anyone, especially me. You’ve got to get up early to get ahead of me. But come to think of it, this rooster was in my yard before I roused myself from bed this morning. In fact, he is the reason I was roused from bed in the first place so perhaps he wins the “first out of bed” award.
Mr. Rooster is a big fellow. Big enough to discourage Gracie from racing him to his own yard, which is right next door, about 100+ metres away. Other roosters are on the roster of the “chicken clan” that makes up my neighbours’ menagerie of living things, but this rooster has taken his show on the road. Despite his encouragement to others to take up his cause, there doesn’t seem to be anyone to enlist as of yet.
Mr. Rooster stands by the edge of the road singing his tune, beak raised to the sun. “Why don’t you cross the road?” I shout to him, but I think I heard him groan and mutter something about that being an old joke. I did put my own spin on it. Give me some credit.
Garden planting is approaching, ever so slowly but the calendar tells me to have my seeds ready. Here’s my dilemma. When I plant my lovely hopeful seeds I am fairly certain Mr. Rooster is going to claim squatter’s rights and dig up my seeds and have a lovely time doing so. How do I approach my neighbour about their rogue rooster? Gracie sometimes makes a dash through their yard scooping up toys that belong to Max and Lucy (the dogs, not the children) and the neighbours don’t pound on my door with threats and accusations and promises of jail time. Besides, Max and Lucy use my side yard as their personal waste site, so I’m sure we’re even.
The neighbor on the other side of Max and Lucy and chickens is not a fan of fowl, in fact he claims to hate these chickens. Two or three of the chickens have suspiciously gone missing the neighbours told me. I checked my freezer – not there and I was willing to take a lie-detector test. I’m not sure the other neighbour would be willing to do the same, nor would he likely pass said test unless of course he is a former CIA operative, a Jason Bourne type if you prefer.
We want to get along with those we share geography with. These particular chickens are a happy bunch and a lovely sight, especially after a long winter. I enjoy watching them dig and scratch in their yard and in the driveway and on the side of the road. It’s a friendly sight, one that warms my little heart. Perhaps I need to put a little fence around my garden and a sign saying No Chickens Allowed, but I’m not even sure chickens can read.