Sunday, August 12, 2012

Rooster in the Rain

We have a rooster, no he is not ours, but he is a regular visitor.  

He comes with an odd assortment of white hens in attendance.  They are bored minor starlets clustering around the pool of a millionaire.  They would jump at the chance of finding someone more affluent and handsome, or someone really wealthy with a heart condition, but this rooster is the only one within their little world. He is second best, but he has to do. 

The rooster is a shabby shade of dark green, almost a dingy black.  In strong light he has a few gingery feathers in his coat, but the light has to be strong.  On a good day he almost succeeds in looking handsome, he tries to cut a dash,  but any attempt at sophistication is let down by his tailor, an obvious incompetent.  

We have had roosters here in the distant past, a couple that we named Dum Dum and Klutz.  This couple were full of character and worked together as a team; making nests, incubating phantom eggs, and having fights when the hormones got out of control, then huddling together for comfort afterwards, all battered and bloody.  We enjoyed the company of Dum Dum and Klutz, and they mostly left the garden alone.  The current rooster is altogether different.  He, and his horrible hens destroy the garden with ruthless abandon, scattering Spring bulbs, shrubs, and soil, making it look like an open cast mining area.  I fear that they may begin Fracking!  

Avian digestive systems, are converting the rich and costly diet of Laura's flora into great globs of manure which they discharge onto the driveway, paths, our back step, anywhere that a human foot may tread.  I am sure that it is deliberate.  

One of the saddest sights that you could ever see is a rooster in the rain.  It is magnificence bankrupted, majesty brought low.  We have a rooster, and we have rain.  Rain in abundance.  Humidity is 99 percent, and I think that must equate to 99 percent water and one percent breathable air.  Everything is damp.

Last weekend I could not start the car, it was a foggy ruin in the car port.  Theoretically free of direct rain, it never-the-less was clammy with moisture.  I pushed it half out of the car port to give myself room to attend to the motor, and began my work, cleaning electrical wiring, removing the distributor cap and cleaning inside.  Whilst I had my head down in the oily depths, I was aware of being watched.  On turning I saw the rooster, a pace or two behind me.  He was standing in a puddle that he took around with him, he was dripping wet and looked at his most loathsome.

I continued my work, and occasionally chatted to him and found him oddly companionable, and the time passed pleasantly.  Two old fellows cold and wet and struggling with a car that would not start!

After considerable mopping and cleaning, the engine was persuaded to emit a few smoky chuffs, a hesitant trot, then a lumpy-thumpy canter, which later settled into something smoother.  With the car sounding more like a car again, my companion lost interest and shuffled away.  

I suppose there is a chance that the rooster's silent vigil was triggered by some strand of ancient genetic code that linked him to other birds such as vultures and carrion crows. 

It could be that he saw the car as a dying animal that could soon be stripped clean of succulent flesh, but I do confess to finding a spark of affection for him.  

Nigella Stopit, however, finds him completely beneath contempt.

To her he is cat food on two legs that is packaged in an inconvenient form!


smartcat said...

Birds of a feather
Flock together....

That is the saddest, most pathetic, wet rooster I have ever seen. Perhaps he was commiserating with you on the rain and the non-start car.

We never have had roosters, but did a one time have a small flock of Khaki Campbell ducks. They were the only beings who were happy when we had our gypsy moth invasion. The cats learned to avoid them after being nipped once too often.

A friend''s rooster, an extremely handsome Rhode Island Red (and boy did he know it) enjoyed sitting on the bridge across the street from her house and keeping company with whomever happened to be fishing that day. He would sit up on the rail with several hens clucking around on the ground.

We went through a dry week. Since Friday night we have had about four inches of rain. No complaints considering what most of the country is experiencing. The humidity, even on dry days has been so high that we are seeing mildew in the house. Time to get out the hydrogen peroxide spray and the steam cleaner!

Love the photos of Nigella Stopit and Ginger working!

Hannah said...

Poor soggy rooster. He can't help looking bedraggled the poor soul.

Peter said...

Hi Smartcat,
Wonderful comment. I am imagining a house puffing clouds of steam and hydrogen peroxide from doors and windows! Fortunately we have avoided mildew thus far so such drastic measures need not be employed here, but... learning to swim or to walk on water could be handy as there are lake sized puddles everywhere today. Ducks of every variety would enjoy life here.. not so much fun for a damp rooster!

Peter said...

Good Morning/Evening Hannah, you and I must both be huddled over computers at the same time at opposite ends of the world, what fun! I'll pass on your deep sympathy to the rooster when I next see him!

cookingwithgas said...

Let us hope that they do become cat food!
How do you keep chickens away? Is there a spray you can use, a trap, a gun maybe a stew you could add them to?
Such bullies!

We are having the best day ever today. The sky is so blue with round fat clouds and a cool drying breeze- the secret is out- 63 tonight.
Good lord I am ready. The plan is to open all the windows and listen to night sounds and even breath some night air....

Peter said...

Happy Birthday Meredith! "Blue sky, fat clouds and a drying breeze...", bliss! We're water, water everywhere here, and more to come!

Maybe I should send you a large chicken pie for your birthday..!!!

cookingwithgas said...

Not my birthday- I was talking about the weather is going to be 63.....not me!

Arkansas Patti said...

What a fun post Peter and my what a bedraggled rooster. Those poor hens must have no choice to have settled on him. Maybe he has a grand personality. What ever he has,it must be working.
Thank you so much for your kind words on my final post. I'll stop by, maybe only to lurk, but I will continue as your appreciative reader.

Peter said...

Hi Meredith,

Ha... OOOoooops! Sincere Apologies. Giggle... Sorry... Um.., 63 ....clunk... Really got that one wrong! Will you ever speak to me again?!!

Hi Patti,
Not sure about the Rooster's "grand personality" as he appears to have no intelligence what so ever, not so much as a glimmer, and personality does require at least a small amount of mental activity! I suspect he uses some exotic aftershave or has great legs!

Commenting, Lurking, in what ever role, you're always welcome, and it is lovely to think of you as I post blogs into the ether. Pxx

Amy said...

thank you for this. the timing was well- poignant in that I have seen many a rooster in Bolivia (my father is from there) and I just learned that my grandfather there passed. This brings back great memories full of laughter and happiness as roosters were around at times during my visits. thanks a bunch, Peter.

Peter said...

Hi Amy,
A sad time for you with the loss of your grandfather, but I am glad that you have good happy memories to cherish (and wonderful that our bedraggled rooster triggered some of them for you). Peace and Joy to you Amy, and hugs too. Px

Anonymous said...

The solution that springs to mind is to make Cock-a-leeky soup!

Peter said...

Rooster in the rain = Cock-a-leeky soup is worthy of a cryptic crossword puzzle, well done! P :)

Armelle said...

Poor rooster in the rain !!! so much rain here too, thunder and lighting this night, well it's 15 august, and my grand mother used to say : the summer is gone.
Anyway the weather is so............different now, since global warming, a lot of rain, and many drought on this planet.
Hope the mildew will go away, we had some on the tomato plants and we pulled them.
My first ceramics festival this week-end...I fell shy :-)
Best wishes from France

Julia said...

Poor soggy rooster - but he still looks lovely, doesn't he?

Peter said...

Bonjour Armelle,
Ahhh, we have sun today at last! Sorry to be so long replying to your comment, I don't know where the last 8 days went?? I hope that your ceramics festival was a success and you enjoyed it in spite of shyness!
Kind Thoughts from all of us here, P :)

Hi Julia,
The Rooster, who I am naming Harold, is drying out today! Sadly the "drying out" is not curing him of his addictions (such as digging holes in Laura's garden, or "decorating" where ever we want to walk), but the sun is out today, and his bedraggled feathers will be taking on a new, more healthy, glow and bounce!