The War


A cock. A non-castrated capon. A cockerel. A reptilian, evil bastard.

His siren call would come before sunrise, echoing up the mountainside and back down again. And rush in, with piercing cock-a-doodle-do gusts into my room. My eyes, wide open, stare at ceiling. I shiver. The S.O.B. grabbed the psychological edge at 5:30 am.

His battle lines were indisputable. His was the coop. Yours was outside. You crossed the demarcation line, the clink of the metal hook on the dilapidated wooden door, and he was coming.

He attacked all comers.  He feared no one. All generations buckled: Deda, Father, and his pubescent sons.

He could smell Fear. The perspiration would stream and thicken in the soft armpits tasked with gathering eggs in a red, long-handled, five pound Maxwell House coffee can. Good to the last drop!

His flock of fifteen continued foraging, unfazed by the battle preparations.

There was no confusion as to the storyline, there were no skipped scenes. You come through that door, he was coming.

The short handled wood broom stood by the outhouse, all seasons. Its bristles were synched together with a galvanized mental strap. They were thick, matted, and stone-hard. The ash handle was silky smooth, the result of thousands of multi-generational hand-to-handle re-grips polishing it to a chestnut colored sheen.  The barn yard tool was retired for a single purpose.

I lift the key latch from the hook.

I take a deep breath.

I re-grip the broom handle.

The hens clear out.

And here he comes. Eyes locked on mine.

Let’s go you nasty Son-of-a-Bitch.

Let’s go.

Photograph: Four Doxn


  1. Ok, you’re still here….um, the cocky s.o.b? What happened to him?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Eggs for breakfast!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes…know all about that SOB. Had one of my own. Once.Nasty piece of poultry that.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I hated the chickens on our farm when I was growing up. It wasn’t just the rooster that was mean, they all were. Now I wonder if they were deranged from being cooped up. Are free-range chickens any nicer?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. All that and the mascot for Carolina Football……

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Just like our village, with over 500 roosters – we had 15 last year, all going at it in unison. Unlike the films, where they crow strictly at sun-up, most roosters crow every 4 hours, all around the clock, whether that be 2am or whatever 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love the visuals of this story.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. They make for excellent trout flies. Three letters pal K F C…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. richardkanigan says:

    I remember him well! He was the original Rocky. You could whack him with that broom and he would keep coming back for more. I don’t think you could have made a soup out of him!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Reading your blog has become a favorite part of my morning routine – it’s like a breakfast treat! Thank you for making me laugh, cry and think.
    This story is the reason we don’t have a rooster! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Too many robust foxes roaming around where I live for a rooster to survive long in a free-range situation. There was a rooster that used to indulge in the four-hourly siren call, but he seems to have fallen oddly silent since the festive season. Maybe he ended up being served for Christmas dinner — either for his owners or for Mr Fox and his hungry vixen.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Great story, DK! Took me back to my grandparents’ farm, where my granny and I would march out to collect the eggs in the morning and she’d promise the old rooster that he’s be stew

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Been there.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Is it no wonder then that the rooster is the animal of Mars, the warrior!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This brings back a bad memory.
    When I was a kid my family and I spent a week’s vacation on a farm. The bulk of the experience was great except for the first night. Mom had made dinner for us-burgers and fries. I decided I wanted to eat my dinner outside near the barn to watch the animals. Not long after, I screamed for my mom; a rooster was attacking me for my meal. So to escape any harm I tossed it to him. It was then I knew how it felt to have a bully at school take your lunch money.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Lol…we had pet ducks at one time, a male and a female. The male was really mean and the only one who could go near him was my daughter (she was only 9!). There were many times that people could be heard screaming Janie’s name out so that she could go to the rescue. I lost both sandals running away from him one day!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. He’s doing a great job. I wouldn’t take kindly to you coming at me with a broom either!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. foghorn leghorn’s dark side.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. The flip side of being in charge. Hold your ground against broom wielding opponents or lose. It’s that simple, David. Loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

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