Monday, May 26, 2008

Chicken stereo

This morning I was awakened by the sound of a young rooster practicing his crowing, half a crow sounding like er-AH-erga, strangled at the end. I wondered if a half-grown member of the flock down the street had escaped. They had hens and a rooster; therefore they could make more roosters. The sound seemed to come from their direction but closer, maybe my front yard. I looked out the window by my bed but didn’t see anyone.

The hens down the street started calling buck-buck-BUCK-BUCK. They start that noise when excited about something and, like dogs barking, keep going even when they have forgotten what they’re excited about. I listened carefully—noise from chickens down the street coming in the bedside window; noise from my chickens coming in the window across the room. Where, then, was the young rooster?

Later in the day I heard the noise in my back yard. As hens are apt to do when there is no rooster, one is attempting to crow. But which? I suspect one of the Polish chickens is asserting her right to be Head Hen. I hope lucky accident shows me which one is crowing because I’m not going to spend the day watching them to find out.

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