the rooster of death
Welcome to the Weekly Guest Spotlight.
I have a certain friend who shall remain nameless, but her name rhymes with Schmerica. She’s made a whole persona for herself about how awesome it is to leave the big city life behind and go find herself in the pleasant Southern countryside. Like Green Acres, but with a Keurig coffee maker. According to her tales of country living, there are presumably barnyard animals running around her property, waiting lovingly each morning for her to scatter seed and grain to them like a pre-royal-kiss Disney princess. I don’t know that she’s actually had to milk anything yet, but if she has, she’s probably written whole chapters about the encapsulated joy of fresh-squeezed milk.
She’s a liar. I’ve lived on a farm, and it’s a bitch.
Okay, it wasn’t the worst existence I’ve ever had, but that’s only because I haven’t been a professional crack whore and therefore can’t compare the two. My mom (retired farm wife and requisite sweetest of Southern ladies) was chatting very pleasantly recently with the Jehovah’s Witnesses who stopped by and even offered them some sweet tea; when she found out that their church’s version of salvation involved coming back to Earth to live off the land, she exclaimed, “You mean I’m coming back as a farmer??? I’ve been a cotton farmer! You can just send me to Hell right now!”
The charming, frightened Jehovah’s couple ran.
All I remember from my childhood living on the hellacious farm was an evil rooster. Schmerica keeps going on about her ducklings and her chickies, but all I had to play with was a Satan-possessed rooster. This feathered demon would actually wait on top of the house right above the door for one of us kids to walk out. He would jump off the roof, dig his spurs into our shoulders for better leverage, and peck our heads until blood ran into our eyes. I swear that rooster was the inspiration for at least three Stephen King novels and one Freddie Kruger installment.
One day, my eldest brother snatched the serial pecker off my other brother’s bloodied head, threw it in a metal garbage can, slammed the lid, and blew the can to pieces with the shotgun we kept above the door for killing rabid coyotes. My father was furious, convinced that egg production was going to plummet without the presence of a male in the hen house. But like all stupid men, the chicks were glad to be rid of him. Egg production skyrocketed and strains of “Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead” could be heard in the clucks from outside the hen house.
So while Schmerica might be spending her days idly lounging in the porch swing with a cold drink in her hand, simmering lightly under the breeze from a fan, I for one am not buying it. I know full well that she’s up before dawn to draw water, heat it on the stove for a bath, and start some lard popping in the skillet to feed the crew before the day’s chores begin. If not, then I just might be willing to come back as a farmer.
Hey, you can believe Lorca’s rooster of death tale all you like…my rooster is a sweet boy who just doesn’t know when to crow. And I think all chickens are friendly Disney-like characters, just waiting for their moment to break into song. I personally break into song frequently throughout the day. In fact, my husband has repeatedly said I don’t actually exist in the real world. I am a Disney character. So there…stick that in your skillet and fry it!
Until the next time…I’ll be frolicking in the yard with my merry bunch of farm animals.
Copyright © 2000-2013, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.