Last Sunday, a rooster strutted right up to the open side door of the church and crowed lustily, right at the most sacred point in the Mass. The violinist in the Choir chased it away with her bow, but that didn’t stop him from crowing even louder five feet away.
I think he must be one of the roosters that hang around St. James Episcopal Church, next door. There are chickens all over this island, but lots of them at that church – something about being kind to animals. I tried to get a picture of the roosters in St. James Cemetery. Instead of running away from me, the alpha rooster soared up and flew close over my head in defiance. But I didn’t flinch – I’m no chicken. I’m a veteran of the chicken wars.
From Day 1 we’ve listened to the chickens across the street. At first it was novel and interesting. That phase didn’t last long. The roosters must be blind, because they don’t wait until the sun comes up to crow. No, they start about 3 in the morning. And they don’t stop until they roost around sundown. The worst are the pair that sound like screeching swings: urk, urk, urk. But they don’t “swing” at the same periodicity, so it’s like two swings moving at competing rhythms.
Then there are the two boldest and probably oldest roosters. One is white with black butt feathers, and the other is brown. We’ve had a continual problem with them crossing the road at all times of the day, bringing their harem of chickens with them. I don’t mind the girls, except that their scratching uprooted the peas, beans, and kohlrabies I planted a while ago. While that sounds unforgivable, it is the roosters I detest. They always manage to crow loudly outside my open bedroom window just as I’m taking my afternoon nap. I don’t like pulling myself off of the ceiling. I loathe those birds. I haven’t used that word to describe someone/thing since before I retired.
I did put an ad on Craigslist for someone to catch the two roosters, and remove them permanently. They can have any hens that they catch too, but I’m only paying for the rooster removal. Who knew that Paradise could be ruined by fowl?
I think I’m fighting the chickens on a subconscious level – I’ll have to ask my hypnosis therapist. Over the past ten days we’ve had chicken curry, orange chicken, huli chicken, organic tandoori chicken, lemon chicken with artichokes, leftovers from all of these, and chicken sandwiches. Nothing but chicken.
We had a potluck for the Women’s Empowerment Circle last Thursday. I brought skinless, boneless, organic curry chicken and rice. I thought that sounded healthy. But many of the gals who showed up that night were vegetarian, so I had leftovers. Guess what we had Friday night?
Jade finally cried foul: “No more chicken!” So I made tuna salad…with Chicken of the Sea. Faye doesn’t really care – she only likes the crispy chicken skin, and I try to buy organic skinless chicken whenever I can. So she usually scratches around for herself, though she did eat a chicken musubi the other night.
So far I’ve received no responses to my ad on Craigslist for a hero to catch the roosters that show up in my yard. So I’m taking action the only way I can. I think subconsciously I’m declaring: if you can’t beat them, eat them.
I like chicken, and I can have it on my flexitarian diet. But even I know this menu is ridiculous. So tonight, I made something completely different: chili using organic ground turkey as the base. We rarely have beef of any kind anymore.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll make egg salad.
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