Sunday, March 11, 2012

My rooster doesn't work

Henry the chick turns out to be a boy. We know this because of many little things - his comb, his wattle, the speed with which he's been developing - but also the fact that one recent morning, Henry started crowing, throwing his head back to the sky with fierce pride and letting loose with his bloodcurdling cries that rang around the village and made everyone grab their pitchforks and reach for their Bibles muttering protective prayers. No. If only his crows had been like that. Rather, they were wretched elongated clucks, lacking several of the requisite syllables to make up the war-cry of the rooster. He's not even sure about the correct time to crow, so that today, instead of shouting loudly at everyone to WAKE UP! HEY! I'M A ROOSTER! I'M A ROOSTER! WAKE UP!, he waited lethargically until three PM in the afternoon before apathetically announcing his masculinity to the world.

Henry, it seems, is a provisional rooster only; a rooster in training. I wouldn't go so far as to say that his cluck is busted but... actually, yes. Yes I would. That would make things so much simpler. If you could just take him in to the rooster mechanics and get his crow fixed up, that would be all handy dandy. A little tuning up, and some recalibration of his speed and gears, and soon we'd have him crowing at the proper time, in the proper way.

Ducks, on the other hand, I'm not sure what their excuse is. They quack all over the place, anytime they like, and a most unmelodious noise it is too - an onomatopoeic rendition of a toad's fart. Excuse me, sir, can you do anything about my duck? It quacks too well.  Can't you bust it's quack for me? Thank you. Thank you so much.


Steve said...

Are roosters allowed in suburbia?

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

Before anyone answers that question, what is your relationship to the City of Whittlesea council, Steve?

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

Also, Henry is lovely.

Steve said...

Don't worry, Baron. I doubt the Council will be sending out scores of official rooster snatchers on the basis of my email to them saying "I have good reason to believe that a young rooster exists in a backyard in your fine municipality."

I am now having a fantasy of what official rooster snatchers would look like. Robert Helpman in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is the obvious gold standard that I hope they would meet.

TimT said...

Rooster Snatchers would be like the Thought Police, definitely.

No crowing from the young whippersnapper this morning. He'll probably attempt to exercise his vocal chords again this afternoon.

Steve said...

Have I mentioned here before the gruesome fate of rooster chicks in the egg industry? Being a rooster is a pretty poor choice of incarnations, if one believes in such things.

TimT said...

The Baron is pretty expert in gruesome fates. Name a creature, I'm pretty sure she'll be able to inform you of its gruesome fate. Incidentally roosters can be pretty gruesome to one another too, which I suppose is another reason why they're frowned upon in certain parts. Anyway, Henry's not gruesome. His principal habits at the moment appear to be perching on one's shoulder, and following you around in a dog-like fashion.

TimT said...

For instance, Leavisites, that endangered species of the academic genus: their gruesome fate has been to perish under the withering analysis of post-structuralist literary criticism. Amiright, Baron?

geoffff said...

Geoffff's Joint, Bar and Grill.

Open for business

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

Evidence of my expertise in gruesome fates: I wonder if the gruesome fate of baby boy chicks is actually easier than that of the commercial pullets. A swift death, versus 16 months of daily egg laying in a wire crate with no greens, no digging, no beak, no privacy, no exercise, no sunlight - only to be killed when egg production drops off anyway.

Leavisites? Who?

TimT said...

Bunch of stoners I bet. Whitman wrote about them. Leavisites on Grass.

TimT said...

Exclusive blog comment fiction!

There was a man who wanted some roses.

So he grewsome.


Steve said...

Wikipedia has a whole entry on the fate of boy roosters now. It's called "chick culling" which sounds less ugly than it really is.

The thing I have trouble with is the maceration method. There is youtube of the process, but I won't link to it, as it will upset this blog's sensibilities, I'm sure.

This is, no doubt, a quick death; but I just find it a much more unpleasant thought than, say, electrocution, which apparently is gaining in popularity. No doubt electrocuted chicks are macerated after death anyway, but I suppose I can live with that.

I also see a company advertising their chick macerators on the internet. I feel sorry for the sales reps for those companies, trying to explain their jobs on a first date.

I feel all unclean now. Sorry.

St John Nottlesby said...

You could, of course, take your duck to a quack to get it looked at.

We have migratory geese in the canal next to our apartment, and, like most seasonal tourists, they're louts. They disturb the peace, rough the locals up a bit, crap all over the place, and then bugger off to either Africa or Sweden, depending what time of year it is. Charming!

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