By Shelby Cain
My friend was having rooster trouble. This is not an analogy for a grouchy husband or a misbehaving two-year-old. I mean an actual rooster. My friend lives on a farm, and as I continue to observe her daily adventures with complete wonderment I’ve learned one thing. You can learn a lot living on a farm. When I see her number lighting up my phone I start to smile in anticipation. What’s it going to be this time? Usually somebody ate something or someone they shouldn’t. It could include plant, animal, child, or if it’s a really good story, all three. There tends to be nudity and cake batter involved. You couldn’t make it up if you tried. Needless to say, the rooster scenario did not disappoint. If you have any experience with live poultry, then you know they can be slightly ornery. Like a schoolyard bully looking to stir the pot, roosters are always game for a dust-up. They want to show you who’s boss. If you Google what to do with a mean rooster, there are pages of articles about not bringing yourself to their level, keep calm, stay in charge of the situation. It’s very similar to Googling what to do when your child is in the infamous biting stage. But you know what? Sometimes the only thing that works is to bite ‘em right back. Every time my friend or her kids went to collect the eggs, Rodney the rooster was out for blood. The last thing you need when you’re trying to manage three young kids and a busy farm is an aggressive cock.
So even though Google says not to, Rodney received a few defensive boots to the wattle. I’d like to see Google stay calm when a 20-pound psycho chicken is trying to rip out your throat. The bird had to go, but the only thing harder than training a rooster is catching a rooster. That bird could move. Defeated and annoyed, my friend packed up her kids and went to town for a little reprieve. As they arrived home that night and made the mad dash for safety, they found that Rodney was not lurking in his regular shadow. How refreshing. As she burst through the door, ready to tell her husband she had made it inside un-harassed, a delicious smell, like a warm wall of goodness, greeted her. Not used to being met with dinner, she followed the wafting trail to a bubbling crock-pot on the kitchen table. Like the scene from Fatal Attraction, she knew what was in that pot without even lifting the lid. And as her husband entered the room, an aura of pride surrounding him, she had only one question. “How did you catch him?” He replied, “Chew carefully.” Sometimes you gotta bite ‘em back.