Tuesday, September 1, 2009

George and why he must now go

I can't believe that I'm having to tell you this. I never, in a million years, would have believed that it would come to this. But I'm afraid, dear readers, that the George that we grew to know and love has now become, well...how should I say it? Okay, mature, in a "manly" kind of way. He has reached his peak, if you know what I mean. And I'll tell you this, it is not pretty.

Just look at those eyes! You can tell just by the way he's looking at you. He's thinking, "I wonder how hard it would be to fly up on her back and peck the daylights out of her?"

I know, I know. I can't believe it either. But it happened. George has turned on us and I'm afraid there's no going back.

It began slowly and, ironically, it happened to John first. I went away for a weekend recently and so John was on chicken duty while I was gone. Well, John doesn't ordinarily spend a lot of time around the chickens, especially when it comes to giving them their bread and butter, so when he told me that George wasn't all that friendly to him, I kind of wasn't surprised. I mean, he was wondering where his sweet Holly mama was, the one who normally visits him twice a day to feed and water him. The one upon whose face he has looked and thought, "Are you my mother?" since the very beginning. I could understand that his feathers might be a bit ruffled at this "strange" man barging in on his yard.

Oh, and that's another thing. It really is His yard. It has been for quite awhile. While they were yet chicks, Aidan made that observation. "Mom," he said. "Obrahma will never be the head rooster."
"Why?" I asked.
"Because he's not aggressive enough. See, look at George. He has no problem pecking other chicks. If Obrahma won't peck, he can't be the head rooster. It will be George."

Truer words were never spoken! George is the head chicken. If only he was strutting around the chicken yard, led by his head. Unfortunately, he is now led by one thing, and one thing only. The pursuit of his lady friends. Or any lady friends, I discovered. I guess by nature of being female, I am looked upon as another possible conquest, despite my being 25 times bigger than he, and a HUMAN, thank you very much!!!!!

The other morning, armed with a cultivator, just in case, I opened up the chicken door to let out the chickens. As is my custom, I let down their door/ramp and then stand to the side to let them out. I usually stand there and watch them all come down, greeting each of them and telling them good morning. Well, once George emerged, he began his morning ritual of chasing down any chicken that tried to get food or water before him, or, so it seemed, any chicken that looked at him wrong. When he finished all of that running around he turned and saw me and, I suppose, realized that he hadn't chased me yet. I felt it before I experienced it. He was going to come at me. I held up the cultivator (like a hoe but with a forked end) so that it would be between me and George. That didn't seem to deter him a bit and he briskly walked over to me. I didn't want to wait and see what he would try so I kind of nudged him away with the cultivator. He nudged back. I nudged him again. He nudged me again, but this time it was a little stronger. I came back stronger.

(I must admit, that at this point, despite my growing hysteria, I did take a moment to note that the fact that his body was strong meant that he had a lot of muscle which meant that he would weigh a lot which meant he would make for a fine roaster in the oven. You think I'm kidding but I am totally serious. If this chicken was going to go down, at least he would make for good eating.)

He tried to dance around to an unguarded side of me. I danced along with him. He kept coming towards me. I kept pushing back. You get the idea. I didn't want to wait around to see how creative he was going to get. I just wanted to get out of there. I danced myself around so that I could slowly back up to the barn and escape through the door. As a last ditch effort to save my face (figuratively and literally), I turned and ran full throttle. I closed the door in his face and ran all the way to the house. That was not fun at all.

So, we've talked to the boys and they are okay with it. George will be butchered along with the other roosters. We always said that George and Obrahma would stay, but I'm even wavering on Obrahma now. What if, once George is out of the picture, he decides to man up and take over? I would be crushed. I used to think it would be nice to have a rooster around so that we could have more baby chicks in the future but, honestly, we've got way too many chickens and I need baby chicks like I need a hole in my head! Plus, the crowing, which August was so excited about, is not even a need. Our neighbor has a few roosters now and we can hear his plenty fine.

It will be awfully quiet around here, sans the roosters, but it will be a whole lot calmer as well. I like calm.

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