Or maybe he just has a defective cluck-clock-chromosome. I am pretty sure that I read somewhere (the Old Farmer's Almanac, perhaps) that roosters crow at daybreak. This is not the case with my Mexican Foghorn Leghorn. His exuberant outbursts commence at 3 a.m. every morning. The rigorous aria inspires all the other mammals to chime in and by 4 a.m. It's a spontaneous combustion barnyard jamboree.
During the course of my morning walk a few days later, I met my nocturnal nemesis. He was prancing back and forth in a veritable posh poultry palace of a cage. He didn't look the least bit apologetic when he saw me. "You are certainly a cocky one," I said. He drew himself up proud and tall and flapped his wings like a body-builder flexing a bicep. He was large and strong with silky feathers the color of autumn leaves.
I remembered seeing the palenque or cockfight tent being set up a couple of days ago behind Mario's Chicken Stand and I wondered if my new-found avian friend's future might be in peril. I hoped that he would live to see another sunrise and would fertilize eggs for many years to come.
I have heard of people making pets of their chickens. The 4-H kids seem to love hanging out in the Ag Pavilion at the Puyallup Fair pampering their barnyard buddies. I don't know. It’s not that I don't like critters. I love cats and dogs. I even had a pet ferret. I have a profound respect for all living creatures. It's just that I am carnivorous. When I look at you, my little forest friend, my first thought is what pretty big, brown eyes you have. My second thought is how tasty you might be dressed out, filleted, and slapped on a grill. I don't think I could ever go vegan. It's a noble dietary commitment but until mouthwatering tofu is available at my local market, my mantra, which was inspired by Dr. Seuss, is:
I do not like tofu at all
I do not like it at the mall
I do not like it Sam I Am
I prefer green eggs and ham
As a side note, the tents have been gone for a week and at 3 a.m. this morning I woke up to the cacophonous sound of a crowing rooster. I open one eye, smile and fall back asleep.
— Beth Berube
Beth Berube — our very own Erma Bombeck — writes short, humorous stories about a big city gringa who relocates to a small town on the Pacific coast of Mexico. You can check out Barra Beth's stories at www.barrabethsblog.com. Her writing has also been featured in El Ojo del Mar.