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Don't Get Bullied By a Napoleonic Chicken




I had an interesting interaction this week: one that has left me reeling and vengeful. As I walked from the house to the studio, I was surrounded by my flock of laying hens. I have 21 in total plus Romeo, an Icelandic rooster. My hens are a mix of Deleware, Road Island Red, Comets, Ameraucana, Buff Orpingtons, and Speckled Wyandots. My girls are a delightful group of hens. The Delawares can be a bit bossy and will peck me when I try to remove their eggs from beneath them, but overall they are a lovely group of girls. Then there is Romeo. My Bean is very intimidated by this 2.5 lb rooster with a Napolean complex. She is still walking about armed with a broom or a hoe handle just in case he takes his game to the next level. I have been quietly observing this barnyard dictator for the past week or so, and I have noted an increase in what I can only deem "douche canoe" behavior.


First, there is the crowing. It is a roosters job to crow at sun up and to alert the flock of danger in my idyllic mind. Now, I know to a chicken, danger can take a lot of different forms. Perhaps it is the turkey vulture flying overhead that could not carry away a 5-6 lb. hen with a lovely disposition but could indeed carry off a 2.5 lb. rooster with a Napolean complex... one can hope. Danger could also look like a pit bull or a pitbull/mastiff mix who could make a quick snack, albeit an unsavory one of a sour little dictator rooster. However, danger does not look like the nice lady with bad hair that throws snacks to the flock on a daily basis, croons songs to her favorite hen, and shovels sh** from the coop...insert annoyed face. However, every single time this rotten little rooster sees me, he flaps his wings, elongates his tiny body to its fullest extent, and crows. For the record, he sees me a lot. I tried to sit on the porch and talk to a client, and I had to go inside because Romeo stood at the base of the porch steps and crowed continuously. He has also decided to take up residence by the front door. I have a large, old-fashioned cement basket planter by our front door. Romeo now sits atop its handle and crows incessantly. I understand The Bean's hatred for this creature.


Secondly, he had the nerve to try to chase me as I strolled up the walk from the house to the studio. I ignore him and his incessant crowing. I act as though he is not even in existence. I am minding my own business, thinking about what I need to do for the day, get to the driveway way, and I am incredulous. Surely, I am not hearing what I think I am hearing? As I turn to look behind me, low and behold, there is Romeo. The sound I heard was his ridiculously tiny chicken feet (You know what they say about the size of a rooster's feet, don't you? Let's just say, this fellow is definitely overcompensating for something) tap-dancing in an arrogant little shuffle behind me. I stared are him in disbelief, then my disbelief turned to annoyance. My annoyance then turned into a starring contest with a chicken. I wasn't going to break. His little beady eyes and his tap dance with his ridiculously small feet did not intimidate me. Finally, I made my move, clapped my hands, and said, "Shoo!" in my most authoritative voice. Shoo, he did not. Instead, he took a threatening little jump at me. We continued to stare at one another as I growled insults, "Look here, you Napoleonic little f*$@#, I will turn you into nuggets in a heartbeat!" He crowed at me in response.


Out of nowhere, pops The Bean. She broke the tension with her presence. With a final wing flap and cocky, douche canoe crow, Romeo went back to his hens. I'm pretty sure his chest was puffed, and he was bragging. I silently vowed to ruin his street cred if it's the last thing I do. By the time I am done with him, all the hens will know about his tiny little feet and his overcompensating behaviors. He will be the mockery of the farmyard. I just might even tell the geese about him...the geese will tell everyone. The Bean said, "Mom, did you call the rooster the F-word?" My response was, "Yep; he had it coming." The Bean said, "See, I told you that chicken was a douche bag!" Sigh..."Bean, don't say douche bag. Do you even know what a douche bag is?" The Bean informs me it is what I...meaning me, calls someone who acts like a jerk and annoys me. She is not wrong. I responded by telling her douche bag is not a term she should use until she is 21. I'm pretty sure she has a running list of words she is waiting to use. I also have a feeling language is going to get pretty colorful when my little buddy turns 21...sigh.


As I sit here writing to you, my new arch-nemesis is crowing outside my door, making a mockery of my two-legged authority and working on my last nerve. It's on chicken! It is so on! As always, dear reader, stay safe, stay smart, outsmart the Napoleonic chickens in your life, and wash your hands...ruining a rooster's street cred is dirty work.

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