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Romeo, Oh Romeo!




We have a new drama playing out here at the farm. There is a monster in our presence, and he has my bean terrified to go outside to play, walk to the barn, go into the barn, or be out alone. My daughter is usually fearless. However, when she has to go outside, she runs from window to window, looking for this abomination of nature. It is to the point, Eric or I have to drop what we are doing and walk her to the studio, to the barn, or down to the house. Before we take a step outside, she makes sure she is armed and ready for a potential attack. Asking her to go out without one of us brings on a panic attack that ends in stomping and crying. It is indeed frightening days in which we live.


I'm sure you are asking, what has The Bean so frightened? What could possibly cause such fear and anxiety in such a strong, capable little girl? The answer, dear reader, is a horrible creature we have dubbed Romeo. Romeo is a 2.5 lb. Icelandic rooster. He is 2.5 lbs. of sheer terror...so says The Bean. We acquired Romeo last spring when he was just a bitty boy. Romeo didn't even have his crow figured out when he came to us. He was just this tiny little chicken walking around making funny noises and trying to establish himself with the ladies. The hens were not receptive to him initially. He was chased off, bullied by a few, and not accepted into the flock readily. He spent a lot of time alone, wandering about and practicing his crow. Once he got his crow, he became a different creature. He had confidence, charisma, and swag. Now, he is quite literally the cock of the walk. He spends his days defending and protecting the ladies from all dangers. He is a bit of a jerk...I think he may have a Napolean complex. He is small in stature compared to my hens. However, along with his crow, he also developed beautiful plumage. I admire him from a distance and recognize his value to the flock.


The Bean sees no value in Romeo. She detests him and wishes he would get carried off by anything that could carry off a chicken. The Bean claims Romeo "eyeballs" her when she walks outside. Not only does he have the audacity to look in her direction, he actually walks in her direction...the nerve of that chicken. Now dear reader, I would not have a creature on this farm that posed any threat to my bean. I will defend my child, protect her, and move mountains to keep her safe. However, in this situation, it is The Bean who is the problem. She has created this frightening scenario in her head and made poor little Napolean complexed Romeo, the antagonist.


Now keep in mind, Romeo is approximately 2.5 lbs. He also has a brain the size of a pea. He is not a genius. He is not a criminal mastermind. He is a chicken. He is a chicken with a Napolean complex which takes great pleasure in his ability to make this tall, two-legged creature scream and run. If he even looks at The Bean, she is in panic mode. When he walks in her general direction, she screams, flaps about, and takes off running. Of course, this 2.5 lb. pea brain chases her...she runs; what else is there for a Romeo to do?


I have sat The Bean down and explained she is the issue. It has become a game to the chicken. She is feeding his dominant ego. He looks good in front of the ladies, who let's face it, probably spend their days mocking him. He now has street cred. He can put the fear of God into a two-legger. He is almighty and powerful in his own pea-sized mind, and the ladies flock to him...see what I did there...flock to him...I kill me. She needs to exude confidence, ignore his aggressions, be calm, relaxed, and in control. She needs to outsmart the chicken. He has created a game, its rules, and to date, he is winning. I asked her how it feels to be outsmarted by a chicken, and she finds no humor is my question. I don't care; I'm funny.


Romeo has made no attempt actually to flog The Bean. He may chase her a little. However, it is a hilarious sight to see her running, screaming through the yard from a 2.5 lb. chicken with a Napolean complex. Her dad told her to take a yardstick with her when she goes outside. I told her to take some treats for the chickens and toss them in the opposite direction. She doesn't even attempt to defend herself or outwit her tormentor. Instead, she tries to sneak out, looking all about, then runs as fast as she can to her destination. When Romeo spots her, if he happens to be in her general vicinity, he will take chase, but the pursuit is all he does. I just shake my head and laugh. Here is my kid, who can stick her arm inside a 700 lb. pig, who rides goats and stands her ground against a herd of ravenous piglets, running from a 2.5 lb. rooster with a chip on his shoulder. She baffles me and keeps me on my toes.


If Romeo ever takes the notion to flog her, it will be a game-changer. However, until then, I am just going to provide security detail for The Bean and laugh my a$$ off when I observe her dramatic flight from the chicken of doom.


As always, dear reader, stay safe, stay smart, and wash your hands. I feel like not allowing a chicken with a Napolean complex to chase you is sound advice, too...so don't run from chickens.

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