I’m sure this is just a bump in the road, but at the moment my Rooster, Rusty, and I are not on speaking terms. It is entirely my fault. I had to sell off some of his harem, seven to be exact, and Rusty is beside himself.
I tried to explain the economics of the situation, but Rusty does not want to hear it. I guess I can’t blame him. I would be mad, too.
They were all young hens. Unlike the older girls who have grown immune to Rusty’s charm, the young girls thought Rusty was the rooster equivalent of Elvis. They swooned when he crowed. When he performed his “Hello Ladies” dance, they danced, too. And why not? No one can stomp a leg and twist around in a tight circle at the same time like old Rusty. And don’t get me started on the head bob action. He was not only a master of the head bob, but it would not be an over statement to describe him as a savant of sorts.
The Fred Astaire of roosters is Rusty, as far as the young hens were concerned. They went weak in their backward bending knees when they saw his moves.
He is a sweet talker, too. He knows just what to say to cause a young bird’s heart to go a-flutter. Casanova could take notes from him. Never a tongue existed that was coated with more Velvette. It was a wonder he could eat his feed.
Rusty would sidle up to a young hen, a pretty red one innocently pecking grass from the ground and issue a kind of purring yet deep-throated masculine chortle. It didn’t always work right away, but he’d keep up with it and toss in the occasional dance move. Before you could say “name it after me” the next generation of chicks would be in the making.
If cajoling didn’t work, Rusty fell back on the dastardly old “Hey! Look what I found” trick. Talk about falling for it. He’d sound off with “Hey! I found a bunch of worms over here!” routine and they’d come running every time.
“Where?” a hen would cluck, her eyes focused on the ground.
“Right here,” he’d say, lying through his beak. “About six inches in front of me.”
“You’re a monster,” I would admonish him, but he would only snicker evilly and get to the business of propagating the species. If he had a long, black mustache he would have twisted it in Snidely Whiplash fashion.
But now the young ones are gone. He only has the older girls left and they are all onto his schemes. The easy pickings days are over. Now he has to work at it.
They do the giggling when he tries his never-miss “There’s a whole pile of grain over here” routine. No one falls for it.
They heard all his prattle before. His false promises fall on deaf ears (or feather-covered ear holes I should say).
They’ve seen his dancing and, frankly, since he’s got a little age on him now, they don’t feel he has quite the moves he used to have.
What really upsets Rusty is the older girls have taken to listening wistfully to the rooster crowing from the farm next door. To make matters worse, he is one heck of a crower. They have frequent crow-offs, and the Rusty is often the loser.
“I wonder what he is really like in person.” the girls say out loud where Rusty can hear them. Then they will whisper amongst themselves and burst out into fits of giggles.
“I bet he is just a big and strong as he sounds,” they say.
Rusty hollers at the rooster on the next farm over. He tells him to fold it sideways and shove it where the sun don’t shine. He challenges him to just try and come over here and see what he gets.
The rooster on the next farm over keeps on crowing despite Rusty’s threats. The girls on our farm keep on listening and wondering out loud and giggling.
Of course, Rusty blames me for it all. If I hadn’t sold the hens, none of this would be a problem.
I apologize to Rusty, but he is not yet ready to forgive.
We take in a lot of birds other people don’t want. I am sure a few young hens will take up residence on our farm soon enough. I am equally sure Rusty will waste no time working his magic on them and all will be forgiven.
Until then, Rusty might just to have to rely on the last tool in the Rooster procreation toolbox, which is the run her down option. I see it work from time to time, but it is just Rusty’s luck to have a bunch of hens that corner better than he does.