We are taking care of chickens this week. For a friend. A friend who thinks we are responsible and trustworthy. A friend who thinks enough of my children to invite us into this wonderfully fowl world of hers.
So we gather eggs. We change water. We spread calcium pellets. We scatter feed.
We watch out for the resident black snakes who are known to show up from time to time.
And we avoid the rooster.
Let me tell you something, my critter is not a calm child. He is a bundle of energy, full of impulse and joy.
Roosters, apparently, do not appreciate these qualities in a human caretaker.
We had finished up the work and egg gathering portion of our visit this morning, and were embarking on our talking-to-the-hens portion, when Critter, in his usual exuberant fashion, bounded from the door of the barn to the coop. The Rooster, who was coming in the exact opposite direction, took umbrage to this and attacked Critter’s calf.
There was horrible squawking. There was gut-wrenching crying. There was blood.
Fortunately, My Captain had come with us this morning, and hightailed Critter to our car and it’s very-oft used first-aid kit. Critter’s wound had to be well cleaned because Rooster claws are full of, well, CRAP. Nasty, bacteria-ridden chicken crap.
Varmint and I stayed at the coop and calmed all the occupants down, with a watchful eye on The Rooster From Hell, otherwise known as RFH. Frankly, it was already business as usual to them. Even the RFH, who simply strutted and cocked around like “That’s right! And there’s more where THAT came from!”
Critter eventually stopped crying and asked me in the most pitiful voice I’ve ever heard him use if we could boil the eggs we gathered this morning so he could eat them for lunch.
“That would make me feel a lot better, Mom. It would serve him right, too.”
I guess the lesson here is that revenge isn’t best served cold. It’s best served Hard Boiled.