Our Barking Rooster

Nov 18, 2018 | 0 comments


We know that our resident ghost, Mrs. Crouch, is responsible for a lot of the mysterious happenings in this household.  She is definitely the one we blame for lost items – Nyel’s car keys and his wedding ring, most recently, and one of a pair of socks on a fairly regular basis.  She also moves items around.  When I put my cup of coffee in the microwave to warm it up and then found it hours later in the refrigerator… well, you know who got the credit for that trick!

But I think our current rooster mystery is beyond even Mrs. Crouch’s considerable abilities.  For one thing, I don’t think that she’s ever been outside the house.  Certainly not as far distant as the chicken coop.  It’s true that, at various times, people have complained to us (in a gentle sort of way) that they think Mrs. Crouch has been visiting at their house.  But I tend to think that is wishful thinking – perhaps a way to explain their own growing absent-mindedness which, thank heavens, has not become a problem yet in our own household.


But… back to the rooster.  It is the black alpha rooster, the larger of the two who are keeping the six ladies of the coop in line.  And, happy too, as far as we can tell.  That black rooster is the one that hates me.  Each day when I go out with food and water and treats, he marches up and down the inside of the run, giving me the evil eye.  I am always careful to keep that hog wire fence between us, you betcha.  He has come at me once or twice when we’ve both been free-ranging in the garden.  He’s fast and those spurs are sharp and scary.

But the other day when I let the flock out of the coop (from a safe distance away) and Mr. Alpha came over to the fence and gave me that one-eyed look, I was totally unprepared for him to bark at me.  But, bark he did.  “”Woof!” he said.  I was sure I was mistaken but, “Woof” he said again.  It went on for several minutes and probably for nine or ten woofs.  There was always a pause in between – never a woof-woof or a woof-woof-woof.  It was weird.  And a bit disconcerting.


At first, I thought that he had something caught in this throat.  Then I thought maybe his cock-a-doodle-doo was stuck and wondered briefly (very briefly) if I would have to apply some sort of fowl Heimlich maneuver.  But… when it came right down to it… no.  I wasn’t going there.  As I walked away, he crowed his usual textbook perfect cock-a-doodle-doo.  I can only conclude that he was just being extra ferocious that morning.

And, yes… I did look up “barking rooster” on the internet.  It happens more than you’d think!  Just another of those you-never-can-tell-with-chicken things.  I was relieved that Mrs. Crouch was not involved.


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