Folks who have visited the farm have met our rooster, Bernie. Perhaps you were admiring the view when something heavy and sharp suddenly slammed into your thigh. Perhaps you were busy carrying heavy feed buckets when a puffed-up greenish blur blitzed out of a rosebush to attack your boot. Perhaps you tried to fight back, learning only too late that any agression short of a full-fledged punt only made Bernie more excited to fight. Perhaps, then, you will feel some relief to know that Bernie is dead. Long live Bernie.
|Frost-hardened Bernie in his milk parlor fortress.|
The Big Man and I learned early on that Bernie was something we had to keep our eyes on when we were on His Side of the Road. First he killed all the other roosters. We collected their corpses with trepidation while watching him patrolling the hillside. Then he moved his hens out of the coop and into the milk barn. From that home base he was able to scale up his bird-on-human attacks, ruling the area from the road to the bottom of the pasture, setting up ambushes, herding his hens, and making life interesting (sometimes terrifying) for the farmers. He chased Big Man through a burdock patch, landed me on my rear in the compost pile, and has been the reason for numerous lost tools as anything within reach has at some time been flung at him in a vain attempt at self preservation.
|Getting close enough for a good brooming. Thwock.|
A few attack-free days and several nights featuring a Bernie-less top roost confirmed it: Bernie was dead (long live Bernie).
|King of the mountain. Bernie is always king of the mountain.|
We have one of those male chicks in the henhouse now -- Bernard II, Son of Bernie. He's got the same green plumed tail, and (like many roosters) the same severely crazy orange-red eyes. Here's hoping that he got some of Bernie's crazy genes as well.
|RIP Bernie. May the wind be ever at your back, and unsuspecting shins ever before you.|