Monday, June 9, 2008
Big Brown Put Down
Suddenly it's hot, so I have been sleeping out on the deck of the Ark while the two Domminiker hens I am now protecting there (the lame Olive Oil and her broody sister) stay inside, where it is too hot for them too, but the Rooster which Davey called " Big Brown" was after them too much.
Big Brown had looked like he was wearing big baggy pants until he was plucked off the deck rail and lost his tail and most of his pants to the mystery predator. The feathers grew back, but post trauma, Brown was suspicious of everything including me , and meanly aggressive with the hens, finding a way into the Ark when I barely left it cracked open for cooling.
Down at the hen house, while Dot and Lefty would try to chat up the foraging hens and to interest them in one thing or another they were tossing around, Brown would dart out of the bushes to ambush the hens without a how do you do, pulling out a lot of feathers when he mounted them.
Mostly, he sat on or by the Ark all day.
When I took Olive Oil, the lame hen out for a walk, I'd always go far enough away so Big Brown didn't follow us.
Olive Oil is just about over her game leg, which I was not sure was going to happen. So that's good, but as I returned with her to the Ark yesterday, Big Brown lunged out of the Bishop weeds and did his best to tear a chunk out of my foot.
Davey's two nieces had been walking here just hours before, and I knew he was expecting another couple of young visitors later on.
He has never killed one of his birds, but has often said that he would never tolerate an attack rooster.
I went in the house and found Davey asleep in the easy chair, an empty porter bottle beside him, the computer in his lap repeating the animated loop of Wunderground weather map, which showed the usual scattered thunder storms passing us by, over and over.
I didn't disturb him but went to the closet and got the little Winchester twenty-two.
The first two shots missed Brown completely, so he ran away. Davey has let the gun get rusty and out of practice.
Fifteen minutes later, Big Brown came back as if nothing had happened; but something had to happen.
If he had run away and come back a day later with a new attitude, maybe that would have been sufficient. But no.
I shot big brown in the head. He flopped around some, but didn't run around like they do when you cut their heads off. It would have been better to kill him out of sight of Dot and the other two uptown roosters , but they go where I go.
They closed in on the flopping Big Brown and got agitated and bloodied.
Pretty soon all the roosters up and down knew about it . They raised a ruckus as I carried Big Brown off.
I fed him to a pear tree like I knew Davey would.
The roosters were all quiet and had gone up to their roost or retired to the bushes whene I came back just a few minutes later.
Davey had slept through it all, and stayed that way when came through to put the gun back.
He will know about Big Brown when he reads this.
No sense disturbing him. He is already grieving the probable death of his truck which gave up the ghost, or at least its transmission, after he had made it only fifty miles on his way to Lake Bonaparte the day before yesterday. Well, Lake Bonaparte probably doesn't need him.
Life goes on. Or it doesn't.