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A subject we all need to be concerned about is world peace and I will get to that in a moment. Right now I am more concerned about the goings on in my chicken coup. This morning I was woken at 3 am by no less than 5 roosters partaking in a crowing competition. There may be members who might wonder at what is so strange about having 5 roosters and so it is at this point that a bit of fowl education is required. Poultry experts recommend you keep one rooster per dozen hens. One rooster can in fact service as many as 25 hens. Itís no wonder they walk about with their chests thrust out looking so cock-sure of themselves (sorry but I just could not resist)

The reason for my need to educate those of you with a paltry knowledge about chickens is that I have somehow landed up with 5 roosters, 5 hens and a turkin. The turkin is the strangest prehistoric looking creature. It is a mixture between a turkey and a chicken and must be the MOST intellectually challenged creature ever to walk the face of the earth. Iíll get to that later, along with world peace. The reason I now have 5 roosters to my 5 hens rather than the correct proportions is that I am a sucker. I am sure I have a flashing neon sign outside my property stating this fact because Theresa from Lemon Rose Farm asked me if I wanted their excess chickens - those that would be slaughtered if I did not agree to save them. No prizes for guessing what my decision was. Some time later, 4 roosters were delivered along with the turkin. I was rendered speechless by the ensuing mayhem.

When the four new roosters were placed into the chicken coup with Nero, the reigning rooster and my 5 hens, there was an initial quiet before the storm. The roosters were somewhat flustered after having suffered a car journey in a sack. Nero, however, appeared to be completely aghast that these intruders could dare to invade his space.

At this point, I feel I must introduce you to him properly (please bear with me) Nero is by far the handsomest rooster I have ever seen. He is pitch black (hence his name) with blue-green tail feathers. He looks like something an elderly matron might have worn as a bonnet a few hundred odd years ago. He has one tiny flaw. Although he has incredible plumage and a beautiful comb and wattles, he is short legged and this has led to his experiencing a little frustration when trying to mount the longer legged hens. He took a real fancy to Edna in the early days and made acrobatic attempts to mount her, only to fall off as she irritably shook him from her back. Edna is now sitting on a clutch of eggs but I am not sure that there are any Neroís among them. I suspect Dali may have fathered a few before taking off for the great chicken coup in the sky.

Anyway, I have gone off on a tangent again. Where was I? Oh yes, the 4 roosters and Nero's reaction. I now know where John Travolta got his cool walk from in Saturday Night Fever. He must have been brought up on a farm and observed roosters in action. The four new roosters were busy strutting around like 4 John Travolta clones and Nero's beady rooster eyes had literally come out on stalks. If roosters could splutter, he would have been spluttering at that moment. He was mortally offended by the presence of these intruders and started a strange series of head ducking movements that I now believe are chicken language for "Step outside buster!" The oldest of the roosters, with an impressive rust coloured collar and a very upright comb, took the challenge and the next thing I knew feathers were flying. One thing I can tell you is that roosters do not fight fair. They have a little horny protrusion or spike on the back of their legs above their uhmÖfeet? (Who can tell I am not a natural farmer?) They can inflict terrible damage with these spikes and in spite of my desperate intervention, Nero was soon reduced to a bloody mess because the other 3 roosters joined in the fray and kicked his proverbial chicken butt.

With the help of Gerald (the estate maintenance man / gardener come general factotum), I managed to get the 4 street-fighting cocks away from the gutsy but wounded Nero and separate them into separate coups. If you thought that injury had humbled Nero, you are wrong, He was now separated from the intruders by a wire fence but spent the rest of the day marching up and down the fence and glaring angrily at the 4 offenders. I just know that in his chicken brain he is devising an elaborate scheme to eke his revenge.

Later that afternoon, Bubble and Squeak were delivered. Bubble and Squeak are a pair of ducks that belonged to a family who had bought them as pets when they were cute fluffy yellow ducklings. Their swimming pool had been reduced to a poop-infested duck playground and the honeymoon was over. Nolene, the wife phoned me in desperation on recommendation of Theresa (my new best friend!) because her husband was about to release them at the local public lake, knowing full well that they were likely to be captured and served up as lunch in no time at all. I was told that B & S were a pair but when they arrived I quickly determined that it was just as well their names were unisex. This affectionate pair are both female!

Unfortunately roosters don't go for ducks (Just as well or we would land up with Dusters!) and so I still have the problem with segregation of the various creatures. To those of you who don't know this, Apartheid is alive and well and being practiced at Chanti's farmyard here in sunny South Africa. It's right wing vs left wing again and may the breast man win!

About world peace! How can I even think about world peace when I cannot keep the peace in my own farmyard?

Open wide the eyes of the mind.

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The following comments are for "Untitled"
by Chanti

Har. I know I've learned more about roosters in this short piece than at any other time in my life.

You have many whimsical, witty, and pun-ny (I don't know if that's a word but it's the best I can come up with) moments in here, but it reads more like an essay or article than a short story. If that's what you were going for, then it's good.

"It is a mixture between a turkey and a chicken and must be the MOST intellectually challenged creature ever to walk the face of the earth. Iíll get to that later, along with world peace."-- You got to world peace, but you didn't get to the turkin! I wanted to read about his intellectual deficiencies. :)

( Posted by: Elphaba [Member] On: November 12, 2003 )

Elphaba response
Dear Elphaba,

Actually I didn't really know what category to use here because as you rightly said it is not really a short story. I have my own web site and am well known there for my animal stories. This was merely a part of a series of stories about chickens. (I have a veritable menagerie of pets and keep on adding to the collection)

Thank you for the encouragement. I have not had much experience of that here and was getting a little despondent and so it felt good to finally have a positive response.

I am still finding my way around this site as a new member. I joined because I needed to get fresh input. On my own site I am flooded with compliments but I recognise that I need good honest critique in order to grow. If I continue to post my stories, you will get to hear more about Beebeep the turkin. He/she (haven't figured out yet what it is) is the fastest creature on two legs and really does look a bit like the road runner. Only problem is that it doesn't have brakes and has collided with trees. I am amazed that it is still alive considering how many knocks it has taken.

Anyway, before I land up writing another story, let me end off here. See I do have brakes! teehee

Thanks again

PS: Perhaps you could help me here. In spite of my typing in a title, ALL of my posts are coming up 'Untitled' or it says 'Chanti' as a title. What am I doing wrong?

( Posted by: Chanti [Member] On: November 12, 2003 )

"Perhaps you could help me here. In spite of my typing in a title, ALL of my posts are coming up 'Untitled' or it says 'Chanti' as a title. What am I doing wrong?"-- I know you've seen the "Title" box on the submission form... are you editing after you've submitted the first time? Because I've found that when I do that (usually because my formatting gets messed up and I have to correct it), the title is wiped out and all that shows up is my username. Just double-check before submitting to make sure that your correct title's in the title line. That's all I know to tell you. If you're still having trouble, you should email Crowe.

Your description of Beebeep sounds hilarious. I hope you do submit something else about her/him.

( Posted by: Elphaba [Member] On: November 12, 2003 )

finally got round to reading it
It took me a while, but I finally got round to reading this... and boy, and I glad I did. Most entertaining. I'm a sucker for puns, so I loved some of your gags, but it wasn't just that - the descriptions were fantastic, and there was a great sense of humour running right through it. I love it, and I want to see more. :)

( Posted by: Spudley [Member] On: November 15, 2003 )

Dear Elph,
Thanks for the feedback and for trying to help with the title issue. I don't think I have it worked out yet and I am not quite turkin-brained yet. I have typed the title in each time and so am still mystified as to how this happens. Thanks anyway!
Creatively yours

( Posted by: Chanti [Member] On: November 15, 2003 )

Dear Spudley,

I am warmed by your effusive praise and thank you for taking the time to send me feedback. You seem to be an intelligent individual and also blessed with a sense of humour. I think humourous writing is incredibly hard. What one person might find funny another might find corny or not funny at all. It takes quite some courage to post something like this...well it did for me. I am so grateful for your encouragement. Looking forward to reading some of your stuff.


( Posted by: Chanti [Member] On: November 15, 2003 )

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