The rooster we have is very pesky. Everyone loves him, except me. His name is Puff Puff. He was named as a baby chick when we all wished he would grow to be a laying hen. When the chicks grew up, seven of them exhibited rooster traits and started crowing. Puff Puff was colorful but didn’t have any male features. He didn’t crow for the three weeks, during which we observed them to see who was going to end up in the freezer.
The day after we slaughtered the roosters, suddenly Puff Puff got some swagger on. It became clear Puff Puff was a male when he stood taller and started crowing. It even seemed that his tail had a few more feathers spouting off his backside. Having cheated death by hanging low with the ladies, he did not have much respect from his coop of hens. They pecked at him and attacked him every time he tried to crow. With a few missing feathers and a bad limp, he had to work hard to gain position as the alpha male.
Having grown up with nasty roosters who killed each other off, I was ready to stuff Puff Puff into the cone and take his head off, but the family loved his beauty and poise. Our youngest understood my side after being attacked a few times. When Puff Puff saved the hens from a dog attack as well as an animal attack, he earned more time and respect from everyone but me. I had lingering issues with my childhood rooster experience, and Puff Puff knew it. That dude could smell my fear.
Several times, Puff Puff chased me down and attacked me using his beak, talons and 1.5-inch spurs. Each time, I freaked out and frantically responded with an uncharacteristic threat of violence with a rake, ski pole or shovel. Needless to say, we don’t have a good relationship. Recently, I poured out several containers of leftover food scraps on the ground for them, which usually occupies them for hours. As I walked away, I heard pounding foot steps. When I turned, Puff Puff was flying into the air, spurs out and ready to take me down. I screamed and yelled waving a blue one-liter Pyrex lid to defend myself. Thankfully, the dog showed up and took the rooster on while I scrambled to safety.
One morning after sleeping late in our family tree house, I descended the ladder with my book in a shoulder bag and a large yogurt container full of pee with a lid on it. As I was heading down the path, I stopped short because Puff Puff was in my path. I waited for him to move along, but he was ready for a tussle. Lucky for me, I reached over to my left and pulled out a big gnarly pine branch with spiky twigs to help encourage him to move him along. He puffed up his chest, gave a crow and then did his little threatening jig that felt like a coiled snake move to me. I was feeling pretty badass with my big stick, so I wielded it with a threatening jive. He was having none of this and came towards me until I gave a more aggressive shove to get him off the path. He didn’t move much.
I held onto the stick in one hand and the pee container in the other as I walked around him. Just to be sure, I turned the face him walking backwards towards the house. When I got about 20 yards from him, I was feeling safe and was about to drop the stick when a few of the hens came clucking into view far off to my left. I turned my head ever so slightly to look at them and saw a flash out of the corner of my eye. When I turned back, Puff Puff was in a full agitated sprint coming right for me. He launched into the air, and I instinctively swung the spiky pine branch at him in self-defense with a shrieking F-bomb. He retreated, and I was left completely wet. When I lurched back to my senses, I realized in my fit of panic, I squeezed the yogurt container so hard that the lid popped off and my pee flew in the air then covered me from chin to ankles. Bruce ran out to find me soaking wet, with an empty yogurt container, a handbag on my shoulder and wielding a stick. He told me I deserved it.