You ever had that moment when something scares you that shouldn’t, but just for a second it does. Once that moment has passed, you get a little mad that it happened. You think to yourself, how stupid was that! I cannot believe I felt that way. It is normally this way for snakes for me, there’s a couple stories about that, but today is another story. A story that for just a second, I was that little four year old boy again.
We have some friends that their house flooded during all of the rain in the Houston area and I was able to go over and help them a couple times to clean up, remove drywall and etc. But since they cannot stay in their house, my buddy asked me to put his chickens up at night. It just chickens right, no problem. Until last night…
I approached the coop with no thought of the mortal danger I might be in. After all, it’s just chickens. As I walked up the rooster, I call him Gallo de Diablo now, eased out the gate. No problem, I just eased around him and like a good cowboy…I started herding him back to the gate. That’s when things went terribly wrong. Diablo puffed up his chest and threw back his arms and charged me. Now, I’ll be honest…He’s a big chicken (as in tall), but he is still just a chicken. But for a four or five seconds I turned into that four year old boy that had to gather eggs from our coop at home and fight, what I considered at the time, a giant rooster. My heart rate was up and my skin was covered with goose bumps (although I suppose these could be considered chicken bumps, goose bumps are for geese and that’s another story involving ropes and geese). I yelled at the rooster (because yelling is effective when fighting off a tyrannosaurus foghornus leghornus) and took a kick at him. He backed off a little but was still defending his coop with all the grit he could muster. At that point, we just stared at each other, like we were in some spaghetti western; standing in the dusty street waiting for the other rooster to make his move. I swear I could hear the theme music from all of the gunfights in those movies.
At this point I started talking to him. I know, I know….but I think he understood me.
Me: “I can’t believe you just did that, what’s your deal? Do you really want to go down this road? Do you want a piece of me?” (I might have yelled that last line, not sure)
Gallo De Diablo: “Baawwkkk….” (I translated this as “oh, I want a piece of you alright”)
Me: “So, that’s how it’s gonna be huh?”
Gallo De Diablo: “Baawwkkk….bawk” (puffs up chest again) (I translated this as “that’s how it gonna be”)
Me: “bring it” (again, might have yelled this)
At this point Diablo runs at me again. And for some reason, I felt the need to yell again as I kicked at him (unleashing my ninja skills). I missed, he missed and we both backed off again. Again we stared at each other (I heard that music again and thought I saw a tumbleweed blow by) wondering who was going to make the first move. We slowly started circling each other; I swear I caught myself flexing my hands at my hips like there were pistols there.
Me: “all right bud, if this is how it’s gonna be. One of us might have to die”
Diablo: “baawwkk, bawwkk….bawkok” (I translated this as “it’s going to be you, cowboy!”)
Me: “talking crap don’t get you nowhere, back off or die…your choice”
As we circled I suddenly realized that I was now between Diablo and the coop, and he was about twenty feet away. It was here that my sanity returned. I had a thought that I would unlatch the gate (so I could quickly close it) and just let him go in on his own. As I bent down to unlatch the gate prop, out of the corner of my eye…I see him. He is coming at me in full charge mode; chest puffed, leaning forward at a dead run. I quickly stood up; he stopped and started pecking at the ground like he was just in a hurry to reach that spot.
Me: “kind of a coward, aren’t you?”
Diablo: “Baawk, baawak” (which I translated as, “nothing to see here, resume what you were doing”)
Me: “I know what you were trying to do, you back jumping turd”
I stared at him for a moment, wondering how he would taste with some dumplings. But he’s not mine, so I bent down again. There he comes again, same as before. This time I was ready. Like some grand master cowboy ninja, I quickly stood up and kicked out a roundhouse kick that would have had made Chuck Norris proud. There was an explosion of feathers, as I connected with Diablo’s head. He flew through the air for a couple of feet and just sorta flopped around a little when he hit the ground. For just a second I gleefully thought I had killed him. That didn’t last long, because as I said…he wasn’t mine.
Then like some scene from a horror movie where you think the monster is dead and it gets back up out of the ooze, Gallo De Diablo rose up from the ground. I flashed back to that little four year old boy for a second, and had a sinking pit in my stomach. But, it seems he’d had enough. He headed further out into the back yard. But now I have another problem, he’s outside the coop and he needs to be inside the coop. So I walked away from the coop hoping that he would head back that way. No chance, it seems he does not want anything more to do with this cowboy ninja. So I did what any good cowboy would do, I thought about finding a rope to catch him with. But alas, the flood had removed any sort of rope or string that might have been available. So I eased around him and used my hat, which he was afraid of for some reason, and herded him toward the coop. He squawked at me the whole time, but he headed for the coop at a high lope. Once he got inside, he really made some noise. The whole time he was carrying on, the hens were making noise too.
Hens: “bawk, bawk, bawk” (I think this means “Oh Diablo, you’re our hero. You protected us from that awful cowboy. Are you hurt? Do we need to nurse you back to health?”)
Diablo: “bawk, baaawwkkk, baawwkok.” (This I translated as “I only came in here because this is where the ladies are and I wanted to be with them. You had nothing to do with it and you just wait till tomorrow, cowboy! No ladies, I aint hurt, that cowboy couldn’t hurt me if he wanted to”)
Me: “Looking forward to it, can’t wait to kick you in the head again”
I’m sure I will be closing the coop again tomorrow, hoping I leave that four year old boy in my past. Think I’ll take a rope.