Resize text-+=
Tuesday June 28, 2022

Why Did The Hen Cross the Street?

cock fight
Spring is in the air. So are elections. Brilliant bright coloured flowers blooming…in gardens, on walls, everywhere! Parties vying with each other to retain command and control  over trodden and untrodden terrain. A cacophony of shouting, sloganeering, slandering, screeching, accusations and counter accusations  making it almost  impossible to discern the genesis of the clamor. In short, colourful times are ahead, and Holi, the  spring festival of  colors, is less than a month away. 
 
Amidst all this, my attention was particularly drawn to a commotion immediately outside the main door. Deafening and  blurred sounds, screeches and  high pitched voices suggested a major fighting in the neighborhood. I rushed out and discovered two parties squabbling animatedly over possession  of a space for residential purpose. Soon  they were joined by a third party; a triangular contest to say the least. 
 
I had earlier mentioned about intruders in my kitchen. Now they have turned encroachers, fighting over occupancy of the spout of a kitchen chimney for nesting and nurturing their young ones. I am  still not sure which Myna couple succeeded, but peace prevails for the time being. 
 
Speaking of Avian families,  I wish to narrate my experience with  a certain  Mr Rooster and  his six hens. During my posting in a northeastern state of India,  I  spent some months in a semi urban locality,  where  households  are accustomed to  rearing hens and pigs. This particular house, the  ground floor of which served as my office, had half a  dozen  hens and almost two scores of chicken scattered all around the house and courtyard.  The hens and their chicks had no qualms about hopping in and out of the  office,  jumping on tables,  computers and the  numerous office files that lay scattered around the  rooms. The corridors would often be soiled in the  morning hours and the office help would once in a while discover an egg laid on one of those files! Honest as he was, the egg was carefully handed over to the landlady and all my instructions to make an omelet was received with an innocent childish smile.  “But the egg belongs to them”, he would reply coyly. “And what about the files? Those belong to the office,  and unclaimed and abandoned eggs laid on anything official become the property of this office”, I would tell him sternly but it seemed to have no effect on him whatsoever! 
 
Each of the hens had on an average five to six chicks following the mother hen wherever she went.  The hens lived peacefully,  nurturing their respective chicks and before long I knew which ones belonged to whom. Chicks which grew up (adolescent ones!), would gradually abandon the mother and venture out of the courtyard in search of  new adventures.  The mother hen,  now free of her responsibilities,  would resume tactics in seeking the attention of the  rooster. 
 
I had not encountered the rooster during the initial days. When I did I was taken aback by its grandeur, the magnificent colorful plumage, a bright red crest adorning its head, almost like a crown and an equally significant stunning red wattle just below the chin. Its gait was royal, head held high and full of arrogance clearly conveying who was in charge. The rooster seldom walked on the  ground,  preferring to  tread on the  high concrete boundary walls that encircled the house and the courtyard. 
 
One afternoon I hurried out of the  office  hearing angry noises, which indicated a cock fight. There was “Shahenshah” attacking another rooster, who dared enter his territory.  The trespasser was  in a dishevelled  state, his head crest broken,  feathers plucked at places and clearly a poor match for the lord. Eventually,  defeated and “crestfallen “, the gate-crasher retreated, however,  temporarily. Incorrigible that he was, his futile incursions remained unabated for he had an eye for the “queen ” hens and  I often found him sneaking a peek every now and then, although careful not to  cross roads with the “master” of the  house.  A sudden encounter invariably resulted in being chased out in the most humiliating manner. The hens seemed to be immune to these routine visits from  an obnoxious  neighbor and went on in their daily activities; roaming the courtyard in search  of worms, grain and seeds with their respective chicks following in a queue.  During bad weather,  storms or rains,  the chicks carefully hid themselves beneath the  wings of the mother hen, a head popping up from here and  a little claw from there. 
 
The lecherous rooster continued in its attempts, crossing the road and sneaking behind  the most beautiful hen, though unsuccessfully;  “never give up” being his motto!  
 
Now  I know why the chicken….ooops…rooster crossed the street? And also why it crossed back!!! Feeling a sense of achievement,  having resolved an old riddle…finally! No? Then please feel free to share your views on the subject.

Tags

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER

You may also like

Multimedia

Member Login

Submit Your Content