Sometimes, you just have to say goodbye…

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It’s no secret. I love having a proud old rooster strutting around our place.

I love his ancient code of chivalry; the way he’ll lay down his life for his hens, fighting against insurmountable odds; the way he’ll scratch up a fat earthworm and then call: “chuck-chuck-chuck-chuck-chuck” — until all of the ladies have had a chance at it. Heck, I don’t even mind his incessant crowing…

(Oh, who am I kidding? I LOVE the crowing! I haven’t had to wake up to an alarm clock in years!)

Plain and simple, I love roosters. Especially our rooster, Quiquiriquí — “Ricky,” for short.

Our little homestead just wouldn’t be the same without him.

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Except… ummm… actually… We ate Ricky for dinner on Sunday.

So I guess what I should have said was, “Our little homestead just ISN’T the same without him.”

Y’see, our dear old Ricky kinda went berserk on Saturday evening. Everything was quiet and calm as I rounded up the chooks from a peaceful day of free-ranging. They all filed into the coop, and I was getting ready to shut the gate (just like I’ve done a hundred times before), when, with absolutely NO warning whatsoever, I was met with a frantic flurry of colorful plumage and sharp, deadly spurs.

In a brief, furious scuffle that lasted less than 5 seconds, our dear old Ricky sunk both his spurs deep into my shin — and officially outlived his welcome.

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I don’t mean to sound heartless, or callous, because I truly do love our animals. But I simply will not tolerate aggression. Not with my little monkey toddling around the place.

That being said, Ricky met his demise quickly, with a .177 caliber steel BB to the head.

Not the grand farewell I would have hoped for, for our valiant defender of the flock. As a matter of fact, it was with a heavy heart and a whispered apology that I pulled the trigger on him — but like I said before, I have to defend MY flock too.

So… Ricky ended up in the stew pot.

Our little munchkin took it all in stride though. She always loved going out to the chicken coop, “crowing” with Ricky and feeding him bugs and grass through the fence. But when I explained to her what had happened (how Ricky was now dead and we were going to eat him), she just nodded her little head — and then asked if she could help me pluck him.

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She only ended up pulling a grand total of two feathers before she got distracted by something else, but I will say one thing: that little girl certainly knows where her food comes from!

You should’ve seen her smacking her lips after taking a bite of chicken-n-dumplings on Sunday evening. “Ricky is duh-LISH-uss!”

Farewell, my friend. You will be missed…

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