I swore he’d be lunch. What else can be said about the brightly colored miscreant who insisted on being the first awake each morning, well before dawn? There really wasn’t a reason he had to do it, or why he had to position himself directly outside my bedroom window, but he did, and I quickly grew to loathe him. The others teased me and after a bit of friendly mockery, I was handed an axe for my nemesis.
I considered using the axe until it was clear that I would be expected to “clean” and prepare him for lunch. From that point on I kept quiet about the reprobate and just give him dirty looks from across the garden. Childish and passive-aggressive behavior, yes, but it was better than picking up the axe.
This house, in northern Greece, was iconic – the entire village was. Small, white stucco domiciles flanked the narrow, winding street and gardens were packed with carnations and dahlias. My house had the added benefit of a poured concrete slab under the natural shade of grape vines. This is where I spent most of my Greek holiday.
Then came the evening of the baby chick debacle. They were bright yellow poofs of down. While I’d been lolling the days away in the shade of grape leaves, they’d been growing and one of these marabou poofs got stuck, midway through the chain-link fencing separating the chicken yard from the garden. He peeped frantically as he tried to free himself. Patio chairs were overturned in our rush to save him, but the hens were squawking and in a flutter while my nemesis ran the fence, taking flesh from anyone trying to help. It was mayhem.
A few bloody fingers and what seemed like a lifetime later, the marabou poof was with the hens and everyone settled down for the night.
Sunlight streaked across the floor and the room became intolerably hot. I glanced at the clock. 07:00 – how could this be? Panic seized me. A mad dash from the house, barefoot and barely dressed, through the garden into the chicken yard and back; he was nowhere to be found. Frantic and devastated, I woke the house. The demon from hell, the one I’d plotted against daily, was missing. A calm discussion of coyote, or fox ensued and everyone seemed to easily accept the loss. They brought coffee to the garden and the day was progressing as it always did. How could they be so cavalier?
And then it happened – as tears danced on my eyelashes, he swooped into the garden from an olive tree and screamed. He wasn’t missing, and all my anxious, frightful imaginings of coyote-candy dissolved. I walked past him, picked up the axe and returned it to the shed.
My rooster wasn’t missing, he was there, he was fine and he was perfect.
Accelerated Stall is not your usual travel blog, by any means. Taking on a unique and quirky view, I encapsulate events and observances from my experiences (abroad and in the ‘backyard’) into literary snapshots. Don’t blink, you might miss it!
When I’m not traveling and writing for myself, I freelance my talents in copywriting, proofreading and editing.