My Greek Holiday

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.

Cute chick in the garden

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.

Roster in Dallas, Texas from Maria of Accelerated Stall

Maria Falvey
Accelerated Stall
Twitter = @acceleratedstal

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.

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  1. says: chris

    Hi guys. I totally enjoyed your article. I am a Greek and I have been to Zakynthos twice. I am glad you had transferred the spirit of the island through your post. Let me know when you come back again.

  2. says: David

    I adore Greece and this article is just typical Greece. The word unique is over-used but I do believe Greece deserves the label ‘unique’.

  3. says: Maria

    Sam, thanks a million for extending this invitation to guest post on your site.
    My Greek Holiday was quite an experience as I lived it and writing this post… had me laughing out loud, so much so that I’m sure my neighbors are convinced I’m nuts. Glad to read so many people can relate and enjoyed my tale of awkward friendship. 😀

  4. At least it was cute little chicks and not some monstrous creepy crawly. I have had some experiences with spiders in Australia – needless to say I do the typical jump on a chair and shout for someone to help! Apart from that, I have to say that I love Greece and your description of the white painted houses and vines brings it all back, it really seems to sparkle in the sun doesn’t it? Thanks for such an entertaining post.

  5. says: Montecristo Travels (Sonja)

    We spent 2 weeks sailing in Greece in July (2013) and loved it. As for the Rooster … I had the same experience in Grand Cayman!! Fun post.

  6. says: Alexas

    This is just an awesome holiday post. I just enjoyed learning your Greek holiday experience pretty much. Thing is I’ve never been in Greek before but have intention to visit there. Specially to learn lot of information about Olympian gods. Greek ancient histories are always very curious for me and through reading this post I’m excited to travel there.

  7. says: Mary @ Green Global travel

    I thought that rooster was bound for a very different fate and have to admit to smiling as you returned it to the shed 🙂

    1. says: Maria

      Arti, thanks for reading My Greek Holiday and if you haven’t been, the worst temptation related to northern Greece where this story took place is… you won’t want to leave.

  8. says: Jennifer

    Great post! I really don’t remember, but we apparently had baby chicks when I was a child. As for the rooster, they’re all over by my house in Italy and they are loud!

  9. says: Emily McIntyre

    Good lord, great post! I grew up with chickens and *totally* identify with both the balls of fluff and the rooster. I’m a new follower Maria–thanks Samuel for sharing her with us!

    EWM