Friday, July 29, 2011

Rasputin, Revisited

I know everyone has been waiting breathlessly for me to tackle a weighty topic in a mature, thoughtful manner. I've been ruminating like mad, and as result, I'm pleased to bring you this treatise on naughty chickens. This, of course, is a subject that's near and dear to my heart, and one I've recently been reminded of. First, by The Bloggess' brilliant story of Beyonce, and then again just yesterday by the tale of my friend Cheryl's bad bird, Peaches. If you have known me for a long time, or if you used to read Stories from Korea, you might remember the story of Rasputin. Mischievous poultry, must, of course, be approached with the appropriate gravity, but as we all know, I am very lazy, so I am presenting here the reworked story of Rasputin for your reading pleasure:


When we were living in Pensacola, Lloyd used to buy quail and plant them in the bushes and then take Ranger out to train him to sniff out birds, or whatever it is hunting dogs are supposed to do. Besides fart and snore, I mean. One day when he was buying his quail, the redneck he bought them from asked him if he wanted a rooster for free, because it was fighting with his other chickens and he needed to get rid of it. We lived in a subdivision with a no-chicken rule, among other foolish requirements. No fireworks, no yard sales, no campers, and most especially, no chickens. It's a wonder anyone wanted to live there at all. But, there we were anyway, in all of our chickenless despair. In any case, Lloyd, being a chicken lover, or a giant sucker, whichever, brought the thing home in a box along with the quail.

When he got home, he got out of his truck and heard a huge racket coming from the bird box, and it sounded like the rooster was beating up on the quail. Lloyd is a huge fan of the underbird, until he puts them in some bushes for a dog to eat, so he opened the box and grabbed the rooster. The rooster went crazy, and Lloyd swung him around, accidentally bashing his head against a tree. In our front yard. In the no-chicken subdivision. The rooster went limp and finally Lloyd started to think. He thinks, "Hmmm, Anna's going to be home soon and she is not going to like this dead rooster situation. I know! I'll throw him over the back fence and she will be none the wiser!" Behind our back fence was a strip of woods about 75 feet wide, and it ran the length of our chicken-free street, and there was another, presumably also chickenless, neighborhood on the other side.

The next day, I was laying on the couch hopped up on pain pills with my leg propped up on some pillows. I should mention here that I was on crutches from falling through the attic onto the garage floor. As a public service, I should also mention that you should never, ever, walk around in your attic unless it actually has a floor to support your weight rather than just sheetrock ceiling panels. Lloyd was outside messing around and he came tearing into the house yelling that I had to get up and look on the back fence.
As you can imagine, getting up and trucking myself to the back yard was not an easy task, so I hollered at him that whatever it was had better be good. I heaved myself up and hobbled into the back yard, muttering under my breath the entire way. To my surprise, there was a brain-damaged rooster sitting on the back fence with his head all cocked over, making a sort of demented warbling noise. At that point, Lloyd had to fess up to the whole story, and we named the rooster Rasputin, for he who could not be killed. Or, he who was difficult to kill, at least.

Pretty soon, Rasputin got his crow back, and he started to crow bright and early every morning, annoying the neighbors in the no-chicken neighborhood. One day, we had a visit from animal control. Some of the neighbors had complained of a rooster crowing in the neighborhood and they thought it was coming from somewhere around our house. Had we seen it? And could they check our back yard? We glanced nervously at each other before assuring them that of course, we didn't have any chickens. We would NEVER have any chickens! Goodness, they are against the rules, we said. And certainly, we would be pleased to have them inspect the yard. Come right in, officers! Luckily Rasputin had some street smarts because he stayed out of sight and kept his gob shut. The chicken cops, stymied, left and didn't come back. Then Lloyd started thinking again, and we all know how that turns out. He decided that Rasputin might be lonely. You know where this going, right? Yep, one day he came home with two hens, and promptly chucked them over the fence, this time with their glorious chicken brains completely functional. And for all I know, all three of them are there to this day, living in polygamous bliss.

1 comment:

Just Me & My Chicks said...

I am coming to Seattle next week. I could smuggle Peaches on the plane and let him go in your neighborhood (or the neighborhood of your choice) to see what happens.