A wild, mystical, sympathetical feeling was in me; Ahab’s quenchless feud seemed mine.

Chapter 41, Moby-Dick

I just went a little Ahab on my rooster.

Let’s, for the sake of making no one an accomplice, call him my “visiting” rooster, since roosters cannot legally reside within the city limits.  He’s not a resident.  He’s a sidetracked smug and strutting visiting scholar who showers his wisdom upon the hens each morning when released from his cat carrier in the basement–the basement which he visits every night.


The logic behind the rooster ban has been argued from two angles.  One angle is that this is Texas, and a certain tradition of pitting roosters against each other in order to watch the spectacle of them tearing each other into bloody pieces is considered a form of entertainment.  To assume this is a natural side effect of owning a rooster is counter intuitive to many who own backyard chickens (either the inhumanity or the waste is going to rub them the wrong way).  However, if we were to discount the soul killing pastime of cock-fighting as the primary reason for the rooster ban , we are left with the crowing.

The wake-the-dead,



hear it three miles away


I understand this.  Perhaps, if they were legal I could hear the sound and think no more of it than the neighborhood’s other auditory violations—the yapping dogs, the tire screeching, the window-vibrating bass beat of the passing thumper radios—but there is something in my upbringing which makes particularly egregious that which is flagrantly against the rules.  The crow, each and every one, pierces through to my reviling bones.

So, yeah, I went a little Ahab on the dude.

The wisdom of sharing exactly how I spent the past thirty minutes of my life is probably worth questioning, but that is one of those things about the poor self-regulation of people with my particular brand of limited sanity. I spent the past thirty minutes standing in the chicken yard armed with my son’s aqua-zooka attempting to apply Pavlovian training to a rooster.

The conclusion reached?

The Rooster is Not Stupid

Does this mean the rooster learned to stop crowing?


The rooster learned to stop crowing. . .

when the crazy lady with the dripping green stick in her hand is standing in the chicken yard.

The rooster also learned:

  • What a blind spot is and how to utilize it in moments of crisis.
  • That pride matters not when you can use the women as shields.
  • The distance which water travels in a stream from an aqua-zooka when applied pressure from a 128 pound woman.
  •  How to casually avoid eye contact with a pissed off suburban house wife.

So here I sit, three thousand mosquito bites the richer, typing away while, in the background, on the Spring morning air, he is crowing his head off like there is not tomorrow.

I swear, he is doing this now JUST to get to me.

It isn’t nature.  It’s spite.

I’m convinced that I am currently being tormented by a spiteful little work of poultry and it only furthers my anger to think that he most probably has figured out by now that I’m a vegetarian so I can’t even threaten him in the way of classic farmer wives who have freely exercised any pent up hostility toward male arrogance with a swift cleaver to the neck.

He is golden.  Untouchable.  The breathing example of


Which is, by nature, his right.

And I need to learn to be a better person.