Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Great Houston Rooster Rodeo

You Can't Make This Shit Up!

Having a houseful of hillbillies next door is always good for some weekend amusement...

Out of the 6 or 7 kids that grew up next door, all but one have been members of the Future Farmers of America in high school, (this despite living 15 miles inside the city limits), and they also bring their agricultural projects home with them.

The youngest kid is a junior in high school this year, so I'm hoping that the constantly changing menagerie will become extinct after she graduates.

So far we've had goats, rabbits, chickens, ducks, a turkey, several pet squirrels, and an endless supply of dogs that have lived next door. Horses make an appearance every so often, but they get trailered up and hauled off after a few hours. No cattle so far, but I wouldn't put it past them.

Keep in mind that there's a city ordinance against having livestock in residential areas... So far the critters have been reasonably well-behaved and mostly quiet, so I tend to go along with it and keep my mouth shut. I figure the time will come when I finally get the still up and running in the garage, when they smell the 'shine cooking, they'll return the favor and hold their tongue in exchange for a quart or two out of each run.

Anyway, this weekend I was relaxing out in the front yard with a cigar and a book just enjoying the afternoon sun, when there's this terrific kerfuffle brewing up over the fence that separates our cul de sac with the nearby elementary school.

This big-ass pigeon flaps up onto the fence, and starts bobbing its head around. At least I though it was a pigeon...

About the time I figure out that it's just a bit too large for a pigeon, Tiger the Cat leaps up from the other side of the fence right next to the bird, and does his level best to procure a meal.

The bird lets out a gobbling squawk, and the fight is on. Tiger keeps trying to swat the bird, and the bird is making a tremendous racket, and flapping about kicking at the cat.

It's this little bantam rooster, and I guess it got loose from its cage. I hear it every so often at dawn & dusk, but it's so tiny you have to be outside to hear it crowing.

So, Pint-sized Poultry gets in a couple of licks, loses a few feathers, and retreats to a higher perch in the pine tree next to the fence. By the time it has laboriously flapped its way up to a broken branch, I've gotten up and wandered over to watch.

Tiger the Cat has slunk off back towards his house. Guess he was embarassed to be seen bricking his hunt.

The banty rooster, though, has not seen the end of the drama. As he comes to a landing, he startles a squirrel that was laying next to the tree trunk. The ruckus starts up again as the treerat chatters at the rooster, & the rooster squawks and flaps 15 feet off the ground.

I'm laughing my ass off at this point. The squirrel is climbing around the tree trunk, and every time it makes a circuit, the rooster starts fussing at it.

Eventually the squirrel cedes the tree, and wanders off. I sit back down and continue working on the cigar & book, keeping an eye on the little rooster.

About an hour goes by, and the rooster's still perched up there. I don't think it has the brainpower to figure out how to get back down.

One of the hillbilly kids comes outside, and I inquire about the possibility of misplaced poultry. Sure enough, it's their rooster, and now it's 15 feet up in a tree, and not coming down.

A ladder is produced, the neighbors gather for the show, and one of the older kids goes up after the bird. I try to interest my across-the-street neighbor in even odds on the bird winning the dispute, but he's not having any. Good thing, too, 'cause the kid climbing the ladder wasn't taking any shit from a rooster.

One quick grab, and the banty rooster had its feet scooped out from under it, and was unceremoniously hauled head-down to the ground.

All ended well, though the rooster went into a cage instead of a stewpot. It got me thinking, though. I wonder if I could train roosters to hunt down and attack the treerats?? Something to ponder...