| November/December 1959

Country Echoes


R. D. 2, Brandon, Wisconsin

There is somewhere an old familiar line about 'the fly in the ointment' and I am beginning to understand it only too well. (Around here we might easily change it to poultry in the soup). In some cases these flies might be called stumbling blocks, and it is said that we should make of our stumbling blocks stepping stones. Instead of falling over them, they should ever inspire us to surmount them, or step upon them.

Now, I never thought of my perky old white rooster as a stepping stone. (It's true I have considered jumping on him with both feet). I very well know he is a menace to my welfare.

We are in the questionable habit of keeping one or two male birds with our flock of chickens. This, year it was only one, last year only one remained until spring. He put a three inch gash in my left leg one day. I found his rival dead on the floor early one spring morning and I assume he met the same fate as was intended for me. He didn't reckon with my size, however and I survived his onslaught. Instead of it being the end of me it was the end of him. This year my Casanova has taken to chasing me again. He wants to be ruler alone in that hen house.

Being dyed-in-the-wool country folks we like to hear a rooster crow in the morning and we keep them partly for that effect, you see. We sort of conclude that it is a poor farm that can't support one rooster. Butif this goes on much longer I'm going to invest in a mechanical one. I'll take my crows without gashes. I have enough trouble staying out of the gander's way and in the spring of the year one just naturally takes a detour around his lady's nest. Only recently we removed the gobbling head from off a turkey who climbed your back the moment it was turned from him. Now, tell me if you can, how does one make stepping stones of these hindrances? I can't get anywhere near the creatures. Only one thing they have done for me. They have furnished inspiration for this poem:


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