Farm Collector


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:


We had a rooster in our humble hennery, He had his foolish spurs
all set for me I banged him with a pail, I flung him high, But he
would never learn he had to fry. His harem gaily sings, they lay
their eggs, I tend their needs without end an gered legs, While he
who thought himself a pompous elf Brought only judgment on his
silly self.

How much longer this year’s battler will endure I cannot
say. He somehow does not have the right method of attack or perhaps
I am learning to fence with the feed pail. ‘Could be I need
Amos McCoy tactics and should study cock language. All I can say at
the moment is that I am deeply grateful that the cats and dogs are
friendly. The poultry may soon have me edged off of Edgewood

Seriously, though, I do believe God wants me to learn a lesson
from these enemies of mine. They are battling an enemy so much
larger than they that they can’t possibly win and must pay for
their transgressions. When we try to embrace sin aren’t we
going to come out the same way? Pride is most certainly a sin. Let
us learn this well. ‘Pride Goethe before destruction, and a
haughty spirit before a fall.’ PROVERBS 16:18

  • Published on Nov 1, 1959
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