Tag Archive: rooster


Night of the Guinea Hens

The past two weeks have been tough, for a lot of reasons. But a few interesting moments have popped up from time to time. After dark the other evening our dog, Misty, kept running to the fence and barking up a storm. There is a small dog next door that gets her teeth into the bottom of fence slats and pops them until they break. Since her owners fixed the broken slats, she has been less successful.

But I assumed that it was the dog that had Misty barking. I heard something on – or messing with – the fence. When I stopped hearing the noise, I went back inside. Not too much  later, Cyndy came in from the backyard, got a flashlight, and went back outside. When she had- been out there a while, I took the camera and went outside.

Sitting on the top of the fence were these two guinea hens. We were not sure at the time what they were. We knew the family had hens (one they found out later was a rooster), so hens were our first guess – just not guinea hens. Cyndy talked to the father the next day and he filled her in. But we do not know what is beneficial about having guinea hens nor do we have the inclination to spend time finding out. And it still might not explain why our neighbors have them and the father did not volunteer that information.

As you can see, when they are in pairs they each face the opposite way. It was pitch black so I could not see what I was aiming the camera toward, even when Cyndy aimed the flashlight at  them. I was afraid they would fly off the fence, which is what the other hens would do during the day when I make a sound – but I had not encountered the guinea hens before. But it did not seem to matter to them – particularly the one facing the camera. There does not seem to be a lot of thought going on behind the eyes. The flash did not seem to be at all bothersome.

It is interesting living next door to a family with animals other than dogs or cats – they have another small dog besides the dog that tries to eat the fence, but he is just as noisy. Before they got rid of the rooster it was really annoying. The rooster did not know a porch light from the sun. But even the hens spend a good part of the morning clucking.

I always enjoyed visiting farms, but I doubt now that I could live on one – at least a functioning animal farm. I would not be able stand the noise, not to mention the work when the noise meant I was behind with it. To re-phrase it, I might be able to live on a farm if someone else did the work. Not because I am adverse to hard work, but because working with animals is a whole nother, well, animal.

Animals, particularly in suburban areas, are not always consistent. The hens do not cluck at the same time every day. The dogs in the neighborhood, including Misty, cannot be depended on to bark consistently at anything except someone in the alley or stopping at every front door for whatever reason. The inconsistency makes each day the same, but different.

While I do not think I would be comfortable living on a farm, with all the violence and death in the world, it is somewhat comfortable and reassuring to hear the sounds of animals during the day. It reminds me that life goes on and God is still in charge. It would be nice to get some eggs once in a while, though.

Peace be with you.

There is a rooster next door. Which would be insignificant if we lived in the country, but that is not the case. The family thought they were buying a third hen. I am not quite sure how that worked, but I have to assume it is possible. The rooster is apparently not so sure himself that he is, indeed, a rooster. His crowing has not been tremendously loud – though still annoying – but it is also not refined. He almost sounds hoarse.

I do not know whether it is attributed to his lack of experience or his cognitive insufficiency, but this rooster has no idea when he is supposed to crow. While he does crow in the morning, the crowing does not coincide with the rising of the sun. He is also prone to crow at any time of day, particularly if the hens are clucking. He began crowing about 11:30 the other night. Apparently, to this rooster, porch lights, airplane lights, or even lightning bugs resemble the sunrise to our neighboring rooster.

The rooster’s annoying crowing got me to thinking that we all go about our daily lives “crowing” about insensitive drivers, people who will not put their phones on vibrate during meetings or services, those who make us wait for no apparent reason, and the person who looks at us as if it is our fault when we know darn well it certainly is not. At the same time, we pray, and ask for God’s help to get us through some – ultimately at least – minuscule situation. A situation which must appear to God as relatively insignificant as those fleeting incidents that tick us off during the day.

All of us must admit that we know someone who constantly crows. About how good a Christian they are perhaps. About how they do not understand why people do not see things their way. And so on and so forth. Unfortunately, we must also admit that we do some crowing ourselves.

When it occurs to me – often in mid-sentence – that I am crowing on, shall we say, I try to quickly change course. After, that is, finishing the sentence that gave my mouth a bad taste. If I tarried too long over the line, my face goes flush with embarrassment. At least it feels like it does. I can recall times in which it was evident in the look on the listener’s face that I had indeed blushed. Their look also let me know that I had been caught crowing. Which made me want to become part of floor and slide away.

Maybe the rooster’s crowing irritates me because he reminds me how irritating I can be sometimes. Even though I’m not the only one he irritates with his incessant shouting. But when I am walking around the backyard complaining out loud about the people who bothered me throughout the day, I feel my face slowly become flushed. If I could see God’s face, I would see that knowing look. The look that makes me realize the only one I am fooling is myself. I am merely crowing needlessly. It then occurs to me that praying sincerely might be a good idea.

Peace be with you.

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