Mar. 19th, 2013

caersidydd: (Rough Draft)
Title: Tale of the Blue Rooster
Wordcount: 685
Rating: K
Comments: This is a true story that I wrote up for my new blogspot blog. The blog is meant to be a record of things that happen on my father's ranch, both past and present. This first entry was meant as a sort of explanation for the name "Blue Rooster Ranch". If you'd like to visit the blog it is blueroosterranch.blogspot.com.

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Blue Rooster Ranch – Tale of the Blue Rooster

One day, many years ago, my father and I were collecting baby chicks from the incubator. The room was warm and dimly lit and we weren’t paying much attention to the chicks themselves other than to handle with care. We carried them out into the garage and started putting them into the box that would be their brooder for the next couple of weeks. I looked the little birds over, because I have a habit of singling out the one I feel is the cutest to catch and cuddle.

I smiled when I spotted him and announced, “This one’s pretty.”

My father turned to look and said, “Now where did that come from?”

The box held many chicks that were all fairly uniformly either red, or black, or red and black. Not this one. This one was the color of the sky before it starts to rain. I caught him up and we pondered over him for a bit. We had no chickens that should hatch a chick of this particular color and he was the only one amongst his brethren.

“I’ll have to watch that one,” my father said as I put the chick back down.

And he did.

We don’t get too hands on with the chickens, there are simply too many, but when some come out a little quirky, a little different, or a little interesting, my father tends to favor them. He favored this chick, and it grew, and as it grew it showed no sign of losing its queer color. As the other chicks began to grow into their black and red, our little storm colored chick began to sprout little storm colored feathers. And as he grew into his feathers he grew tame. He got bigger, got older, and he followed us around the yard waiting for something edible to drop. This wasn’t entirely unique, even half tame or somewhat wild chickens will do this. The difference was, if we bent down to touch him, he would permit it.

Now he wasn’t completely blue, which was the best part about him. He had a mane of feathers that was fairly yellow. He looked like the sun rising from the clouds. I sometimes called him Sunshine. My father, who always preferred simple, straight to the point names, simply called him ‘Blue’.

My father made sure that Blue had his own harem of ladies, that he was always fed first, and that the other roosters didn’t bother him. Though the last bit was hardly necessary, Blue was a fairly big rooster and could hold his own in a cock fight. But he did it anyway.

I’m not entirely certain what happened to Blue. I went away to university, and one day when I came back I realised he wasn’t strutting about the yard like he ought to be. I wasn’t too concerned. It had been a long while since Blue first hatched, and there are always predators lurking about. Still, it was sad to not see him once I really knew that he was gone.

However, as is the way with all life, the end of him is not the end of his story. Blue fathered many chicks. Some were black like their mums, others came out black and white, but a few were the color of the sky before it rains. Out of those my father kept one rooster and dubbed him ‘Blue’s Son’.

He wasn’t quite as pretty, he wasn’t quite as blue, but he belonged to Blue and that was all that mattered.

Today we are hatching Blue’s great-great-great grandchicks. Blue’s great-great grandson doesn’t have free reign of the yard, instead he and his girls have commandeered the barn, where they are safe thanks to our livestock guard dogs, who I will write about another time. The hens are very hoity toity and don’t like to set, so my father incubates the eggs. They often get mixed up with all the other eggs so we don’t know who is who, and we’re always surprised and happy to see a chick the color of the sky before it rains.

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