Sunday, January 14, 2018
This Is Reality. Or At Least Mine
There is a man who lives about half a mile down the road who always has interesting things going on in his yard. For a long while, it was a sign saying, "No Man Lord!" A cross and various tableaus made of various things ranging from wood to tires to rocks appear and disappear with no discernible pattern and often no clear message. He sells things in his yard that people give him or that he scavenges and Mr. Moon has given him a few things to sell and also bought a pretty wrought iron plant stand from him for me. When he bought it, he asked the man how much he wanted for it.
"Eighteen dollars," he said.
"I think it's worth more than that," said Mr. Moon.
"Nope. That's what I owe the power company and that's all I want."
When you drive by his house and he's in the yard (a regular occurrence) he throws his arms up in the air, whether in blessing or greeting or god praise, I do not know. But when I meet him on the sidewalk, walking, he always steps off of the sidewalk and takes his ever-present cart into the road, to give me full passage and this embarrasses me but I understand that everyone is different, everyone has his or her own reasons for doing what they do and it is not mine to know them.
I do not know if the man is fifty or eighty. He could be either. Or neither.
The only time he's ever really spoken to me was the day last summer when it was achingly, meltingly, fiercely, swelteringly hot and I saw him walking back from the convenience store and I pulled over and offered him a ride.
"No, thank-you," he said.
"Are you sure?" I asked. "This heat is horrible."
"No, m'am," he said. "Just you asking is a gift." And on he walked, like a prophet of old.
So today when Mr. Moon had girded his loins to deal with the roosters, he said, "I wonder if our neighbor would like them."
I figured he just might and Glen drove down to ask him and he said that oh yes, he very much would and that he would be glad to wring their necks and pluck them. Mr. Moon said that he would kill them and bring them on down and he came home and he did dispatch them both and while he did that, I picked a large bag of mustard greens for him to take as well. When he got back from taking the birds and the greens he told me that he'd forgotten to give the man the greens and so he'd driven back to give them to him and the man said, "This is just like Christmas!"
And so, that is how the story of Joe Cocker and Pearl has ended.
It makes me sad. They were beautiful birds but I could not take the daily torment and torture of my hens at the whims of their sexual needs. Every night the hens would dread going to bed because those two roosters would place themselves right at the doorway to the hen house so that they could mount each one and there was screaming and fighting as all three roosters tried to knock each other off the hens and I really think that my hens have not been laying because of the constant fear and pain and as I have said, it was not responsible chicken-tending to keep those roosters.
Not at all.
And trust me- no one around here wants or needs a live spare rooster. This is the cruel truth of it. So short of bagging them up and driving miles away and releasing them in the wild which would surely mean their death by predator, the most humane thing to do was what we did, which was to give them a quick death and then make use of their meat.
At least as I see it.
I suppose Mr. Moon could have built a separate pen to keep them closed up in all day but that would not have been a practical use of his time or materials. So.
And I am glad that our neighbor is eating well tonight.
Plus- Lucy has reappeared. She is wounded but I think she will heal. She is young.
And my hens can relax now and Old Man Mick will be the only husband and he is attentive and older and bedtime will be sweeter and more peaceful for all.
Now if only Miss Honey would reappear.
The realities of dealing with animals and even gardens is that there will be poop involved as well as unforeseen difficulties and problems and conundrums.
I am so grateful that I have a husband who is not afraid nor too inexperienced to do the sane and sensible thing when it comes time. I remember when my beloved Elvis Rooster was a baby and that same man took that little biddy, whom I was sure was going to die, and with an eyedropper, fed him vitamins and sugar which he'd crushed up and dissolved and that rooster grew up to be so handsome and so fine that when he died (of natural causes) I buried him not in the pet graveyard under the big oak tree by the railroad tracks but in the front yard where he could watch over us as he had done so faithfully when he was alive. That man, my husband, understood that completely and agreed that it was the right thing to do.
Well, that's what happened in Lloyd today. That and a little yard work and a nap and Mr. Moon is now in the process of cleaning out his old bathroom and getting it ready for, as he calls it, demo.
I think he's been watching quite a bit of Fixer Upper. Which is fine by me.
Demo away. Do what you gotta do.
I love that man.
Let's all sleep well tonight.