I have decided to change the name of my young rooster from Big Sexy to Bill Henry. Observing him over the last month has taught me so much about how the human race falls short because of our “big” brains. I’m naming him after Bill Henrickson. The main man on HBO’s series Big Love about the religiously polygamist family. I’ve never watched the show, so I can’t say I’m a fan, but my sister is. She’s told me about it enough for me to have an idea as to the goings on.
Anyway, Bill Henry (the rooster) is the model of chivalry. He knows how to treat his women in a gentle, mannerly, and respectable way. He spends the day watching the ground and sky to alert them of predators. He follows them to the nest box when they are ready to lay an egg and waits for them to be done, offering added protection while they are vulnerable. When our old man rooster, Roy, comes around to catch a whiff of the ladies, Bill Henry doesn’t blink an eye. He is man enough to know he is top dog, and isn’t intimidated by another male. The icing on the cake, however, is when I throw them the bits of scraps as a treat in the morning. Bill Henry lets the hens (all named after our grandmothers) eat their fill before he comes in a cleans up the leftovers. Now, that is special to me coming from a culture where the men always fill their plates first at any gathering with food… then, the children… then, the women.
I’ve been enlightened by a creature that traditionally I have thought was pretty dumb. I mean stories of chickens abound with our family and friends. One of my favorites being a chicken fell while roosting in a tree, after falling asleep, and impaled itself on a picket fence at my sister’s grandmother’s house. Now, that’s special. Or, the same grandmother drawing a circle in the dirt before wringing a chicken’s neck so that when the headless chicken went to running, it would stay inside the circle and not run all over the yard before it died. But, Bill Henry has really earned my respect as has Roy and my hens. They are great entertainment, and do their job well for us… at the moment. If ever they do not, they will do their job on our plates. Chickens are a wonderful creature.
Let me know if any of you would like your male folk, friends, or children to come observe Bill Henry. They will learn a great deal on how to treat others. He doesn’t mind onlookers as long as you are quiet and not condescending.
Updated pictures of Bill Henry and the coop to come. We’re having some technical difficulties at the Haywood home at the moment.