Saying Goodbye

“It is nothing to die. It is frightful not to live.”
―     Victor Hugo,     Les Misérables

IMG_5349  Painting by Pam Rosenquist

He started out with us as a week old chick, and his name was Anna. He was so little and late at crowing that we all assumed he was going to be a hen. We were very surprised one morning when Anna crowed, and quickly became our little Andy. He had a rough start with his awkward feathered feet that were much too big for his tea-cup size, and his somewhat sickly appearance. I would often warn the kids that I wasn’t sure that he would make it through another night, always pleasantly surprised when he was waiting for me when I opened the barn door. I started counting all of his days as extras.

The sun was usually shining when the ladies were hanging out under the Mulberry tree, and there he would be strutting around like he owned the place.  Ok, maybe he wasn’t strutting. It was more like a feather footed stumble. This was Andy’s only territory. He had always lived in the shadow of Katniss, his ass-kicker bunk mate that really did own the place, but then Katniss had to fly the coop and Andy was left in charge. At first he didn’t quite know what to do. Katniss had not been in need of a deputy, so Andy had to learn the ropes through the cracks in the barn…cockle doodle-doo at least 400 times a day, chase and attack anything living (no matter if it feeds you or not), hang out with the cool chicks, and most importantly– try to mount those ladies as many times a day as is roosterly possible.

Let’s begin with what should be a rooster’s favorite job…There was absolutely no mounting, of any kind for Andy. He was about a quarter of the size of our full size hens, and our bantam’s would even wink and laugh when he tried to entice them with a quick brush and some sexy feather dragging. He would have needed a ladder to even get a glimpse of the female chicken anatomy (I hope he was at least privy to some kinky rooster stories from the WelcomeTree Farm gigolo).

When I would open the barn, there he would be, ready to wobble out to that favorite spot under the tree, and that is when you would hear the cutest cockle doodle-doo you have ever heard in the history of cockle doodle- doo’s.

He also tried to follow that “attack the living” rule with some success. He made me scream many times as I rounded a corner by striking me with a little Andy Kung-Fu, hitting my ankles and subsequently flipping onto his back.

Three out of four ain’t bad.

I tell these stories of our little Andy in honor of him and all of the joy he brought our family. He died today.

You were so very loved.


8 Comments on “Saying Goodbye

  1. I am sad that we have lost Andy. Such a cute little rooster, he was. Now you have 2 “In Memory Of” rooster pictures. He was much more fun to have around than that ole Katniss, but Katniss was quite a rooster! Hip, hip, hooray for Katniss and Andy!!!


  2. What a wonderful tribute to a truly unique sounding rooster (or cockerel as my husband would prefer to say, being a Brit)!


  3. I hate these good byes. But writing this tribute is a bittersweet task and something you’ll be glad you have years from now.
    I don’t know if I told you Miss Chickie also left us a few weeks ago. She was an exceptional chicken, as you know, and spent her very last days in the house with us, warm and safe.
    BTW… to your readers, Katniss is alive and well. Why do the good die young?


    • I’m sad to hear about Miss Chickie. She was a really cool chicken. It’s nice when they can die inside and warm. Andy did too.
      It felt good to write about him. He was so sweet. Still breaks my heart a bit too think about him. Sabrina made a box for him with his name on it for his burial. No we are roosterless. I’m going to miss the cockle doodle doos.


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