On these fall evenings, my family likes to stand by the neighbor's fence and heckle their chickens.
The hens book over, propelled by the sway of their fat breasts, but the rooster holds himself apart.
People have about one way that they relate to roosters.
They yell 'Cock-a-doodle-doo' at them.
That's pretty much it.
Autumn leaves float around us through a deep and cloudless sky. Sunset glows across every perfect shingle on the roof of the barn.
We mimic rooster calls over and over again, surely delighting our neighbors with our dedication and our accuracy.
After awhile though, I notice a change in the bird's disposition.
Tension begins to build visibly within his chicken body.
He starts crowing unhinged, unable to stop himself.
The sound keeps coming out of him, rising in pitch, breaking off with more and more desperation in that last syllable Dooooo.
And then, as we back away from the fence, the rooster lets out one last cry, Ms. Piggy in full protecting-Kermit-karate-mode, and charges at a nearby hen.
He leaps into the air, pins her to the ground with a squeeze of his long talons, and lays the full weight of his puffed up body upon her.
The scene that follows could perhaps be related, at least thematically, to the age old question of which came first, chicken or egg.
Or it could be rough comment on the loveless, unreciprocated nature of animal sexuality.
It could be any number of things, but my family does not stick around to find out what.
We scream and run away.
My wife does an impression of the rooster's behavior from that day which is spot on.
I wanted to film her doing it and put it on the blog, but she wouldn't hear of it.
She does it with her whole body, in a fit of uninhibited joy the likes of which I've not seen from her in many years.
All the cares of this world melt away from her; anxiety and insomnia for a moment gone.
The lady struts and crows and crashes her tucked arms against her sides.
For a moment, she is a rooster: wild, proud, and free, holding court beneath the lights of our little kitchen, posturing for her adoring hen.