Rudy the Rooster and his Boosters

imageThe Austins lived just across the pasture from us. Jody Austin “drank.” In our neck of the woods, “drinking” meant a man was considered disreputable, prone to beat his wife and children, and probably didn’t work. It sounded a lot like today’s alcoholic. Jodie qualified magnificently. It was rumored that he had shot a man in a bar. Folks left Jody alone. Every Saturday night Jody hosted his “drinking” buddies for a binge. The festivities started with a huge bonfire. As they sat around on barrels, old cars, and broken lawn chairs, they tossed their cans out in the darkness. They got louder, sometimes had a friendly fight, occasionally rolling all around the fire, finishing off with a little singing…a treat for all the neighbors.

Jody and his gang of rowdies got sufficiently drunk, they started crowing trying rouse the rooster! Jody had a fine crowing voice, but roosters are territorial, determined to keep their harem to themselves. Since roosters habitually are “early to bed and early to rise,” it usually took about four tries to get Rudy the Rooster going.  His initial response was usually half-hearted and anemic. Roo-ooh- ooh-ooh-ooh-oooooh. He obviously needed his rest. Jody’s buddies took a turn crowing. Rudy was riled now and ready for a rooster fight, but couldn’t find a single rooster to whip. The partiers thought this was high humor. They all took turns crowing. After a particularly authentic crow, Rudy called back “ROOH-OOH-OOH-OOH-OOOOOOH!!!” The longer the competition went on, the madder Rudy got. He must have hated Saturday nights and drinking.

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