Buster, the rooster, died on Christmas Eve. I thought I'd write a few words of fond memories, but I couldn't really think of any until today. In the three days since Buster's passing, I have found a new appreciation for the scrawny little loudmouth. Although he was annoying and loud, he wasn't aggressive and he probably didn't eat very much. Mr. Feathers, his successor to the Chicken Throne, is making Buster look pretty good by comparison.
An hour or so after Cliffy discovered Buster and took him out of the coop, I went to feed the chickens the lobster shells from Jackson's special birthday lunch. Mr. Feathers, who used to just cluck and peck at his food or water like the rest of the chickens, was strutting and attacking the hens and generally making a big show of throwing his weight around. My first thought was that I missed Buster, but I was already kicking Mr. Feathers across the coop, staring him down and then tipping back my head in a pretty good rendition of Buster's most triumphant crowing.
I don't really want to be Alpha Chicken, but I can't have an aggressive rooster around my kids. The options are to put Mr. Feathers in his place as perpetual Beta Chicken, or eat him. It's sort of cold to be plucking a chicken outside right now, and after the Deer Slaughter Ordeal, I am not allowing dead animals in my house without first removing their fur or feathers. So I'm giving Mr. Feathers a chance by being a jerk to him. If it doesn't work, maybe we'll get a day in the twenties to make quick work of him. I could make Coq au Vin, whose name I think has been shortened from the original French for "Aggressive Fucking Rooster Cooked in Wine."
But this was supposed to be about Buster. Buster was a skinny chicken with white feathers, gray-green legs, and a plumey black tail. He liked to crow and he didn't bother the hens or people. He didn't eat much and I never had to kick him. Rest in peace, Buster.