Before you call the cops, please, allow me to explain myself.
And then, after I explain, I’d like to ask you a serious question — one with potentially Earth-shattering implications.
This morning, I awoke at the buttcrack of dawn (as I heard one man call it out here), and, seeing it was nice outside, worked in my open-air porch “office.”
It’s the perfect place to write while I watch the goats and sheep mindlessly destroy my landscaping, munching always on the flowers first. (I have, as of late, given up the plants to the wild and the weeds. Next year, I tell myself.)
Here’s a shot, from my desk, behind the big glass window, with Toshi, the nodding goat, in the front…
Before long, as I was just getting into the zone, I was met with a horrid screech. And then another. And then, yes, another.
And then, a cacophony, a battalion, an army of ghastly squalls. I’d heard them before, but they were normally few and far between.
For over an hour, until about the time I usually wake up (7AM), they went on and on.
They were my roosters.
They were all feeding off one another’s volume.
It was horrendous to hear. I struggled to stay focused.
“COCK-A-DOODLE DOOOOOO!” every six seconds.
Each one got louder and louder and LOUDER, competing for the loudest crow.
“Jiminy Christmas,” I said to my goat, Toshi. “Does this happen every morning?” She nodded.
I had a flashback.
“My son-in-law accidentally got four roosters from Tractor Supply,” my neighbor said, a few days ago. “He killed them and ate them.”
“ALL of them,” he said.
“Killed them all,” he repeated.
“Yup, killed them all and ate them all,” he reiterated.
“Right,” I said. I got it.
Now, I realized. He was dropping hints. Being polite and neighborly.
He must, I thought, work outside at the buttcrack of dawn, too.
You might be asking…
Chris, how did this happen? How does one acquire six roosters?
Well, I’ll tell you.
The hatchery took the liberty of throwing in a few more chicks — for “free.”
What seemed like a nice gesture at first was really something far more insidious: a white elephant gift. A way to unload these beasts of burden on unsuspecting dupes like me.
[The “white elephant,” if you’re not familiar, gets its name from the hilarious and dastardly scheme of Southeast Asian monarchs. To their political enemies, they would, in a public and grandiose fashion, give an enormous white elephant. “It is the rarest of all elephants,” they would announce to the public ear. “One in a million. A gift for the most deserving man I know. My friend.”
The gift was meant to be seen as a blessing to the public, but was, really, a curse. The white elephant, you see, was sacred. Laws protected it against labor and mistreatment.
To not seem rude and ungracious at such a grand and generous offer, the receiver would grin and accept and act grateful.
But he often knew what this was… a ruse
He would be forced to take care of this monstrosity. Find a way to contain it. Feed it. Clip its nails. Scoop its poop. Keep it healthy and happy, so not to appear to the public as being without grace. For, if he let such a rare beast die prematurely on his watch, what would people think? What would the legal ramifications be? It would surely enrage the monarchy.
It would become such a burden on the estate and the family, he would find himself distracted and furious about the elephant. Every day, he would go outside and see this behemoth, smell its urine, see the groundskeeper neglect the roses in favor of trying to keep up with the manure, and erupt in fits of fire and fury.
Meanwhile, the monarch laughed, enjoying the spectacle.]
According to Common Core math, I now have 76 roosters.
Common Sense math tells me, however, I have, in fact, six.
Seeing as I have not, I reasoned, found myself in any fistfights with my neighbors, an event in which is far more plausible if I’d had 76 roosters, I settled on the latter.
My logic was sound.
I have six roosters, I decided, all competing to be the alpha cock.
This not only makes them louder, but it seems more aggressive, too.
Yesterday, in fact, I was (not-so) viciously attacked.
I turned my back on my silkie rooster (a tiny cartoonish little guy) and he sucker-punched me with his talons. And then, had the gall to do it again when I faced him.
I snatched him up by his legs, and put him in the barn with the goats and sheep, where he, upon last check, had climbed upon a sheep’s back, Sophia’s, to be exact, in an effort to hop the gate.
It was all coming together. Beginning to make sense. I knew what I had to do.
“It’s time,” I said to myself.
I would only keep one rooster, I decided.
But how would I choose? And should one man have this much power?
I was reminded of a snippet I saw from an old, WWII-era Life magazine.
Instructions, flat and plain, on what rooster to keep, and which to toss into the skillet:
“Of all chicks hatched, about 50% are pullets and 50% cockerels. The pullets are pampered, for they lay eggs. A good layer escaped the pot for about two and a half years. Cockerels usually end up in the skillet at five months or less. The one rooster in twelve selected for flock breeding must have the right gleam in his eye, a bright red comb, well-worn toenails to denote he’s a go-getter, and a lusty crow. For two to three years, he is cock of the walk and then he too ends up in the pot, mostly for soups and salads.”
With those instructions as my guide, I chose the rooster with the craziest look in his eye, the dullest and pinkest comb, the shiniest, most well-maintained toenails, and the least attractive, most obnoxious, crow.
He would be first.
I took him to the chopping block (a big tree stump in the back field) and killed him. I dipped his body in scalding hot water, plucked him, and put his body in the freezer about an hour or so ago. I’m calling my trusted friend to ask what to do next.
OK. He told me not, in fact, to put him in the freezer before I pull the organs. So I have now taken him out of the freezer and am letting him thaw while I finish writing to you.
Soon, I will investigate the other five. Look them in the eyes. Inspect their combs. Zoom in on their toenails. Give a rating to each crow on both sonority and lustfulness.
The Reality of Food
PETA just released a video of two kids, a boy and a girl, talking about their favorite foods.
The little girl said “chicken pasta.”
They set a plate of food in front of each child, and told them they would have chicken for lunch.
And then, they released a live chicken on the table, and gave them each a knife.
“Kill it,” they goaded. “Go ahead.”
The children, terrified at the prospect, were clearly not ready for such a rite of passage and broke down in tears, refusing.
Chicken nuggets, after all, don’t look like chicken. They’re chopped up into fun little dinosaur and star shapes and delivered in a plastic bag, or a colorful box.
We used to speak a little more frankly about our food.
We knew where it was coming from, and what it took to create it.
Death has been the reality of food and life since the dawn of humankind.
Even growing tofu (soybeans) for the anti-meaters requires an enormous amount of habitat and ecosystem destruction, and the massacring of billions of insects (not to mention what it does to the soil, a bustling ecosystem of its own).
The only difference today, really, is most are removed from the process.
Lately, for this reason, I’ve discovered it’s quite easy to get chastised for speaking so frankly about this topic.
Even from those who eat meat on a regular basis.
“You would really eat your animals?” a friend’s girlfriend asked me, in horror, as she picked apart a chicken drum she’d bought from KFC.
Some, these days, would go so far as to say I am a murderer.
Tell me. Is it true?
[It’s one of the big moral quandaries of our time: What’s your position on killing and eating animals for self-sufficiency? What should I tell those who accuse me of being a murderer? Send your reply to LFTodayFeedback@lfb.org.]
[Ed. note: Today’s episode, in some form, and, perhaps, your well-thought out response, will end up in my book on self-sufficiency, Six Eggs a Day. I’ve set out to write not one, but TWO, books in 90 days, using James Altucher’s course, The Choose Yourself Guide to Self-Publishing. Hundreds of your fellow LFT readers have already joined me in the Self-Publishing Inner Circle mastermind group.Click here to get an “inside look” at what we’re up to — and how you can CHOOSE YOURSELF and join us.]