Monday, October 4, 2010

The Rooster Story/公雞之録

____Once upon a time in the rolling farmland of Missouri there were two young boys by the name of Jimmy and Eddie. They were happy boys of four and five years old. They loved to explore and imagine grand battles between nations, or skirmishes with Indians, or plundering coasts on a pirate ship. Besides their chores they did not have a care in the world.
____Early in the spring the farm was blessed with the hatching of several chicks. It was Jimmy's and Eddie's chore to feed and care for the chicks. The young boys faithfully cared for the chicks and were filled with glee as they watched the chicks grow. Most of the chicks were hens, but there was one beautiful black rooster. As he grew he became more and more majestic. He had elegant metallic gold, red and green tail feathers. His comb and wattle were a deep blood red. His strong sinewy body rippled as he pranced about the farm, and his eyes burned and flashed with a dark luster. The boys took pride in their young rooster and showered him with gifts of grain, fat juicy grasshoppers, and more. However, the rooster had a dark soul which began to manifest itself as he aged.
____The Rooster grew in cockiness and dominance. Each day his oppressive acts grew and varied. When Jimmy and Eddie went to fetch the eggs he began to give chase, and this daily task became a trial of speed!. The poor boys clutched the fragile eggs to their chests and ran as fast as their legs could carry them. Far too often the rooster would catch them and leap upon their backs pecking and clawing and buffeting them with his powerful black wings. Using their bodies to shield the eggs the boys suffered brutal attacks before they could stumble to safety.
____The simple task of going out to the barn to feed the other animals became a dreadful ordeal. Daily the boys would encounter the rooster! He would use those powerful black wings and sharp talons to herd the boys like dumb sheep into corners where the only escape was through the rooster. His gaze! His terrible smoldering black eyes would bore into the boys' soul, rooting them helplessly to the spot. Jimmy and Eddie spent many pitiful hours standing, whimpering, and cowering in fear. The evil fowl would wait for the slightest movement and then burst forward in a flying fury of feathers, showering the boys with pecks and scratches as they made a frenzied dash for safety finding speed that only the deepest terror can bring to one's aid!
___Jimmy and Eddie were not the only victims of the feathered beast. The Rooster fought and killed a new rooster that had been introduced to the farm within 24 hours of its arrival. A plethora of cat, dogs and other varmints felt the roosters wrath as well. He was the King! The conquering war lord of the barnyard! Even the boys' grandpa fell prey to the rooster.
___Grandpa Bennion had come for sunday dinner. Jimmy and Eddie confided in him their sad plight. Grandpa Bennion being a desert hardened, leathery, grumbling old farmer took the boys out to show them just how you dealt with roosters like this. As they rounded the corner of the barn there stood the great and terrible Rooster! A year had passed since his hatching and the Rooster was in his prime. He stood over two foot tall now and was a perfect specimen, everything a guardian of the hens should be! Grandpa Bennion and the Rooster faced up, each one sizing his opponent, and both stood motionless. Grandpa Bennion was the first to move! He lunged forward simultaneously swinging his stout walking stick to strike down the vile creature. The Rooster ducked this killing blow and flew straight into Grandpa Bennions face. Knocking the old man down as he stumbled backwards. Suffering more injuries to his pride than anything else, the Grandpa muttered curses as they retreated, and said, "a rooster like that needs shot!"
___Jimmy and Eddie had suffered bitterly for months. The grapes of wrath were so ripe they were splitting and screaming to be trod! The boys wanted the rooster dead, and they took their grievances before their father. He looked on their situation with apathy and told them he would take no active role in the killing of the rooster. However he did give them permission to kill him if they could. Long months of oppression had built deep reservoirs of hate within the boys' hearts, and they drew from this to find the courage to challenge the bane of their existence!
___Jimmy and Eddie knew their foe was swift, cunning, and powerful. They began to plot and scheme how they might kill the beast! They feared an outright encounter so their plans were all ambushes and traps. Holes with sharp pointy sticks at the bottom, cinder blocks and rocks precariously balanced on the edge of barrels were just a few of the traps they thought up. The traps that all killed and maimed the rooster so brilliantly in their minds were all sad disappointments in reality.
____Failure drove the boys to more desperate attempts. They formulated a master plan that was both daring and devious. They got some big long sticks and sneaked up behind the rooster to pummel him to death. It was a bright sunny day and the boys crouched about 10 yards behind the rooster's back behind a few barrels. The boys paused to steel themselves for the bold attack they were about to make. As they took a few more deep breaths the rooster imbued with some unearthly power sensed a threatening presence and spun about! Letting rip a blood chilling squawk he charged upon the poor boys who dropped their sticks and ran!
____The lads fearing an outright attack turned to more wily tactics. Along the South side of the property was an asparagus patch, and at the time the ferns were nice and thick. Using the patch as their hiding place they poured a pile of grain out front and laid wait for the rooster. The boys were confident that this would be the end. They could already see the rooster lying dead and bleeding at their feet with his heart pierced by the pellet of their older brothers air rifle! However, the rifle was a bit long for the small boys to handle so the younger of the two laid down and they propped it up on him while the older manned the trigger. They waited awhile in that dense jungle of asparagus fern. Their patience was nearly spent when suddenly the rooster walked into their ambush. Their hearts pounded within them, and the elder took careful aim at the rooster. With a trembling hand he pulled the trigger. CRACK! The rooster leaped into the air with a loud SQUUAAAAKK and dashed away. Had they got him? The boys uncertain of the roosters fate went about their nightly chores. Their worst fears were confirmed when they gathered eggs that night. The rooster as mean as ever chased and harassed the boys! FAILURE!
_____Their hope was running thin. The boys were beginning to believe the rooster was some immortal terror that was spawned from the depths of a most fiery and dreadful hell. As their spirits sunk in despair and the mood grew thick and gloomy an idea sparked in their minds! Like a ray of bright sunshine in the depth of winter lending it's warmth to a poor frozen soul the boys leaped in joy. The spark that ignited hope within their breasts!
____The rooster always gave chase when the boys gathered the eggs. They would use this to their aid. The next day when they gathered eggs instead of fleeing the rooster blindly they would run into the barn. Behind the door they had concealed their weapons of choice.... hockey sticks! The rooster would chase them into the barn and they would slam the doors shut blocking off all routes of escape and proceed to club him to death. It was a do or die plan... failure would mean death by the rooster!
____The moment arrived. The younger concealed himself behind the door with the sticks and the elder went to fetch the rooster. Reliably the rooster gave chase and the elder pounded across the ground to the barn. The two dashed into the barn and the elder screamed to cue the younger. BOOM! The echoing thud of the door as it closed upon three.
___SMASH! The eggs the elder was carrying lay broken on the ground as he and his brother took up their hockey sticks. The boys fell upon the rooster blindly swinging with no regard to whether they hit one another or the rooster. The air was filled with straw, dust and feathers as the three whirled and pounded about the floor locked in a battle so epic that poets would sing and write of it for ages to come. After what seemed an eternity the haze of battle left the boys minds and they realized their opponent dead and mangled on the floor. When he had fallen they knew not, but it was over! Blood oozed from his skull and his body lay in a crumpled heap with his wings and legs pointed out at unnatural angles. The boys were FREE! The terror of the barnyard was beaten! No more to oppress and harass!
___They spread the good news to their father who told them they needed to bury him. The boys with a new spring in their step grabbed the rooster and some shovels and drug the rooster out to the edge of the property. Being young and on account of Missouri's rocky soil the hole was not too deep. They shoved the rooster's limp carcass into the hole and scraped a thin layer of dirt over him just as the sun was setting.
___They stood there for a moment enjoying the feelings of victory and freedom. When suddenly... SQUUUUAAAAAAAKKKKKKK!!!!! The rooster burst forth from the ground showering the boys with dirt! Indescribable terror clinched the boys rooting them fast to the ground, they could not believe the creature that stood before them! Luckily the terror activated their most primitive instinct...... KILL!!! Using the shovels the boys beat the rooster and then beat him some more. Finally they finished him off with some more good beating. What once was a rooster was now a bloody and mangled lump of feathery flesh. Kicking this heap across the fence the boys ran home. The feelings of triumph had fled and were replaced by fatigue of body and soul. They had beaten the rooster, but he had put up a demonic fight. He was dead, but the boys were not without wounds and scars. The fight was ended.