Here a Cock, There a Cock

Here a Cock There a Cock blog post pic_WWLOR

Cocks are all around – so ubiquitous are they that I no longer notice them strutting their stuff, flagrantly flaunting their combs, feathers gleaming red and orange. I have recently had a spate of visitors and it has been their remarks which have reignited my observation of these farmyard staples. Except on St Croix, there is no pen holding them in.

The arrogance of a cock is astounding. As I write, an image comes to mind of Mick Jagger manically belting out the not-very-clever lyrics of Little Red Rooster. Give the man his due, he commands the stage, still.

And then another shot streamed into my consciousness. The Houston Ballet! What do cocks and ballet have in common, you ask? Picture this, if you will: A dancer in thigh-hugging tights, cod piece not only covering his manhood but enhancing it, pecking and darting across the stage, taking flight every now and then to the Rolling Stones hit.

And then it dawned on me. Sir Mick’s lyrics are actually cleverer than first I thought, because they say absolutely nothing – essentially a load of bollocks. But isn’t that what cocks are all about! Lots of posturing but little postulating.

I am the little red rooster, too lazy to crow for day

Their instincts on when the Greek goddess, Eos, or even the same goddess known by her Roman name, Aurora, is about to shimmer above the eastern horizon to herald the day is so far off as to be laughable. Because anyone who lives on a rock knows that cocks crow all day and all sodding night. Again the lyrics are spot on.

Keep everything in the farmyard upset in every way,
the dogs begin to bark and the hounds begin to howl

Don’t they just! And forgive me, aren’t dogs and hounds both canines? In any event, neither pot hound nor pedigree is immune to a taunting cock. I saw a Pekinese the other day strain at her handbag, much to her owner’s consternation, when a rooster sauntered by. And whilst I was not acquainted with either canine or human, I know it was a bitch because of the pink, diamond-encrusted collar.

roosters stx

But back to cocks. There is a rather pleasant eating establishment on St Croix, in Gallows Bay – now there’s a joyful sounding name for an enclave – the downside is the plethora of roosters, hens, and chicks intent on frequenting the same premises. Plastic bottles filled with water, and with which patrons are encouraged to spray the marauding intruders, jostle for table space with salt, pepper, and sugar. I noticed, when last I was sitting on the terrace, that a low fence has been pegged in front of the hibiscus hedge in an attempt to keep the chickens from encroaching. But I ask you, how far can you fence? Cars must pass and park. Humans might not be able to traverse a web of plastic fencing. Admittedly not as high as Trump’s wall is promised to be, but for some of our itinerant snowbirds, or indeed our youngsters, knee-high is too high.

Interestingly on this very same island, there is a rather pleasant botanical garden at St George’s. Lounging on the table, alongside the visitor’s sign-in register, is a black and white cat. Her ear has been lopped which means she once was a street puss but has been rehabilitated and neutered. Her role is obviously to monitor the comings and, preferably, goings of cocks. She is doing a good job because there are no feathered creatures on the premises. So this time, dear old Mick hasn’t quite got the words right.

Watch out strange cat people, little red rooster’s on the prowl

The cat, in this case, has won the day. But we must credit The Stones because they obviously cared about their cocks. Though I’m not sure their entreaty would warrant much attention on my rock.

If you see my little red rooster, please drive him home

Writing as a town rock dweller with a flight of stairs open to the public which happen to climb past her bedroom window, and where a cock crows his presence, and probably prowess, from approximately 2am onwards, I am inclined to write to my fellow Brit and request a rewrite of his famous lyrics. If I might be so bold as to suggest instead of,

Ain’t no peace in the farmyard since my little red rooster’s been gone

we might substitute, “the only peace to be had is when my little red rooster is in the hen house!” I offer this only as a humble suggestion as to content and leave it entirely up Sir Mick to make the lyrics scan.

In the meantime, my visitors will continue their clucking at the diminishing chick count of the cock and his hen who frequent the feeding grounds of my rock garden. And I shall continue to assure them that tomorrow, or the next day, another batch of eggs will hatch and the roosters will continue to crow.

Kauai-island_1chicken

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Apple Gidley

About Apple Gidley

A transient life has seen Apple live in countries as diverse as Papau New Guinea and Thailand, or Equatorial Guinea and the USA, and another eight in between. A number of them have been rocks. Her memoir, Expat Life Slice by Slice, tells of the highs and lows of that nomadic life - one she wouldn't trade for all the proverbial tea in one of the places she hasn't lived, China.

Believing the word "no" to be mostly limiting, she has found herself in various roles. From editor to intercultural trainer, from interior designer to Her Britannic Majesty's Honorary Consul.

Apple writes, sometimes humorously, about her travels, and is published in a number of magazines and e-zines, drawing on her experiences to offer down-to-earth observations and encouragement for those about to embark on the global trail, or who already live the life on her regular blog, A Broad View: www.applegidley.wordpress.com.

With short stories published in various anthologies, her debut novel, Fireburn, set in the Danish West Indies of 1878, will be published on October 1st, 2017. www.applegidley.com

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One thought on “Here a Cock, There a Cock

  1. While Mick may have made the song popular, it was a blues standard credited to arranger and songwriter Willie Dixon. The song was first recorded in 1961 by American blues musician Howlin’ Wolf…

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