True stories of a small flock of remarkable individuals -- and other critters.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


.  .  .  .  .  continued from the previous post: THE GREAT ESCAPE

Every night, I locked Roosterman into Lucy's old coop so that at dawn he could crow his little head off without waking the whole neighborhood.  Each morning I'd let him out, so he could crow all day.  

But this morning was strangely silent.

Roosterman was gone.

The predator had been swift and efficient-- 

Marky and I found no blood, no body parts... only a few orange feathers on the ground in front of his little coop.
I think it must have been a fox or a fisher cat that took him.

I regret that I didn't provide sufficiently for Roosterman's safety.

I had tried to get him into his coop yesterday evening but he wouldn't go without a fight, so I left him out in the yard in his little mobile cage.  I was going to return and put him in the coop at bedtime, because in darkness I could pick him up without much of a struggle. 
But I forgot, and left him out. 

I do, however, think this was the best ending I could have hoped for him.  I feel it would be an honor for his body to fill the bellies of a litter of fox kits.

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  

Roosterman had a rich life spanning four lovely seasons.

He hatched last year in the warm summer. 
Lucy raised him and adored him.
He grew quickly, but remained quite the 'mama's boy'.

You could tell the weather by him:
He stood proud in the sun, and stood tall in the rain.

He was a manly-man, as roosters tend to be.

Very handsome, and chivalrous.

His singing voice was ear-splitting. 

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  

In recent months, he started to peck the living daylights out of me.  

Not because he was evil --
but because the hens considered me their rooster and protector.  This deeply offended Roosterman's totally macho manliness.

I understood, and I tolerated the abuse.

Roosterman never let down his guard.  He was a serious fella, with a mission to protect and win the love and attention of the ladies. He would have fought to the death for them, and they truly adored him.  I understand now why the rooster is a symbol of courage, virility and respect in so many cultures.

Roosterman was a heck of a lot of trouble, and my memories of him will not all be fond... 

But .... the silence in our yard today

is deafening.

.  .  .  .  next blog post: GASP


  1. Oh my gosh, I am so sorry for your loss. I am about a week away from my own chicks and I'm obsessing about this exact thing. However, it won't keep me from experiencing all the craziness that owning chickens brings.

    I know you have loads and loads of memories of your Roosterman. Right now, he's probably screaming his head off in Heaven, trying to get the attention of all the ladies there.

  2. We both lost a chicken yesterday. There's always regrets, and there's also knowing that you did the best you could.

  3. RIP Roosterguy....Hope you're OK, Laur


  4. oh i am so sorry for your loss :*(

  5. Rest in Peace Roosterman. You won't be forgotten!

  6. Man that sucks. I am sorry, you have shown us what a special guy he was - thank you for that.

  7. I'm sorry for your loss! Your stories and illustrations and pictures show the world the wonderful side of chickens and I adore them. And I recently unfortunately quite publicly accused chickens, especially roosters, of being evil and I wish I could take it back... because they are just doing what they do... like predators do what they do, but it still hurts. Crow On RoosterMan!

  8. I have lost 4 chickens in the last few months and two of those went in similar fashion to your Roosterman including my favourite girl Maria Sharapova who was a sweetie - she used to come into the kitchen in the mornings and share my buttered toast. I miss her and can still see her in my memory - when I drive in she used to run up to my car to say hello and ask for a snack. Bless them - they bring so much joy but it is sad when they go.

  9. oh Lauren!! so sorry about Roosterman .... but this blogpost is AMAZING!!! Thank you so much for sharing this w/all of us. The pics of the feathers add something special- a way to connect us to the reality of Roosterman's existence - so much more than just a photo or sketch -although the photos & sketches are fabulous!!! Cannot wait for this book to come out!!!

  10. Oh Lauren, I am so sorry! I know how awful it is to have that happen! You have the right attitude; it is the circle of life. See you tomorrow!

  11. I'm so sorry, its never easy to lose a chicken. Roosterman was very lucky to have an owner who loved him, gave him a glorious life and immortalized him in your gorgeous illustrations and stories.

  12. My condolences on the loss of Roosterman. It sounds like he had a wonderful time while he was here and was very lucky to have you appreciate him for all that he was.

  13. Oh Lauren, I am so so sorry about Roosterman. He was quite a character, and I know you will miss him, and we all will, too. Thank you for sharing this story. My heart is heavy, but full.

  14. Rest in Peace, Roosterman, and crow in heaven every morning and all day long.

    An honor indeed, for such a being to become part of the circle of life in his parting.

  15. So sorry to hear of your loss. I recently lost all three of my beautiful girls. It is rough. We thought about not replacing them, but three new chicks are now residents and waiting to move into the coop.
    Thanks for your great blog.

  16. We have all enjoyed his stories. I am so sorry for your loss.

  17. I lost some hens to a feral dog. It is so awful. Sorry for you and Roosterman.

  18. Let's not take roosters for granted for they're beautiful creatures as well! Man, I could've killed the fox if I was there! =[

  19. I had chickens years ago and loved them all as pets. Raised a couple roosters from chicks. Sorry you lost the Roosterman...

  20. So sad to hear this. :(

    The yard always seems a bit empty
    with one less chicken to be around.

  21. I'm sorry for the loss of Roosterman. What a lovely tribute to him which leaves one with the sense they had known him to some little extent!

  22. Bittersweet... sorry for your loss. Great post about him though!

  23. Im so sorry to read about Roosterman! I just found this blog and I love it!! I cant wait to read the rest of your stories about your flock! Im in love with all your girls, and excited to read every next entry, Roosterman had a good life with you :)