Tuesday, August 26, 2008



The crickets and frogs, harbingers of summer's end, have been going in full swing for the past week or so. I have been leaving my windows wide open, to enjoy a little late summer concert to lull me off to sleep. Unfortunately, the wide open windows also allow me to to hear another late summer noise in the early morning hours: the neighbor's rooster.

First, let me explain that there is absolutely no reason for the neighbors to even have a rooster. They don't live on a farm. They are not high school biology teachers. They don't run a local 4H chapter. I don't even think they gather the eggs from the hens! They just sit in their house with central air conditoning on and the windows closed, oblivious to the fact that their rooster is waking me up every day at 4:30 am. (I often have dreams that a giant with emphysema is clearing his throat over my bed)

Despite their lack of reason for having chickens, they are quite protective of them. They have a combination lock on the chicken coop. (The chicken coop that sits behind a 6 foot tall chain link fence) The guy next door explained to me why a combination lock was needed: "Racoons can pick regular padlocks with their claws." Now, I've never heard of a racoon picking a lock. I googled it. I found only one reference to a guy who swears his pet racoon can pick locks. But its just hearsay. Nobody knows who this guy is, and nobody has seen his racoon pick a padlock. It's pretty much a suburban myth.

I have however, heard of a racoon putting his claws through the chicken wire and stretching it out enough to pull a chicken through. I have seen evidence of it with my own eyes. So the combination lock, like the act of owning chickens itself, is a bit misguided. No combination lock will stop a racoon from stretching the chicken wire out and pulling a chicken through. Especially if a rooster-sized hole mysteriously appears in the chicken wire one day when 4:30am comes way too early...


Anonymous said...

My sister had this same issue in suburban Louisville. Her Vietnamese neighbors across the street had chickens and a rooster. In town. ? She worked odd swing shifts and HATED the rooster. It was even mentioned on her answ. machine msg as the reason they weren't answering the phone- that she was probably asleep due to the g-damned rooster across the street waking her up at dawn. LOL. I hate birds of any sort, so I feel your pain. Let the little fella loose. 20 miles away. lol.

Anonymous said...

It finally disappeared, btw. She assumed they ate it.