AH SUMMER, WHAT POWER YOU HAVE TO MAKE US SUFFER AND LIKE IT. --Russel Baker
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...