Monday, September 12, 2011

Not Your Typical American Neighborhood

That's Sir Crows A Lot in the foreground. I've been meaning to "do him" as I've been afraid of annoying the neighbors. But then a funny thing happened on the way to the chopping block. I asked my Guatemalan neighbor, Isela, if my rooster had been bothering her. Without a second of hesitation she replied, "Of course not!" When I told her not to worry - that I was planning on taking him out soon, she cried "Nooooooooooooooh! I loooohve it. The sound is so peaceful." I don't believe I've ever heard of a rooster crow being described as such, but then what a relief to know that one of my most uptight neighbors was actually enjoying his cock-a-doodle-doos.

My plans hadn't changed though. Sir Crows A Lot, a.k.a. Fried, still had a date with the reaper. That was until I bumped into another neighbor, Vak, from the Philippines. He asked me if I still had my rooster and I assured him that that wouldn't be the case for much longer. When he queried what I meant by that, I made a slicing motion across the throat, which evidently translates in all cultures. With a far away, misty look in his eyes he replied, "Oh no! I love that sound. It reminds me of home."

In any other big city neighborhood, a rooster would be an irritation at best, if not an outrage. But not in my barrio, mixed with a third Asians from China, the Philippines, and  Vietnam; a third Latinos from Central and South America; and a final third from a potpourri of places, most likely foreign. Here my rooster stands for something that American urban areas lack: a pastoral, homey feeling that one usually only finds in more remote places. His croons soothe the frazzled nerves of congestion weary souls longing for a bit of the country in their fast-paced, traffic-jammed, mass transit cramped, hectic lives. He brings a bit of  tranquility and beauty in his sharp cries. Ironic, for sure, but no less invaluable or charming.

As far as rooster machismo goes, he's a pretty good guy. He doesn't mount the ladies with extreme force and no hen is missing back feathers, a serious issue with a lot of cocks. However, he could stand to be more vigilant as far as predators are concerned (there was an incident with a stray cat last week, which I will relate in a future post) and he doesn't serve much purpose for us since we aren't trying to breed our ladies. Still, I'm thinking I might keep him around until someone complains.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


  1. This is actually a beautiful story. Sounds can be powerful links to our days we remember with people we loved and places we might never see again...I can only imagine how your neighbors feel. Amazing.

  2. That is so cool! I remember on vacation in Mexico hearing the rooster all day and it was kind of nice actually. It was quite a ways away from us too but it was just sort of neat. Glad you get to keep him around for the ambiance. ;)

  3. I live in the country, surrounded by farms, and was still a little uncertain about getting a rooster. There weren't any others around us that I could hear.

    I talked to the neighbours, and they were all fine with it, so we did. Now, I get comments that they like hearing the rooster's crow - it was missing from the normal farm sounds!

    I've even got a few more people around us keeping roosters now, so there's no stopping us!

  4. I've lived with country chickens and I've lived near city chickens. Either way, the crowing doesn't really bother me, and I'm a California suburban girl. I hear people complain about the sound quite often, but I'd prefer it to the sound of traffic going by or an aggressive dog hiding behind a fence when I walk past.

  5. Oh your neighbors are so sweet! I agree with Carol, I would much rather here the crowing than traffic.

  6. I was so worried when we ended up with a roo, especially since one of our neighbors had just had a baby. I sheepishly walked to her door to apologize and let her know his days were numbered. She looked surprised then told me that her husband is from Mexico and she spent a lot of time there- the rooster reminded her of that time and she loved the sound. Such a nice surprise!