Saturday, 6 November 2010

Magpie thirty-nine and a half.

Gang Rape Most Fowl.
(This piece was resurected and dusted off from Wollombi Tales of long ago).

We decided to raise some fowls and bought twenty mixed day-old chicks. But as they grew we realized the mix was nowhere near the fifty-fifty we expected. We had been conned.

Nineteen developed rooster-like features until it was clear we had only one pullet, a ratio of five percent. But we looked on the bright side and planned to dress one a week starting soon. Then our timetable was changed by events beyond our control.

Jim McBeath, my drummer mate and his wife Susan, bought a house at Tascott near Gosford, built a chook pen and populated it with four mature white leghorns hens. All went well until one day that summer, Sue screamed and Jim looked out the window. They were horrified to see a two metre tiger snake slithering across the yard uncomfortably close to their three year old infant. By the time Jim slowed from warp speed at the child’s side, the snake had disappeared under the chook house.

Eric Worrall was alive then, so Jim called him at the Reptile Park and asked what to do. Eric sent a big bearded guy with long hooked length of fencing wire and a chaff bag. After poking around under the shed for ten minutes he had the tiger by the tail, popped him into the bag and offered this advice:

‘You gotta get rid a th’chooks.’

Jim and Sue liked their fowls. Kitchen scraps, transformed into free range eggs, helped feed themselves and four growing boys and they all had names. Fluffy, Muffie, Scruffy and Lucky were loved.

‘Why’s that?’
‘Mate,’ says the expert. ‘Ya got chooks, ya got chook feed. When ya got chook feed ya got rats ‘n where ya got rats ya got snakes. OK?’

At the gig that Friday, Jim asked if I’d take his hens. Our one pullet hadn’t started to lay, so I happily accepted. And so it was that late Sunday night, four comatose birds were tipped gently from a potato sack onto the chook pen floor and I went to bed.

Monday morning, just as the sky was turning from black to streaky grey all hell broke loose. The cacophony of screeching, crowing and two dogs barking propelled me out of bed, heart hammering, to see who or what was being murdered.

It was a brothel in a goldfield. Lined up behind each of the four old virgins were four or five roosters, crowing, scratching, pecking and raping. The hens were terrified as they were spurred into submission, their genetic preconditioning forcing them to squat, wings out to accept their fate-worse-than-death.

The pullet, still too immature for her smell and antics to be attractive, was running around the fence in bewildered terror when I took a hand, grabbed the bag from where I had dropped it in the dark and stuffed the old girls back inside.

While Sal stoked the fire to boil water, I drove two nails into the chopping block to hold their necks still, rounded up all the cockerels except one and lopped off their heads. In ten minutes there were eighteen white rapists hanging by their toes Italian style from the clothes line. From there they were removed one by one, dipped into boiling water, plucking and dressed. All the good bits like hearts, kidneys and gizzards, collectively the giblets, were kept along with the legs for winter broth.

Laying hens live in a coop,
And peacefully sleep on a roost.
Roosters that raid them
Will soon feel the blade then
And end up as somebody’s soup!

Their criminal 'remains', after having been hung, drawn and frozen, were consumed with gusto and sweet revenge over the following months.

More fowl stories can be found at Magpie Tales.

27 comments:

  1. Now why is it that never having the patience or staying power to read more than 4 lines I have stayed here to the very end.

    "Unputdownable" it was. "Unputdownable"

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  2. Nothing like males to ruin the composure and productivity of the ladies. Most entertaining.

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  3. I remember this one :) great tale. I think my hens are being taken advantage of by the local brush turkey who visits every afternoon - bastard bird - I've had two fertilised eggs so far (and tell me that is only possible with a male hanging around) - so would that be baby tickens or churkeys if they ever hatched?

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  4. The inspirataion for my chook posts - a great read Stafford!

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  5. smiles. you make me hungry stafford...smiles.

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  6. This city gal was swept off her feet..didn't know that the coup was a veritable Seraglio..very clever!!

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  7. Herbert Hoover promised us a chicken in every pot - I guess you were tagged as a supplier! Great details and a killer ending ;)

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  8. Amazing story, and that's why I gave you one of my weekly awards which you can collect anytime you like!

    What's for dinner tonight?

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  9. Loved your story, and of course it made sense, about why snakes?

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  10. great tail of revenge! as usual you made me and all the rest of us around the breakfast table laugh and laugh!

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  11. New word: unputdownable! Fits this post perfectly! Great way to begin my day .......

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  12. Do you have any biscuits to go with the soup? What a grand story you tell Stafford...i love it! :-)

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  13. Ooo a story teller. Shall have to leave your site open on my computer until I get some real-life seen to Mr Stafford Ray. Then I shall return and settle down with a nice shiraz, and have me a read.

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  14. Yes, yes, a wonderful tale of lust and revenge Aussie style.

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  15. Sorry, Stafford. Both those last two are me. Split personality I am afraid ...

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  16. Ditto Mr Ray. I shall add you to my daily lookeesee list.

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  17. The good old days stafford. You're not even allowed roosters in brisbane. Too much like real life.
    Snakes on the other hand are wel and truly in the population. That smell of feathers. It's never left me.

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  18. nice magpie! stopping from Magpie tales and Goddess - congrats on your Saturday award!

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  19. hope to see you at our potluck tonight,
    any old poem works.
    the earlier you are in,
    the better traffic you get.

    we miss your fabulous talent.
    smiles.

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  20. what a story! Roosters do not play nice together

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  21. ...oh, but they taste good in a soup

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