Rooster Surgery

I heard over the radio this afternoon about the new education bill that was signed by Governor Scott. I was folding laundry at the time and, interested in what sort of bill had been signed and what it might mean for SwampMan, I decided to look it up.

I was sitting at the computer when BAM! The door flew open and hit the bookcase. I jumped in alarm. SwampMan was standing in the doorway breathing heavily. “Tell me”, he said, enunciating very clearly, “that that is not YOUR blood all over the porch!”

Hunh. I thought I’d gotten it all cleaned up.

“Oh, uh, no. Not all of it! Just some of it!” I said cheerfully.

“What. Happened?” said SwampMan through his teeth, voice still carefully modulated and controlled.

“Just a rooster with string wrapped around his leg!”

“Okay then.” SwampMan relaxed and came into the house and sat down. “So you’re not hurt?”

“Nah. I just sliced my thumb when the dang rooster started flapping and squawking when I was trying to cut the string off his leg. That string was cutting pretty deeply into his leg, and his leg started bleeding, too. We were dripping blood everywhere.”

The feed bags are sewn shut with string through a paper tab. The string will unravel, opening the feed bag, if pulled at just the right place. After putting the feed in the cans, I toss the string inside the bag and put the bags in a large open garbage can. When it gets full, I burn the bags or take ’em off the landfill, depending on whether we’re under a burn ban or not. In the meantime, the roosters will jump into the garbage can looking for stray pieces of grain. They’ll knock over the can and scratch the bags around. Somehow they’ll get the string wrapped around their legs. If I can’t catch them to get it off in time, they’ll lose a leg.

This morning I noted a lil’ banty rooster and a standard rooster limping with string wrapped around their legs. The lil’ bantam was worst off, so I decided to catch him first. I grabbed a net and set off in hot pursuit.

Do you know how embarrassing it is when a lil’ rooster using only one leg can outrun you? Yeah, pretty damn embarrassing. He circled the side yard several times and just as I was about to net him each time, he put on a sudden burst of speed and evaded the net. We had a big rainstorm last night, and I was slipping and sliding through slick spots. I hit one particularly bad spot and was sliding through the mud on one leg, the other leg in the air, arms and net windmilling, while screaming “EEeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!” I think that rooster was trying to kill me because he led me through that same spot THREE TIMES and each time I nearly fell. After about 37 times around the yard, he was getting mighty droopy, just barely staying ahead. I put on a burst of speed and netted him.

He commenced to flapping and squawking, and I put his feet against my thigh to hold him steady while I worked. Ooops. Forgot about the spurs. That’s where the streaks of blood on my pants came from. Then I had his body under my arm while I worked on his leg. He jerked real hard when I cut part of the string in his wound. That’s where the cut on the thumb came from (grin). I finally got it all loose. His leg bled pretty severely, too. Whether his leg will recover or not I couldn’t say, but he seemed to be using it while roosting tonight.

I’ll have to try to catch the other rooster tomorrow. Maybe I better buy more Band-Aids first.


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