My Childhood Bully Was A Ten Pound Rooster
Rocky was an asshole. He terrorized me for an entire summer. All ten pounds and one foot of him.
My kids and I were talking about how you’re supposed to stand up to bullies. And my seven year old son asked me if I’d ever been bullied. Well, no, not exactly. Not by another kid. But there was this one summer when my life was made a living hell by Rocky the Rooster.
Rocky was worse than any schoolyard bully and he was my baba’s pet.
Whenever Rocky saw my baba coming out of the house, he’d go running toward her and follow her around till she put him up on his perch beside her face. That’s right, the fucking thing used to ride around on her shoulder.
What kind of rooster rides around on a person’s shoulder? A rooster with twisted attachment issues. If he were a person he’d be dubbed a stalker and be slapped with a restraining order. My baba, however, was touched by Rocky’s affection and took a real shining to him. So we all had to put up with Lord Rocky.
When I showed up at the farm, Rocky saw me as some sort of threat. He’d run at me if I went anywhere near him, his chicken coop or my baba.
I was terrified of him and he could smell my fear. He wasn’t big, but he was fierce. He had black eyes, shiny dark feathers, a sharp beak and gnarly claws.
“Go collect the eggs,” my baba said.
“I can’t. That rooster wants to kill me!”
“Oh for Pete Sake, go get the eggs! If Rocky bothers you, just chase him away.”
My dad did this all the time. Rocky would run at him, but he’d be met with my dad’s work boot and sent flying.
I couldn’t do that, so I just gave Rocky a wide berth.
Today, Rocky wasn’t anywhere in sight and I had to get the damn eggs. So I crept to the chicken coop, scooped the eggs out of the nest as fast as I could. Of course, I forgot to bring a crate so they were all piled into my folded up shirt.
I had just finished collecting eggs. I turned to leave.
Rocky appeared in the doorway. Shit.
He lowered his head, puffed himself up and started scratching the straw with his claws.
I’m going to fuck you up, is what he was thinking.
Yup. I was going to be the first seven year old in history to die by rooster.
I dropped all of the eggs. Rocky closed in on me. I screamed.
My dad was nearby working on his tractor. He came over when he heard my screaming, picked Rocky up, gave him a good flogging and pitched him aside.
I ran back to the house covered in eggs and tears. I never went back to the chicken coop for the rest of the summer. I never faced Rocky. He won.
The next spring Rocky wasn’t around. I didn’t ask what happened to him. I didn’t care. He was gone.
My kids laugh hysterically at this story. They are mean children.
Of course, now, if I ever had the chance to face that dick rooster again I’d kick his ass to the moon and back. As a 7 year old I didn’t think about the fact that I was bigger and stronger and smarter than that ten pound Sunday dinner. I couldn’t get past the beak, the eyes, the claws. I couldn’t get past the fear.
It’s easy, as adults, to tell kids to stand up to bullies. It’s not always easy to stand up to a bully when you’re a kid.
A picture of Rocky, on his best behaviour, with my grandmother. Dick.