He had already established himself as a bit of a Devil, so I was more than a little anxious about the prospect of chasing him down and actually catching him. The closer the time drew, the more anxious I became. Then my son, Randall, reminded me of something I had always known, and even advised other people about, but had inconveniently forgotten at the very moment I needed to recall it. The way to catch an uncooperative chicken is to wait until it is roosting for the night–then you can simply walk in and pick it up. Duh. Once reminded of that handy little tip, I relaxed. Somewhat.
There was still the matter of actually doing it, then the larger matter of transporting him to Erriba, in northwest Tasmania. That’s a 4 1/2 hour drive. With Louie, in a box, in the boot of the car. Knowing how much he loves to crow, I could imagine it being a very tedious drive for both of us. But Hallelujah! Not one peep out of him. I mostly forgot he was there. There’s a lot of very windy (that’s windy, not windy) road for the last 1 1/2 hours of the journey, and at some point it occurred to me to wonder if chickens get carsick. Can a rooster throw up? I don’t know. But the very thought of him in the box being carsick was a bit off-putting, I have to say.
He (we) made it to Erriba without incident (or up-chucking). As soon as the box was lifted from the boot Louie flapped up and out like a pro.
He fluffed his feathers–a bit indignantly, I have to say–then noticed a charming little hen about five metres away. His posture instantly changed to one of…how shall I describe it? Head back, chest out, tail especially upright. More fluffing to make himself even larger. Then the strutting began, until he got close to Herself. At that point he started doing the cutest little dance. Sideways hop-steps, back and forth. She was clearly impressed, showing more than a casual interest. She was checking him out!
He sort of spoiled the effect, though, when he started crowing. Like his namesake, his voice is not his greatest asset. Louie (now called, more familiarly, by his nickname–Satchmo) trumpets the “Er er er” part of his song just fine, but the final errrrrrrr becomes a long, drawn-out, raspy, downward growl. Not all that sexy in a rooster, apparently, as Herself turned and headed off to tell her sister. I think I heard them giggling. We humans certainly were getting a good laugh out of it. Satchmo didn’t get it, however. He kept on crowing, sounding sillier by the minute.
Now the question is, will Louie/Satchmo behave himself better in his new home than he did at my house? His new owner, Olivier, will be able to keep a closer eye on proceedings, and if he doesn’t settle in properly Louie will become Stewie.
Meanwhile, back in Fossil Cove, Ella–now Elton as befits his redeemed role as Boss of the two remaining hens–is enjoying his resurrection immensely. But he’ll need to watch his P’s and Q’s. It doesn’t pay for a rooster with a bare butt to become too cheeky. MM