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El Rojo

Attitude In Red

His name was “El Rojo”.  He was a rooster.  I got him from Jeremiah Mavis when I lived in “Almost Arkansas”, Missouri.  Jeremiah Mavis was an Arkansas Ridge Runner.  Big, raw-boned, and redheaded, he was of hearty Ozark stock.  His biggest claim to fame were his wife’s newly-installed breasts and a four-pound, 12-ounce crappie on his trailer wall.

Jerry assumed all Northerners to be ignorant, but for some reason took a shine to me and would do almost anything – as long as it didn’t involve work – to assist in my Southern education.  Jerry operated on the fringes of the law.  He made moonshine back in the hills somewhere, spotlighted deer on a regular basis, and kept fighting chickens.  Cockfighting qualified as major entertainment in that area in those days, and Jerry had several prime contenders.  His stable of birds rivaled that of “Chicken George”, and when Sheriff Cletus F. Joe Dawkins shut Jerry’s operation down, he was left with more roosters than a man needed.

7 comments to El Rojo

  • Marlene

    Good Story. A lot of people might not believe it because they’ve never dealt with chickens in a casual relationship. When I was a child, ours ran loose around the house and yard and I developed a real affection for the birds. I don’t doubt one bit about that rooster making up with you after you knocked his lights out. Thanks for the memory.

  • Velma

    A few years ago on some tv animal show I watched an interview with the guy who was head of Busch Gardens parrot keepers. He talked about all the different parrots they had and what the different types were like and such. He seemed very well informed and committed to his job. At the end of the interview they asked him what kind of parrots he had as his own. He siad he didn’t have any at all. He did have three pet chickens. He liked them better than parrots because they were less demanding, very affectionate, and didn’t behave like spoiled two-year-olds. Honest. I’m not making this up. I don’t think David is either.

  • R. Jay

    I don’t care about chickens or parrots, But I love Jeremiah’s voice!

  • David

    R. Jay…thanks. I had to fly Jerry in just to do that bit. The most expensive part of the whole project was bailing him out of jail.

  • Birdgirl32

    I have a Pionus, a yellow-headed Amazon, and a Triton cockatoo. They’re bright and wonderful birds. I can’t imagine why anyone would prefer chickens.

  • Bobby J.

    Dear Birdgirl32 (if that is your real name) It’s easy to see why most of us prefer chickens to parrots. More white meat. Fried macaw and mashed potatoes for Sunday dinner is just gross.

  • Marylou

    So are you, Bobby. Cool story, David, but I’m not suprised. Like the only rooster in the hen house, I guess it shows.

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