Here it is August and I notice I haven't been on here since January. I'd like to blame something like more surgeries or lottery winnings, but it's just life cruising along, allowing me to be lazy and forgetful, although during this time I've finished the first draft of three novels and am busily working on another (adult this time around). I've visited the States and now am back in Ecuador, which feels more and more like home, especially after those wretched one hundred degree days in North Idaho. And the fire. It missed our cabin...damn. It could use a remodel. I do grieve for the folks who lost theirs. Nature can be wicked. We saw the grandgirls, which was lovely, if not tiring. I mean, the energy in those three could power a second world country.
But the focus of this particular post happens to be the dire circumstance that we returned to no Bump. Nowhere to be found. Wheedle was here, fat and sassy; a full grown hen now. But no Bump. You may recall that as he matured, Bump was becoming something of a legend in the chicken run. He grew taller and thicker than any rooster I've seen in a long time, and his temperament left a lot to be desired. I fed that chick from my hand, rescued him from a terrible choking disease, and how does he repay me? By chasing me around the pen every time I dared step foot inside. He'd wait until my back was turned and then: Attack!. Plus, to be blunt, he would hump most everything in sight, including the wild turtle doves, if they would stay still long enough to allow him purchase. It was becoming a problem.
Apparently the problem was solved in our absence. Luisa tells us that his romantic aspirations turned deadly soon after we left. So potent was his ardor that while doing the deed, he would rip part of the very combs off a couple of the hens. He ended up actually killing one of them, which on the farm, does not a dutiful rooster make. The situation called for drastic measures.
Upon our return, I noticed we now have four roosters ( two of which were adolescents when we left, but two of which I had never seen before). The latter two are fighting cocks, small and sleek and a bit savage. They spend a lot of time eyeing each other up and down, getting in vigorous pretend fights, and running from me as I represent the great big world who came in one day and removed Bump the Terrible. Maybe they think they could be next. We were also missing two hens (the one, as I mentioned, was murdered, the other was apparently, a failed rescue attempt). And Bump? Well, as Luisa so eloquently put it, "My mother says he was a little tough for such a young rooster." Even after having been boiled for most of the day.
I have to say I feel some measure of relief not having Bump here. I still have Wheedle, who I like to think of as the last survivor of the famous Peguche Nine. One chick living into adulthood isn't bad in such a harsh world, is it? She lays every day, jumps up on my shoulder and pecks at my earlobes if I haven't fed her enough, and generally represents the coop quite well. Things have calmed down considerably. There is order in the run once more.
A couple of weeks ago, Luisa brought over a hen and her newly hatched seven chicks for us to watch and care for. It is a tradition here; if you look after a hen and her brood, then, when it is time for them to be weaned, you get half of them and the others go back home. Gretl is a good mom, albeit highly anxious, and she has flown at me a time or two when I get to close to her kids. I'd rather see that; violence with a purpose, than experience it unprovoked and downright abusive as in the case of the late Bump. May he RIP.
Now, what to do with Gregor, Felix, Ferdinand and Groucho?