Maybe the curly-haired moppet in the frilly pink dress presented a threatening image to the barnyard animals. Whatever the reason, animals on our small family farm in the midst of the Saskatchewan prairie had a history of chasing me. First, the geese. Then the bulls. And then there was the ever-present rooster.
One day I’d decided enough was enough. No cocky little barnyard rooster was going to intimidate me. Selecting a sturdy stick as my weapon, my four or five year old self entered the barnyard to address my fears. On my way to the henhouse to collect eggs for breakfast, I’m suddenly aware of an abrupt scuffle behind me. Sure enough, that cocky bantam rooster is making a run at me. He’s about a foot away from attacking my bare leg when he feels the wrath of THE STICK. I’ve given him a hearty whack across his puffed-out breast. He shakes his head in shock at this human upstart and backs up a few paces. And charges at me again! I give him another whack. He shakes his head, retreats and charges at me a third time.
At this point, I’m not sure who’s more afraid – me or the rooster. The stick, the rooster and I are now flailing about like a whirling dervish. Charge. Whack. Retreat. Charge. Whack. Retreat. Charge. Whack. Finally, the rooster’s eyes roll, his entire body shudders and he retreats. He has conceded defeat to the little farm girl and never, ever attacks me again.