Back in May, my sister Barb sleepily shuffled into the kitchen for a cup of coffee, grumbling about the rooster living in my yard. "Rooster?" I said. "I don't have a rooster." She answered, "There's a rooster in your yard and he's been crowing since 4:15." Sure enough, there was a rooster running around the neighborhood. Neighbors knocked on each other's doors, querying the exhausted occupants about the rooster on the loose. Although a couple of people keep chickens for eggs, none acknowledged owning the renegade rooster.
I caught sight of the rooster once in the yard behind ours. I spied on him through a hole in the fence. He was on the small side, mostly white with some speckles. A search on the internet led me to believe he was a Delaware. When I knocked on the fence he scampered quickly away. I spent many pre-dawn hours listening to him crow, trying to figure out how to catch him and what I would do to him if I did. Summer people from Manhattan stopped by to introduce themselves and ask what to do about the rooster who taken up permanent residence in their rented yard. We suggested they go to Agway and ask some professionals. They said, New Yorkers to the bone, "What's Agway?" That made me laugh, even though I was completely sleep-deprived.
No progress was made -- the rooster continued to run around the neighborhood, crowing night and day. I started going to bed earlier, and using those wakeful early morning hours to get chores done. This went on for weeks, until one morning, when Pete and I were working in the front yard, and several neighbors migrated over to talk to us, the guy next door drove up in his convertible and declared the rooster dead and gone. He had seen a pile of feathers by the side of the road and figured a raccoon got him. While we do have some pretty large raccoons here and may have wanted a chicken dinner, I'm not putting it past the young Manhattanite in the summer rental. At any rate, the rooster -- and the neighborhood -- now rest in peace.