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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Nighty, the Rooster

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Here is my rooster story. It is a true story told to me by a friend. I only changed the names, time in history and place so as to fit in my book: Home Fires of the Great War

Time: April 1919. The Great War was over but many of the soldiers had yet to come home including the father of this family.
Place: A farm near Codell, Kansas
Family Info: The one telling the story is 17-year-old Emma. Her twin brother is Edmund. Emma is writing a letter to her cousin, Maria, who lives in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Nighty, the Rooster

         Oh, I must tell you about Evie. It would have been laughable if it were not so pitiable. We have, or rather did have, a black rooster whose name was Nighty. I believe Georgie named him, not that it matters. Nighty was mean. His favorite past time seemed to be terrorizing any person, with a few exceptions, who was outside. For some reason he never chased David, Edmund or Karl. Any of the rest of us were fair game as far as he was concerned. He was treacherous. If you turned squarely around on him and started walking toward him, he would turn tail and leave, but the moment your back was turned, he would be running straight for you. It got so bad that the younger ones wouldn’t go outside without one of the older boys. That rooster was the only one Kirsten couldn’t tame. Evie loves to be outside, but was terrified of Nighty. She would run screaming to the house or to the nearest person if he so much as looked at her. Finally Edmund had enough of it. One day he caught Nighty, who had just chased Evie inside, grabbed his legs and snapped his head against a fence post before tossing him behind the barn.
         When Evie heard the news she ran outside at once and shouted, “Nighty’s dead! Nighty’s dead!”
         Kirsten and Rosalie were much quieter upon hearing the news but also took immediate advantage and spent the rest of the day playing happily outside.
         A day or two later, Evie was outside playing and singing, “Nighty’s dead! Nighty’s dead!” I was in the kitchen with the older boys when a sudden, shrill, terrified scream came from outside! The boys sprang to their feet in an instant, knocking over their chairs as they did so.
         “Nighty’s comin’ af’er me!” Evie’s holler sent us all into action. At once we rushed for the door. Edmund was first. Leaping off the porch he sprinted across the yard and scooped up Evie in his arms. I stared from the safety of the porch. There indeed was Nighty. His head was hanging down at a grotesque angle from a broken neck, and he was staggering straight for Edmund.
         “That beast!” Edmund exclaimed. “Here, David, take Evie, and I’ll deal with him.” That was easier said than done, for Evie refused to let go of Edmund. Try as they might, they couldn’t get Evie to leave Edmund. Meanwhile the rooster was coming closer and closer. Evie’s screams again rent the air, and Edmund gave up to the inevitable and said, “One of you can do it, and make a good job of it!”
         David caught the luckless rooster and Karl grabbed a hatchet. In another minute, the rooster was without his head. Unlike the other butchering of chickens they do, the boys didn’t let go of this one for some minutes after his head was off. If you don’t know chickens, they run around like crazy for a little bit after their heads have been chopped off. Nighty would most certainly have headed straight for Edmund and Evie.
         Evie was still clinging in terror to Edmund’s neck and crying, saying over and over, “Nighty’s af’er me! He is!”
         “No, Evie,” Edmund soothed. “David has him, and Karl is chopping off his head. He won’t be after you any more.”
         “But he comes back!” Her face was buried against his neck while her legs were wrapped tightly around his waist. She was shaking and trembling.
         Mama and I hurried over, but even with our combined effort, it made no difference. Edmund was the only one she wanted then, and it took nearly a quarter of an hour for him to just get her calmed down enough to raise her head.
         He took her to see that Nighty was really dead, and then they watched as he was buried. Still, it was almost a full hour later before Evie would let go of Edmund’s neck. She refused to go outside alone for two days after that, and will never go anywhere near where Nighty is buried, probably fearing that he will somehow come out of the ground and chase her. She has regained most of her courage by now, though she still looks warily at the barn when she passes it. The other way she was affected is that she dislikes any and all chickens. No longer will she go with Kirsten to feed and gather the eggs. She wants nothing to do with them. I can’t say that I blame her, can you?

 Would you have wanted to go play outside after that?
What did you think?

5 comments:

Andi Carter said...

This is a great one, Rebekah! Thanks for sharing it with Andi's readers!

Rebekah said...

You're welcome. Glad you enjoyed it. :)

Michaela said...

Great story! Thanks :)

Calamity Rene said...

I loved this. You said it was a true story, huh? That is hysterical! The day of the living rooster! ;) :D
Great job and thanks for posting, I thoroughly enjoyed it. :D

-Calamity Rene

Rebekah said...

Glad you enjoyed it, Michaela. Thanks for commenting.

Yep, Calamity Rene, it's a true story. The dad thought he'd killed the rooster, but it came back with a broken neck. When I heard the story I knew I had to include it in my book. :)