Pat’s fowl history extends beyond Sonny the parrot.
It involves strange roosters in obscure junk yards.
Pat needed a car part. Our town boasted a large junk yard, so the family piled into the good automobile to run for the part for the temperamental car.
Not sure why this was a family outing. Maybe because we were headed out toward “the country” and dad wanted us to see some wildlife. Or maybe he wanted company. Or just someone take out mechanically induced frustration on and he figured the children's legs would be the equivalent of a stress ball. There was a guaranteed opportunity for leg grabbing since the backseat would boast of at least one fight because we’d be in the car for over five minutes.
Regardless of the reason we were along – we became witnesses to an event we wouldn’t have believed if we didn’t see it unfold.
Pat left us all in the car while he disappeared behind the dilapidated fence. A quaint farm house sat to the left of the junk yard. We watched a woman as she weeded until she went back inside. None of us heard a barking junk yard dog, so we assumed Pat was safe. Eventually the tension around my mother's eyes faded and we relaxed into the assumption that this was indeed just a simple errand on a beautiful day.
As soon as I had that thought I spied Pat rounding the corner headed back to the car. As he drew closer to the car he started dancing a little jig. Wow, he must’ve gotten a great deal on that part.
Mom leaned forward and squinted. “What is he doing?”
So maybe it wasn’t the “I got a bargain dance.” Pat started laughing, but his hoots and hollers were interrupted with strange muttering and threats.
That’s when we noticed the rooster. A large white junk yard rooster attacked Pat’s legs with beak, spurs and enthusiasm. Pat spent his trip back to the car avoiding, dancing, kicking and laughing. Finally, he reached the car, opened the door and slid in, kicking all the while.
The woman from the farmhouse opened her door. “Henry!” The rooster took off, headed back to his house clucking in victory.
Change. I've learned to embrace it, ride it out til the end. Sometimes I'm kicking and screaming, other times weeping with my eyes clinched tight. Once in awhile I ride like a dog in a car, head out the window snorting what life has to offer. Mother to young adult children, a marriage of thirty years, and a desert to mountain to valley waltz with God have shaped me into someone I never imagined I'd be. Life is short and I want to live it. Tears, sighs, laughter and change. Every morsel granted to me. Scrambled, shaken or stirred.