Not long after I lit out on my walk the other day, I happened upon this chicken. It crossed the road in front of me.
Two or three summers back, at the house from which this chicken so confidently began its stroll across the road, a rooster came to live. Shortly thereafter, life became hell. You know how roosters like to crow when daylight breaks the night? This is Alaska, and in the summer the night never does get dark. That rooster would crow all night long and would wake me up every damn time.
Fortunately, I spent most of the summer traveling out into what we call "The Bush" because that is where most of my work as a photographer takes place. Margie, however, stayed home and whenever I would return, I would find her living in a state of exhausted exasperation.
Still, I had to return every now and then and one night I found myself lying in bed, listening to that rooster. It was somewhere between 3:00 and 4:00 AM. Then the rooster made a loud "cock-a-doodle do!" followed by a sudden gunshot. It sounded like a .22. Nobody ever heard another crow from that rooster after that.
Silence ruled the rest of the night. I suspect that it was the owner - but the owner has never proven amenable to conversation, so I fear to ask. I think, though, that if a neighbor had shot the rooster, there would have been a ruckus, as I doubt the owner would have remained calmly inside his home.
I think the owner might have been desperate for sleep; I think too that he might have wanted to announce to the neighborhood that he was taking care of this problem and that is why he used a gun and not a hatchet.
He could even have wrung its neck, but he shot it. At least, that's what I surmise.
Summer's definitely over. More on this in the next post. Too lazy to post today's "new mountain snows" images right now.