Tuesday, April 24

Rojo's Belated Funeral

Rojo's open casket
Last fall, I posted the lyrics to the song Rojo about a red rooster. Our neighbors had named their red rooster Rojo in honor of this Archie Campbell song. I ended up finding a copy of the recording on ebay and purchased it for 99 cents. I gave the record to Coy Dan for his birthday.

This is an account of Rojo that as you can tell by the title ends is his belated funeral. Stay with me on this one...

Rojo's harem, as we called them, included several hens that Jennifer had brought down to keep him company. The pen they called home was a converted dog kennel. We added a wire top to keep them safe from varmits and they made themselves at home in the dog houses and on roost we built. Later in the year we decided it was getting too cold for the chickens to remain in that pen so one afternoon Jennifer and Glenda decided to move them to our house. They hadn't figured out yet what to do with Rojo, however, since we had roosters of our own. Jennifer and Glenda didn't want Rojo to get hurt by our roosters, so they left him in the pen by himself, just until the following day when we could figure out what to do with him or build him suitable shelter.

Coy Dan delivers the rooster eulogy

This was what Coy Dan called the first mistake that led to Rojo's demise. According to him, Glenda and Jennifer had broken poor little Rojo's heart by taking all his girls away.

That night, the wind had a biting cold to it. Rojo, exposed to the cold wind, stubbornly stayed perched on the roost where he and his harem spent most nights, only now he was alone (with a broken heart). Glenda, so well-intentioned, hung a blanket up as a wind-break.

Coy Dan can hardly keep a straight face explaining how this was the second and final mistake that killed Rojo: the blanket had a print on it of a wolves.

So Rojo, cold, alone and unloved, and now psychologically tortured by a giant wolf head in front of him had died in the night. While a necropsy was never performed either he died from this or more accurately "something got him" (which by the state of his body was much more likely).

Glenda and Jennifer were pretty broken up about Rojo's death. Coy Dan and I make light of the whole episode, but Glenda, Jennifer, and the Blakemore grandchildren really did become attached to Rojo and missed him immediately. More than a few tears were shed. Glenda asked Coy Dan to take care of the body so he did. We didn't see Rojo again.

Since that fall every time Rojo had come up Glenda would speak fondly of the rooster then close with "..and Dan probably just threw him on a brush pile somewhere." She couldn't have been further from the truth. Each time she would say this, Coy Dan would say nothing.

That day Rojo died, Coy Dan had built a casket and kept Rojo frozen in a deep freeze until two weekends ago. He was waiting for a chance to get his son, Bruce, and all of us over to have a proper funeral for Rojo. We celebrated Glenda's birthday and Rojo's funeral that night with Bruce singing Amazing Grace (and trying to keep a straight face)!

Bruce sings Amazing Grace for Rojo

Coy Dan is definitely committed to seeing a joke through. He once told me a series of jokes that on their own weren't that funny. The combination of all the jokes, (properly told several days apart) made for a good laugh. This one tops the cake however.

Glenda laughing

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1 comment:

Hal at Ranch Ramblins said...

At first, before I realized that this was a joke on the part of Coy Dan, I thought "Duane, there's not enough time in the world to conduct funeral rites for every chicken you lose."

I enjoyed this story, even though it is sad to lose an animal. Because the lifespan of our free-range fowl is measured in months around here, we try not to get too attached to them anymore, although that is difficult to do at times.