Roopert had ruled over his kingdom for several years. He felt secure in his position but he was always on the lookout for threats to his crown. He made sure that all who entered his kingdom knew his absolute power.
His main political rival had been Red. Red had appeared one day, and by birth, Red was the crown prince, owing to the fact he was the only other rooster there. But Red didn’t have any fight in him. One quick spat, and Red knew his place. Red took his two hens, one of which Roopert suspected was Red’s own daughter, and kept to himself. All the better, as Roopert didn’t want to be reminded that one of his hens had cheated on him. He could take his daughter and stay in the far end of the run. Red did mostly nothing all day, except hang out with his two hens, so Roopert was happy to just keep a distant eye on him.
Life was good. Roopert only demanded complete obedience from his hens, and they provided. When he yelled for them, they came. He gave them treats to appease them, and they were appreciative of the small favor. And when he wanted those treats, they got out of his way. Although he did notice a bit of unease in the ranks. Sometimes the hens seemed to resist his demands. He had to yell several times for them to obey. One hen in particular, Belvedere who was older than Roopert, and thrice his size, seemed to be the ringleader. He saw her whispering with the other hens.
She’d immediately start clucking nonsense when he approached, so he was never quite sure what she had been saying to the others. The thought of losing his crown was horrific, especially with Red in the ready to scoop it up, so he knew he had to get to the bottom of it. Luckily, there was a delicate hen, so gentle and unassertive, he knew he could find out what was going on. He had seen her with Belvedere, she surely knew what was going on.
She spilled the beans. She told them about the hens being unhappy with his dominating rule, and how much they wished they they were with Red instead, who was a casual rooster and always seemed happy with his hens. Roopert was infuriated. Someone had to be punished. His initial thought was the hen who was formulating the plan, but he quickly abandoned that thought, as she was so much bigger than him, and kind of scary. He considered Red, but since Red was so peaceful and kept to himself, he knew he would would come off as the jerk, instead of Red, who clearly was the jerk. Instead, he picked Lil’ Cochin, the squealer, who was so easy to trick, it was pathetic. And just like magic, he made her disappear.
It was simple enough, really. There was a hole in the mesh around the run that the stupid humans hadn’t noticed. Lil’ Cochin loved to check things out, so he simply told her to take a look. She did, and then couldn’t get back in. She was a sitting duck for the next predator that came by.
He didn’t tell the other chickens how easy it was, just let them believe that he was powerful enough to make them disappear if he wanted. It scared them, and he knew he was triumphant.
There was just one flaw in his plan. The stupid humans were just as devastated about the loss of Lil’ Cochin, perhaps even more so than his hens. Their solution to her loss was to keep bringing in more chickens, which meant either more potential rivals, or more hens to be put in their place. Keeping his crown was going to be a lifelong battle.
They brought a group of silkies.
Silkies were pushovers. He didn’t need to worry about them. But, as they got older, he started to wonder. 3 of them were roosters, and that was just too many. They reminded him of the raptors in Jurassic World, a movie he had totally seen, in spite of the fact he’s a rooster and doesn’t usually go to the movies. The silkies moved in a pack, and could quickly surrounded and potentially overpower a chicken. They made him uncomfortable.
In a stroke of luck, they seemed to make the humans uncomfortable as well. One day, a silkie rooster was snatched up, and carried away, never to be seen again. The only downside to this was that the humans also took some of his hens, lowering the overall ratio, and making the flock even more of a sausage fest.
He began to pick fights with the silkies. He was older, and way tougher than them, he knew. He even conducted a training montage, just like in Rocky, which he was sure would make him the overall winner in this battle of superiority. Plus, he was way better looking than they were, and had the regal bearing of a king. He was determined to hang onto his crown.
At first, he quickly overpowered them, but as the roosters grew up, they turned the tables on him, and started becoming the challengers. A silkie would come up to him, and they would have a bro-down.
Roopert figured that they were teenage roosters, so maybe once they learned their place all would be well. It certainly worked with Red. After a few bro-downs, it did seem to be working, the silkies stopped challenging him, and an uneasy peace came about.
But he noticed them lurking around, hanging out where they shouldn’t be. Those were his hens, why were they hanging out with them!? It was an outrage.
He wondered if he should do something. If they choose to challenge him again, it could be disastrous. Two silkie roosters against just him was a bit too much, even if he had been keeping up with his training montages. Maybe he should look for help from one of his hens. The obvious choice was Fluffers, head hen of all creation. Although she was not part of the Belvedere’s rebellion attempt, she was so independent that she rarely listened to Roopert. She just did her own thing, all the time. She was such a respected figure in the coop, he was sure she would help him.
She listened to his situation and agreed something much be done. She thought those silkies were getting too uppity, too. She said she knew of a Roman garden that would be perfect for scheming, and asked him to meet her there the following day, and they would formulate a plan. He agreed.
As he went to roost that night, another chicken brushed against him. He was shuffling to get comfortable when he heard a soft cluck. “Beware the ides of February.” He jumped, and then looked around. The chicken was gone.
The following day, he approached the garden. It was a bitterly cold morning, and more than anything he wanted to be in the coop with the other chickens, roosted together for warmth. He could distantly hear their soft clucks as they idly gossiped.
As he entered the garden, Fluffers stepped out from behind a column, and there was a moment when they both stood, just looking at each other. But suddenly, he was smashed into from both sides. It was the silkie roosters, who had also just watched Jurassic World, and learned some pretty neat moves from the raptors. Roopert knew he’d been pecked in the back.
From the darkness, a few more chickens stepped out and watched, silently. It was over as quickly as it began. The silkies roosters stepped back, and Roopert had a clear view of Fluffers, watching him.
Warning: Dramatic reenactment of chicken violence. Mature audiences only.
There was silence. As Roopert closed his eyes, and fell still, the watching hens changed their gaze to the silkie roosters. What could they expect from their new flock leaders? Could two roosters share the role of flock leader? Was this just the start of a chicken civil war?
Only time would tell.
In memory of Roopert, tiny bantam game rooster, who may or may not have been killed in an insurrection, and whose cause of death could also be contributed to a heart attack, brain aneurysm, or ball lightning.
RIP – You will always be remembered as a tiny prick.