Happy is a very small rooster. In fact of all seven chickens he is shorter by at least a head than every other chicken in his flock, he is thinner, he is not faster nor is he tougher. Happy, however, loves being a rooster and is convinced that he is the natural born leader of his group. He practices his crowing, he watches for danger as the others free range, eat and sleep and he leads by example most of the time.
There is only room for one top rooster and who gets the gig can determine many things like the number of hens who will be his mate and sometimes it can even determine who will live with the group and who will be banished depending on how the non top guy takes it.
Now if he read “Roostering for Dummies” Happy might figure he has no chance at the top spot. There’s another rooster in our group and, well, frankly he’s taller, beefier, has soft, downy grey feathers with a very sexy hairdo that looks like he’s gelled it straight up, rock star style. He walks with a noticeable swagger and without a lick of practice has a near perfect pitch crow. Happy is an archetype style rooster with a pink comb, a full chest and the skinniest little legs you’ve ever seen. While the other guy is a complete ladies man who when it comes to foraging scratches up his worms and gallantly stands back and entices one of the hens to feel free to help themselves, Happy is exceptionally serious and protects his flock with an iron claw. Judging by Henny Penny’s reaction to the competitor, he’s a heart throb.
But there’s a stark difference in the two guys, Happy really wants the job and believes without hesitation that it plays to his passion and strength. Star Moon, the other rooster, really just enjoys wooing the ladies and occasionally showing off by chest bumping Happy. Star Moon is not a serious rooster and Happy is.
But it is still not that simple. The top rooster is the one who gains the following through shear influence. The question becomes, when the rooster talks who listens? While we want to believe hard work wins the day we also secretly know that sometimes having talent and knowing how to use it can often be the predictor of success. Neither is more right than the other. It’s about knowing who you are, who you’re not and figuring out how to be credible when you communicate that. Becoming the top rooster is rigorous work.
Watching them, I could not tell who would be the next rooster idol and who would be the runner up. To some degree the hens are the judges and some of those judges have more sway than others. Star Moon has his fierce supporters and so does Happy. But ultimately it comes down to who will crow the important business and who will accept the orders. It’s been a white toe express the whole way.
Then this weekend came a defining moment. Happy stood on a plateau (as he often does looking very much the general) and heard something which caused him to sound the crow alarm. He made the noise, faced the flock and there it was–the moment fate found the rooster–not a feather moved, not a beak dipped and every head remained motionless. Happy had taken his rightful place despite the odds apparently stacked against him.
Like many of our most important moments it came with no fanfare. No balloons dropped, there was not a check presentation nor a plaque and Happy did not look like a celebrant. Instead he kept his head tilted back and continued watching for any possible threat. He cleared the chickens with another crow to go about their business and that’s how history was made.
Star Moon did not look disappointed. He, too, stopped and started on command and remained in the group with his cowboy swagger keeping his spot as the cool, good looking guy ready with a flirt and a worm. Life resumed in the coop as if nothing happened. Sometimes your dreams come true and you barely notice having believed all along it would happen.
I tried to congratulate Happy with a pet and snuggle but he was far too busy leading his kingdom. He’s a serious rooster without time for vanity.
Had Happy doubted the longing in his heart or the belief in his head he might have never had that moment on the bluff when his future came squarely into view, but he had no time for doubt and no option because he was compelled toward his natural place. He knew it was his place because he knew his truth.
This was not an easy thing for Happy to listen to his inner longings and stick with them no matter how many other roosters showed up to deny him or hens doubted him. But Happy knew himself and understood that playing to his strength would be his contribution and so he persisted. He did what gave him strength and stayed away from what made him weak and so he became the top rooster.
Happy believed, acted and accepted the outcome. He’s a brave chicken.
For me this blog is my bluff and I am waiting to see if fate will find me. If it does quickly or slowly it will happen because as Happy taught me the value is in knowing the truth, following your passion and believing in it. Now I just need to keep practicing my crow, no matter how imperfectly it begins.