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The Crowing Bantam

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The Crowing Bantam

It was 3:30 AM and that Bantam Rooster, Banti's Grandpa called them, was crowing away. The sun wasn't near up and that little guy was sitting on the barn yard fence just crowing his lungs out. He was wide awake now and he knew that Grandpa would be too. He hurried down to the kitchen to see. "Hi Grandpa, " he said as he ran into the kitchen.

"Oh! So that little pole cat rooster woke you up too has he?" His grandpa replied with a scowl. "That dirty rotten pup! He wakes us up at all hours!"

Grandpa had the small 22 caliber rifle in his arms and he had determination in his eyes. That rooster had been awakening us for the past two weeks now at 3:30 in the morning. Everyone was upset, he knew that, but he didn't want Grandpa to shoot him! "Grandpa do not kill him!" he pleaded painfully.

Grandpa looked at him and smiled. "We're not going to kill him Bob, only frighten him." He didn't know what that meant but he knew if Grandpa said it, that it was the truth.

"What are you doing with the 22 Grandpa?" he asked still afraid of the answer.

"We're going to give that rooster a surprise this morning. One he won't forget too! Get you coat on and come on, but be quiet."

Bob got his coat and hat and went out the door to the back steps. There was Grandpa just sitting and waiting. "What are we going to do?" he whispered now.

"I went to town today and bought these special shells for the 22, Bob. They are bb shot like we use with the shot gun. They will sting but not kill." Bob knew that bb shot was what they used to hunt partridge and ducks with the shot gun, but he had never heard of it with the 22. But if Grandpa said it he believed it.

They sat quietly now on the steps waiting and watching. He didn't know for what, but he waited because his grandpa did. Then he saw what grandpa was waiting for. The little Bantam rooster was walking out of the barn now and out into the barn yard. Grandpa loaded the single shot 22 and raised the gun waiting. The little rooster hopped up onto the barnyard fence and then up onto one of the fence posts. Grandpa took careful aim. The rooster was facing us as he crowed…"****-a-doodle-doo." Grandpa didn't fire. The rooster crowed again and still Grandpa didn't fire.

He asked him " Grandpa, aren't you going to shoot?"

"Not until he's facing away from us" was grandpa's reply.

"Why?' he asked insistently.

"Because I don't want to hurt him, only frighten him and to do that I have to hit him in the tail feathers!" "now shush!" Grandpa told him.

They watched together for nearly an hour as the rooster crowed and crowed. Then finally the rooster was on the fence post again and this time facing way from them. Grandpa took careful aim and just as the rooster crowed, grandpa shoot, POW ! The rooster squawked and a few feathers flew. The rooster jumped up into the air and ran into the barn.

For the next hour and a half they just sat there on the steps, waiting. The rooster was in the barn. He wasn't coming out to crow. Then at 6:30 he poked his head out and looked all around. Cautiously the little rooster strode out of the barn. Cautiously, he hopped onto the fence post again. Very cautiously he looked around to crow and again just as he did, POW! Grandpa shot again. Again the rooster jumped into the air with a squawk and ran into the barn.

"Let's go eat Granny's breakfast. It should be ready by now" His grandpa said.
So they got up and went in to breakfast.

"Well did you kill it?" Granny asked with a hint of anger.

"No only wounded his pride is all" Grandpa replied.

"We only used 22 bb shot granny" he told her with a smile. She immediately softened.

"OH! That's different! Do you think it will work, Will? She asked.

"I hope so, otherwise we'll have to have rooster roast for Sunday dinner Nellie." He replied.

It was almost 8:30 when they finished breakfast and they hadn't heard the rooster at all. Grandpa looked out and motioned him to come to the window. "Here he comes." The rooster was very cautiously coming out of the barn. He looked all around now wondering what had happened. Very, very slowly he walked to the fence. He looked like he wanted to jump up but something kept him from doing it. The rooster walked around in a circle and then cocked his head and crowed one very quick weak crow and ran for the barn. We all laughed. The rooster was so funny. After the rooster got into the barn he peeked out and then went back in. He was still in the barn at noon when granny and I collected the eggs.

The next morning every thing was quiet. His alarm went off at 6:30 but no rooster crow. He went down to breakfast and there was grandpa. "Watch this Bob" grandpa motioned him to the window. There was the rooster peeking out of the barn. But he wouldn't come out. They ate breakfast and still no rooster crowing was heard. They did the dishes and still no crowing was heard. It was 8:30 and they heard the quick, weak, single crow they heard the day before. The rooster had retreated into the barn when they looked out.

"Well, I'd say he's a good rooster now!" grandpa announced with pride. "Yes sir he's an 8:30 rooster." Now this family can sleep in the morning when they want to." Grandpa was beaming with pride.

That rooster crowed every morning at 8:30 after that. Only once. A weak, single, crow and then ran back into the barn until granny and I collected the eggs. Then, and only then the rooster took his place in the barn yard. We were never again to be awakened at 3:30 in the morning with rooster crows. The rooster had been trained to crow at 8:30. He was after all an 8:30 rooster, Grandpa said so!

© Copyright 1996 Robert L. Lehmann
Hi Bob,
I enjoyed reading the rooster story. Reminds me of days on the farm as a child. Except my dad and grandfather used to get the axe out.. The fate of those poor roosters haunts me to this day! I like your story much better :)
We're so lucky to have a patient Heavenly Father who gives us plenty of warnings!

2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slow to do what he has promised, as some think. Instead, he is patient with you, because he does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants all to turn away from their sins.

That's what the story of the rooster reminds me of.
Have a good day!

Prayers for peace,
The easiest solution to the Crowing Bantam would have been a "rooster dinner," but my Grandfather wanted to try to train him to discourage his bad behavior and encourage a better behavior. I think our Heavenly Father has always discouraged bad behavior and encouraged good behavior and has been patient with us to realize our mistakes and to choose rightly.

Many people told my Grandfather he was crazy for trying this behavior change experiment, just as the devil tells us that we can't do it and we aren't worthy and we'll never succeed. But God is in control and we only need trust Him and His word.

God Bless

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