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Photo credit: http://enjokes.com/a-dunkey-with-a-dog/

It’s official. I make animals angry. For a number of reasons I still ignore, I am continually falling victim to animal antagonism. Poultry, canines, felines and birds all hate me and I’ve not been comfortable with the way some cows have been looking at me lately. I’m not often afflicted with paranoia, yet I cannot seem to shake off the feeling that there is a global conspiracy to scare the bejesus out of me.

My life is a mess. Every time I leave the house, I keep furtively glancing behind my back to see if the neighbours’ 90-pound bundle of joy (called Fluffy) will pounce upon me. I don’t feel safe anymore. Forget thieves, murderers or rapists, it’s the four-legged mammals and their winged, bipedal “cousins” that reduce this girl to a hollering cheer-leader from a B-rated horror movie. The worst thing is that sometimes I don’t even see it coming. Just the other day, I was passing a house with a tall hedge when all of a sudden the hound of Barkerville started producing noises not dissimilar to the war-cries of the Uruk-hai. These types of situations do not help my almost non-existent braveness.

Putting frightening dog stories aside, my true animal nemesis is the rooster. I’ve felt a dislike towards domestic fowl ever since I could remember. When I was three, I refused to visit a country fair because there were hens on display at the entrance. I was quite a rebel child in my day.

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Photo credit: http://www.entertainmentearth.com/item_archive/items/Family_Guy_Giant_Chicken__Peter_2Pack.asp

My worst rooster encounter took place some 15 years ago, at a time when there were no iphones and mobile phones were the size of portable radios. Wallowing in the pleasant languor of an Indian summer, I went to spend a few days with my cousins. My uncle is a farmer, so in addition to all the usual farm animals, they have a pretty big brood of hens at home. Naturally, the little harem wouldn’t be complete without his polygamous majesty the cock.

From the moment the vicious beast saw my sweet innocent face, it became clear that if the chance offered, he would gonna get me good. It was hate at first sight. Whenever I went out, I insisted that someone should accompany me (I was taking no chances). During my first day there, the damn thing went after me twice, but there was always someone around to shoo his fowl/foul tail away. Even though I escaped his filthy claws on both occasions, we both knew the time would come when there would be no one around. We didn’t have to wait long.

One day, we went to harvest potatoes. Since I had to use the bathroom, I returned to the main house before the others (Strike 1). As I was approaching the yard, all seemed calm and the Machiavellian bird was nowhere to be seen. I decided to venture further and as I was half-way across the drive, I heard a clucking sound. I was positive my imagination was playing tricks on me, so I didn’t pay any attention to it at first (Strike 2). Then, I heard it again and this time it sounded more like a cock crowing. Even before I turned my head around, I knew. I knew like you know about food poisoning – you feel it in your gut.

The rooster was coming for me.

– The six words I never want to hear uttered again as long as I live. – I had to act quickly. My plan was to get to the garage and lock the door. All in all, it seemed like a good strategy. Simple, easily-executable … Naturally, it was doomed to fail. As soon as I reached the garage door, I realized it was locked! The absurdity of the situation was not lost on me. I was going to die at the hands of an animal dumber than I.R. Baboon.

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Photo credit: http://www.giantbomb.com/irbaboon/94-7689/

Luckily, the survival instinct is strong with this one. I was determined not to go down without a fight. I sprinted around the house to the front door and thought I was saved. In my opinion, it had to be one of those days when Mars is in the seventh house because the front door was also very much locked. There was only one way out and it was through the woods. So, like every heroine in a fantasy thriller, I ran towards it and I ran fast.

You see, during my short cogitation the rooster jumped over a 4,5 ft high fence, which made me realize I was dealing with a mutant bird. When I sprang from the front porch, he was in fact so close behind that I felt definite touching. I ran with all my might and hoped to escape him. I don’t want to take any credit away from the current record-holders of 4×200 m relay, but I’m certain I set some sort of record that day. I reached the forest in no time and then I just followed the track to a clearing, about 0,5 mile away. In the meantime I gained sufficient advantage and left the bird “far” behind.

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Photo credit: http://jennyeatwellsrhubarbginger.blogspot.com/2012/05/meal-planning-for-new-week.html

Suffering from a severe oxygen-deprivation, I knew I needed to do something fast, because I didn’t have enough energy left to run all the way to the next village. Scouring the grounds for a potential murder weapon, I saw an 18 ft long branch and I grabbed it. In a few seconds, the crazy rooster was there. Undeterred from excessive running, he kept flapping his wings at me (the animal!). All I could do was to keep him at bay with Sticksaurus (pet name I gave to my giant stick – no dirty jokes, please). I was stuck and I did what every man in my position would do. I screamed for help. After what felt like an hour, but was actually only 15 minutes, my grandmother limped around the corner (I can be pretty loud when I put my mind to it) and chased the fowl away. No drama, no tears (except mine). She was my hero.

The rooster lived happily ever after and I was scar(r)ed for life. The end.

I’ve since read a lot articles on rooster psychology to see what might have triggered such a hostile reaction. They were all completely useless. It wasn’t until much later that I found the “real” reason for this unlawful manhunt. Apparently, the colour of my T-shirt (a lovely shade of sky-blue) brought on, I repeat, a completely unsolicited attack. (However, we both knew it was not the colour of my shirt, it was the deep-seated animosity between my species and his.) The fight is not over yet. My enemy might have passed away, but his progeny lives on.

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