An Unusual Pet

In response to a recent article posted by Faye on her webpage about the same subject.

by J Pinsent

In our family we had all sorts of pets while growing up, dogs, cats, rabbits, frogs, hamsters, goldfish and even a rooster. Each and every one had a personality and had a lasting relationship and memory but this rooster was unique. It wasn’t supposed to be a pet.

We had been holidaying in Ladle Cove, our family’s ancestral home, when my brother witnessed a chick being hatched. He insisted he wanted the chick as a pet. All six year olds being six years olds got what they desired and the chick arrived back in Gander as part of our family.

We had previously had a pet rabbit that had met his demise sometime earlier so my dad converted his pen into a chicken coop with a netting over the little exercise yard,  made to ensure the chicken couldn’t escape or be attacked from predators. As the chicken matured, we were informed that the chick was a “he” and not a “she” as we previously assumed and now became a rooster. This in itself created another problem. The young rooster, that we named “Charlie” (no TV in those day, so the name “Rusty” was not known), assumed his role of a rooster and crowed every morning at daylight and several other times during the day. I can hear my father sputtering about that “damm” rooster and what trouble it was creating with the excess noise in our peaceful Army Side neighbourhood.

I knew my parents were planning something with all that whispering going on. I eavesdropped as much as I could to determine just what was about to take place. But to no avail. Then this one Sunday morning, the rooster didn’t crow. Ah ah. I say to myself. I was pretty smart for a 11 year old you know. Something is amiss here. It wasn’t too long before the familiar odour of dinner cooking was in the air. In Nfld. the mid day meal is always known as ‘dinner’ and on a Sunday it was an event. This intrigued my suspicious curiosity. It was definitely the smell of chicken or maybe it was a ‘rooster’.

The first thing I do is go out and check the chicken coop. No Charlie. I approached my mother who could never tell a lie, even if her life depended on it. “Is that Charlie in the pot?” I ask. “Sush” my mother says “Don’t say anything to your bother”. She didn’t say it was Charlie, but then she didn’t say it wasn’t. That was enough for me. My suspicions started to look good.

As we all sat around the dinner table, feasting on this delicious meal, I can’t help myself. This is just too much to keep in. So I say, “Gee Dad, Charlie sure does taste good”.  It was a shot in the dark I know but I was sure it was him I was eating. Then that look of guilt on dad’s face and my mother’s look of anguish, I knew I hit the nail dead on. My brother opened his mouth and spit his half chewed mouthful of chicken on his plate. He started to cry and berated my parents for their cruelty.

I just smiled at the satisfaction of being right, as usual, and kept right on eating Charlie. He tasted great.


 Morley & I