Thursday, November 12, 2009

R.I.P. Uncle Jessie

If you came to our house this summer, you were most likely greeted at the front door by Uncle Jessie.  My lovable rooster.  I love Uncle Jessie.  Let me share with you how it all came to be...

I was visiting a friend's farm when I first laid eyes on the big guy.  It was love at first sight, he was one of the most beautiful roosters I had ever seen.  By the end of my stay, they had talked me into taking him home with me.  He was going to end up in the soup pot.  How could I say no?

I happily hopped into the back seat of the car with my new friend.  By the time we got to the McDonald's drive-through window, he had climbed right up into my lap and was snoring loudly.  (Mickey D's informed us that he was the first rooster to come through their drive-through.  I have a hard time believing that, those drive-through people have seen everything...)

When we got home, he was named Uncle Jessie (yes, Captain Awesome LOVES the Dukes of Hazzard...) and was put in with his new lady friends.  But, alas! Uncle Jessie was not happy with his new harem.  A day later, I realized those new relationships were just not going to work out.  It appeared those ladies didn't fully realize the potential they had in befriending poor little Uncle Jessie.  To put it succinctly, he was in dire danger of becoming henpecked.

What to do?  I brought him up to the house and fashioned a fenced-off area with a cattle panel.  Uncle Jessie seemed pretty happy with his new arrangement.  Relieved, I went into the house, only to come out 20 minutes later to no Uncle Jessie!  What on earth, where did my little buddy go?  (Something that big and clumsy can actually fly???) I frantically raced around the front yard calling for him.  He was nowhere to be found.  Big Fireman was in the garage, under the car: "Honey, Uncle Jessie is GONE!"  I got this reply, "Kate, look under the car."  Lo and behold, Uncle Jessie was sitting right by hubby helping him fix the brakes. Nose to beak, they were...   I fell even more madly in love.  A rooster that is such a good buddy he will even fix the car with you!

Oh, the summer we had together!  I spent all my time outdoors just visiting with my new friend. We would weed the garden together, play games together, read, and just hang out and be ourselves.  We were so tight we didn't even have to talk, we were just content to be together.  And how he loved his new home!  He had the run of the garden and, let me tell you, he kept it bug free.  He was my personal doorman.  He would run and greet each and every visitor, and you haven't lived until you have had a Rooster Doorman. 

Sadly, one morning, as I was letting Uncle Jessie out of his night home (I didn't want any coyotes getting him), Uncle Jessie popped up, then flopped over.  All that day he hung out in one spot, and then, the next day, Uncle Jessie took his last breath under his favorite cherry tree.

We all miss our Uncle Jessie.  Gone is the cheery clucking from the front step.  Gone is the sweet scratching in the dirt.  Even the dog misses him.  Best buddies, those two.  The kids miss him, even Big Fireman misses him.  It's lonely out in that garage now.

To pay homage to the dearly departed, the big girls had a rooster funeral.  Sweet Bluebird and her friends played dress-up and laid my buddy to rest.  Of course, my sister and her family were over, so my niece,  Annie, joined in on the dress-up fun.  It was a hilarious night, we swapped tales of the little guy, then I plucked his feathers to use in craft projects.

I will always have a place in my heart for my little buddy. Relationships like ours are a once-in-a-lifetime thing. He can never be replaced.

But I do wonder if there is a Boss Hogg out there somewhere that would be happy in my garden?  A Cletus, perhaps???


  1. Ironically it would not surprise me at all to pull up to your house and see a 300lb pig in your garden. I'm hoping you get Boss Hog next :)

  2. Rach- they wanted me to take a pig also... Maybe next summer???

  3. Me for Boss Hog...I can smell him now!

  4. Poor guy. Sounds like he was a lovely friend. We had 2 pet chickens for a while - Gene and Sheila (named after our loveable retired neighbors). After they spent a couple of years in their electrified abode in our backyard, we brought them to live on a farm nearby with lots of other chicks. Our couple set up house in the laundry "shack" - they were not used to living in a henhouse and scrapping for their supper!

  5. What a funny story! I can just picture Big Fireman huffing feathers out of his mouth while trying to work on his car. Bet he cried the hardest at the funeral...

  6. this is both the sweetest and saddest story i have read in a long time! Uncle Jessie was gorgeous! i can totally relate because when i was a little girl i too had a pet rooster, named Freckles. i named him Freckles when he was a chick...before i knew he was actually a he. we enjoyed many adventures together before he went off to live in a real farm (we had to get rid of our chickens due to an imposed "no livestock" ordinance in our rural community). it was so sad to see him go.

  7. What a wonderful story. Until you've raised a chicken as a PET, you can never know how incredibly wonderful they can be. Such good company, and excellent entertainment. Ours would hop up on the bed each morning to greet us. Her name was Zsha Zsha. Long story, but chickens are such great little friends.