4/23/13

Tuesday Tale: The Story of Geezer


Due to some recent Google updates, I had to change my Blogger profile picture in order to merge all my online profiles into one account. From now on, whenever I leave a comment you'll see "me" instead of the little rooster I've used for my profile for the last six years. I would have preferred to keep it the way it was, because the rooster in that picture was kind of special to me. Before I "retire" his image for good, I want to tell you his story.




When Hubby and I were first married, we moved into a little house in an older subdivision not too far from town. Since we both grew up in the country, living in the middle of all that hustle and bustle was a major adjustment for both of us. My Mom was not in good health at that time and we were trying to live as close to her as we could, but the property values in that area made any available land way out of our budget. But we were happy~ oh, so happy~ with our little home and each other... and after a while it wasn't so bad living there because we had a large back yard and a good deal of privacy, thanks to the overgrown lot behind us, so it was for the most part a quiet neighborhood.
Now, those of you that have read my blog for awhile know that I've kept chickens ever since I was a little girl.... but a few weeks before we were to be married I reluctantly decided to sell the last few chickens I had since I would soon be moving to "the city" and couldn't take them with me. And since Dad was having to care for Mother, I didn't want him to have to worry about taking care of my chickens. It was not an easy thing to do either, and I think I cried for several days before I got over selling my precious birds. But I never said a word to Hubby.....

We went to the fair that first year we were married, and just like I had done all my life, my first stop was the poultry barn where all the 4-H kids had their prized chickens on display. I happily walked down each row, swooning over all the gorgeous plumage and handsome combs.
And then, I saw him.
An odd little fellow... unlike any chicken I had ever seen before. He was short- so short in fact, you could just see his feet and not his legs... but he had a beautiful silvery plumage that draped his neck and finished with a black flourish of tail feathers. I immediately fell in love. And he had the cutest little girlfriend~ a solid white version of himself. But I could also tell this rooster was old... his feathers had a sort of ragged look to them that only comes with age. I knew they wouldn't win any prizes or ribbons, but apparently someone thought they were worthy enough for a show. And he sure acted the part~ he held his little head high like a king, even though he was dwarfed on both sides by two huge Orpington roosters. I inquired about their owner and was given a name on a slip of paper. After we left the fair, however, I quickly came to my senses and realized a rooster in a quiet subdivision would not be a very good idea. But a few days later my sweet Hubby came to me and told me he always secretly knew I had been sad about selling my other chickens, and that if I wanted the strange little rooster and hen we saw at the fair, he would build a small coop for them in the backyard where no one could see them. *squeal*
(Now that is love... *blush*)

So, we set about trying to contact the man who had the chickens, and after a couple of weeks we were finally ready to pick them up. Once home, we set them up a makeshift coop that could be moved back into the garage at night until Hubby finished the permanent coop. Soon, their new home was done and they were moved outside... but they were so terrified, they wouldn't even come out of the box. We soon figured out that this was quite possibly the first time in their lives they had been outside- as in, not just outside a coop- but outside, in the open, with birds flying overhead, the breeze blowing, and bugs moving through the tall cool grass. I was so sad at this thought, but so happy when they finally started getting used to their surroundings, sometimes to the point where they would gleefully hop around in this strange new world on their short little legs.

Of course they needed names, and Geezer's was easy.... the way he got around reminded you of a doddering old man. The hen's name was a little harder... but it came to me one day after several weeks of us helping Geezer get into the coop at night~ his feeble little legs prevented him from making it up the walk so every night we picked him up and set him inside. The little hen finally figured out this arrangement, and one night she just sat on the ground as if she was waiting for us to pick her up, too~ like royalty waiting on her servants to attend to her. I thought it was hilarious for a little hen to have such a big attitude, so from then on she was known as "The Duchess."

For the next year, Geezer and Duchess lived the kind of life most chickens only dream about... and I was thrilled to be able to hear a faint little crowing early in the morning and get an occasional tiny egg from The Duchess, who apparently only laid one when she felt like it.  The whole situation was sometimes comical, because no one in the neighborhood could figure out where the crowing was coming from... it was so weak it sounded like it was a mile away. Our neighbors across the street would sometimes stop us and ask, "do you guys hear that rooster that crows every morning?" to which we would look try to look surprised and not laugh while saying, "why, no... we haven't..."

Four days before mine and Hubby's second wedding anniversary, my beloved Mother passed away... and Hubby and I were able to realize our dream of moving away from the city and back to the country. We had big plans, not only for our house but all the wonderful chicken coops we would build someday... but sadly, six months after moving to our new home, Geezer passed away in his sleep. The Duchess lived for almost another year, until she too passed away...
I will always hold a special place in my heart for these funny little birds, because at a time in my life when I needed to feel a connection to my roots, I was given an amazing gift to fill that void~ even if only for a short time. Sleep tight, sweet Geezer and Duchess..... you will never be forgotten.


30 comments:

  1. That was a very touching story about Geezer and Duchess. I love that you gave an ole guy and girl a second chance at a better life. I am sure they thought they hit the jackpot when you adopted them. You have such a good heart!

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  2. This is a very touching story. I love the crow part where people couldn't really figure out where it came from. I'm so glad you gave Geezer and Duchess a better life. Most people wouldn't bother with old chickens.

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  3. Oh what a beautiful story.
    Thank you for sharing.
    I so love my chickens too.
    Woolie JOY
    Trace

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  4. Hi Paula!
    How sweet! Thank you for sharing Geezer's story. I had to reach for the tissues, but I loved it. I love my chickens, too.
    Have a wonderful week!

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  5. silly me, i have tears in my eyes. what a wonderful wonderful story. so happy they had a good life for the last few years.

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  6. a most wonderful story of these two - and how you gave them the best days of their lives. i will miss that little rooster photo, although you are a very pretty woman.

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  7. Love to see your photo, Paula, but I'll miss the little rooster, too. It's nice to know his name. They were Japanese bantams, weren't they? I have some, too, and that's why I still have so many little birds... I loved their dad/grandpa, Fred.

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  8. Sweet story, Paula; it shows us what a compassionate heart you have. And it's so wonderful you and hubby were able to get your place in the country so you can have animals.

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  9. Ahhh Paula, what a sweet story! I will admit to wiping a tear while reading it. So glad you gave Geezer and Duchess a good home for their golden years. You are a sweetheart. Sounds like your hubby is too. You two make a great pair. Have a wonderful day, my sweet friend.

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  10. sweet story - thanks for sharing with us - I like the avatar picture of your sweet face but now know what the rooster pic meant to you

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  11. Oh Paula, i loved this story...Geezer and the Duchess were beautiful...Someday soon i will be keeping some little hens...I can feel it coming...

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  12. Such a beautiful story from such a warm and loving heart. I have missed you...

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  13. What a sweet story. I love your heart, Paula.

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  14. Those special animals in our lives sure can't be forgotten.

    I waited and waited for that squeal. I knew you had to do it, eventually.

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  15. Aww, this is so touching.. You are a beautiful person with a heart of gold. I was stuck on every word and it brought tears to my eyes.. Those chickens were royalty. Like you I was raised around chickens all of my life and would love to have some now but the last ones we had the critters got them in the coop... My heart was broken.. Thank you so much for sharing this with us all.. xoxo

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  16. giving them a good home and a good end is part of our stewardship responsibilities. you've done well.

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  17. Aw I adore my chickens . Great story .

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  18. Special animals deserve a special home. So glad these two finally found theirs.

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  19. Well, gosh, Paula, you made me cry. I love this story and their names were just perfect.

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  20. Oh, this story touched my heart. Thank-you for telling it Paula.

    I noticed your profile picture had changed. You are a very pretty lady.

    I think having chickens now and enjoying them so much, it would be hard for me to give them up. I had to laugh at you and your husband looking innocent as your neighbor asked if you were hearing a rooster. :)

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  21. What a beautiful story Paula!!!

    hugs, Doreen

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  22. Thanks for sharing that Paula. Isn't it funny how some animals just give us so much joy and we never forget them. I have similar stories. That was a beautiful set of chickens...I don't think I've ever seen any that color and size. I may never get to have any poultry or sheep, so I really enjoy keeping up with yours and others. Keep on posting!
    Debbie

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  23. PS...Love the gorgeous picture of you!

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  24. Now THAT's love - your husband is a jewel, Paula!

    And I love this story of Geezer and Duchess. I'm so glad you got to have them at the end of their lives! Thanks for sharing this story!

    Funny how we assign personalities and human qualities to our chickies, isn't it!

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  25. Oh Yeah! I needed Another reason to cry this morning...Hahahaaa....omWord!!!
    PRECIOUS story Paula! Loved the part where Dutchess decided SHE needed to be carried as Well!!Hahaa...too sweet!
    We never forget our "babies" do we...
    (((HUG)))

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  26. Oh Paula~This touched my heart so much. I will have this story somehow as part of my own now. Thank you for it dear-it's beautiful.

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  27. Cześć Paula :)
    Ja też mam takiego kogucika to mój pupil nazywa się rycerzyk i ma problem z okiem a raczej z jego brakiem , mam nadzieję że Cię niczym nie uraziłam jak co to wybacz .
    Ściskam Ilona

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  28. Oh Paula,,,that story is right up there with the sock monkey story. Great stuff. I can just see you pretending like you didn't hear a thing when the neighbors said....haha.

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