Charlie Chicken died today. I had no time to write about him because we only had him for a few days. Friday Claudia and I were walking in the park nearby and saw a beautiful rooster. This was very unusual and we were glad we hadn't taken the dog with us. We had heard a rooster in a nearby yard approximately two weeks previous, so I suggested Claudia go find this neighbor. We assumed it was a lost chicken - out from this person's yard. I stood and watched joggers, dog walkers and tennis players take no notice of the cock under the bush who had beautiful orange, gold and brown colors. Claudia returned with the Romanian Orthodox priest whose yard had housed the chicken coop we'd seen and heard on an earlier walk through the neighborhood. It took us a while to grab the chicken. "You can snatch him" said the Romanian Orthodox priest. "Just grab him when he tries to run by you." Between the three of us, the rooster out-chased us for many minutes. Though empathetic to our cause, priest explained it was not one of his chickens. One we had run around the bushes thrice and around a light pole by the tennis courts, across the street into more bushed, we flushed out a rabbit. And then cornering the cock near a fence, we finally captured him. The priest grabbed him. "He's old. You see the long spurs on his feet? That's how you can tell he's old."
"What should we name him?" Claudia asked.
"Charlie." I said. "Chuck. We'll name him Chuck. Rhymes with 'cluck'. Ha ha." I felt I could take a stab at naming the new found pet. After all, I did spot him first, and a silly name like Chuck added some levity to the undertaking.
By now it was understood that we would perform this park chicken rescue ourselves, but the priest would help us out. "I've got a small extra coop you can borrow." He said. Claudia had always wanted a chicken.
Once we got him into the backyard, I had to run to work. This was among the most bizarre mornings I'd experienced. I wondered out loud what the cats would think. We had talked about it before. But never did I think we'd find a rooster in Portage Park.