Cock-a-Doodle Do

One year when my two youngest children were 13 and 9, we decided to take a day trip from our home in Detroit to London, Ontario, in Canada. It was the first time our children would be going into another country. They were very excited about it, so we started out fairly early in the morning.

We planned on taking them to the Story Book Zoo in London. The weather wasn't too promising, but we all agreed to go anyway.

When we got to the zoo, there weren't many cars in the parking lot. It threatened rain, but we decided to take the chance that it wouldn't. The ticket lady told us we could get our money back if it was rained out. As we entered the gates of the zoo, there was a friendly rooster there to greet us. He came up to all of us as if to say, "Welcome." We all got a kick out of that.

As we proceeded to the first exhibit, which was Jack and the Beanstalk, the rooster followed us. We thought that comical, but then my husband Bob said to the rooster, "Go back to the gate, you have to greet the other people coming to visit."

The rooster looked at him as if to say, "Maybe you're right," but instead of turning around, he pecked my husband twice on the leg. That didn't go over too well, so we all started to walk fast to get away from the rooster. That didn't work. He walked as fast as we did, and when he got to my husband, pecked him again.

For the next half hour it was the battle of the rooster and Bob. The kids ran ahead out of sight as I stood by and gave advice, which didn't do any good. For the next 10 minutes we tried to figure out how to get away from this aggressive fowl. There wasn't anyone else around, so my husband took his jacket off and started swinging it at the bird. That sort of stopped him for a while, but as soon as we went around a corner, there was the rooster waiting for him.

There was a small arena with bleachers. I told my husband to go up on them. I didn't think the rooster would follow him, so he did. The rooster sort of looked up, scratched the ground a little, and then decided to go somewhere else.

Bob came down and we thought that would be the end of it. The kids were all excited now, had seen many of the sights before us, and were telling us all that they saw. I told them to calm down, that we would get there eventually to see what they had seen.

About half an hour later, as we were approaching a tree that had a rope spider web in it and a huge, black fake spider, which was for the kids to climb on. The kids were all excited. Bob and I sat on a bench nearby to watch them. We were enjoying the rest, when all of a sudden my husband jumped up and started to yell. That pesky rooster had snuck up behind the bench and pecked him in the leg again.

This was the last straw. We had seen some of the zoo, the kids had seen most of it, and we were getting hungry so we decided to leave. All the way back to the gate, the rooster followed us. Nothing like looking over one's shoulder, but this time the rooster stayed his distance. As we got to the gate, the rooster stopped. He seemed he knew he couldn't go beyond, but he spread out his wings and gave a big, "cock-a-doodle do."