Magazín Bilingüe de Sátira Política, Humor, Anécdotas, Cuentos, MASCOTAS y Algo de Literatura Puertorriqueña
Bilingual Magazine of political satire, Humor, Anecdotes, Short Stories, Pets and Mascots and some puertrorrican literature
San Juan--Puerto Rico
Like a Cockroach in a Hen Dance
In a place not so far away but much closer than we imagine, a countryman(farmer) dedicated his farm to breed fowl. He had various hen-houses and cherished the hope of transforming such endeavor in his ‘our daily bread’. A previous owner had mortgaged the land and drained the birds expecting much more than what corresponded to the poor nutrition he provided them with.
After a good cleanup and having chopped the branches of the trees that were closer to the cages, the area changed its appearance. A small stream provided fresh water and the breeze maintained a pure atmosphere. The sunlight was just adequate to keep the ground dry, but with little effort the birds could rake to loosen the soil and bathe. It was fertile enough to scratch and obtain their dietary protein requirements: the land worms. The nests were comfortable, roofed and well ventilated. Behind the wire fence was mister rooster, his harem of twenty-two hens and a hundred chicks, now fed with the best corns.
Everything was going fine until one day an immense cockroach appeared and pretended to cross through the corral. Just imagine! It caused such a commotion that some ran in pursuit of the insect and others scared, cackled jumping and flying without knowing the cause of all the hassle. To no avail were the ideal conditions, peace and tranquility, and the situation required immediate attention. Mister rooster convened an emergency assembly and having gathered his partisans the following day, the order was called to consider the matter.
- “My beloved and dearest hens, I have convoked this meeting to attend the crisis that was provoked yesterday by an enormous winged insect that appeared in the hen yard. I consider it necessary to gather you so we may evaluate the occurrence and to establish various rules to prevent that such chaos should ever take place again. Precisely now that we have fresh food and living conditions as ever before, this situation can put at stake our well being. You know that stress reduces the laying levels and that chicks create a tendency to be nervous, this prolongs their growing period. I am convinced that if something like this should happen, we will all suffer the consequences.” -
- --“Mister Rooster”, said the neck-naked blond; “this seems to be a very good idea and I don’t question your good intentions but I understand that the chickens are directly affected by what we decide here. How could you so unworriedly leave them out? After all, their opinions cannot be ignored, nor their ideas substituted. They are the future; the chicks are first.”-
Some hens nodded their heads affirmatively while others tried to determine how many favored the idea of the chicken’s attendance. The older ones commented that the proposal had been imprudent and constituted a lack of respect that placed in check the authority of the cock.
- “Well...” began to answer the rooster when interrupted by the speckled hen. She was one of the faithful and trying to break the ice and get the chief out of the bundle, she brought back the issue of the jumble.
- “It seems to me that you are quite right to be concerned about the disorder that developed. That hens simply start running wherever and whenever they want should not be allowed. I suggest that it be regulated in such manner that we are all prepared in the event that other cockroaches show up. Each one of us should have equal access and the same opportunity. Someone must be assigned to maintain vigilance and when one comes into sight, all interested should place themselves behind a line. For the process to be totally fair, I propose that we buy a gun, the type used to signal runners to start a race. We appoint as judge one of the most respectable hens and in this manner everyone will start off in an orderly fashion. In this way no one will take undue advantages.” -
- “That’s a very good idea” said the ash one with the long and strong drumsticks and recommended buying a chronometer so that a record be kept of the time spent to catch the cockroach. “We can make the event a sport and like someone famous once said: sound mind in a healthy body.” -
- “Not only that”, jumped nervously and enthusiastic the spotted hen, “we can start breeding cockroaches under quality controls and develop the best runners. We can even do good business selling them to other poultry farms.” -
- “Tremendous”, some said while the rooster looked to the sky trying to figure out how to respond to those proposals. The tufted black had seriously tried to keep its composure and noticing that the cock analyzed what she thought were feathery concepts, she irrupted with a grievous tone.
- “Dear and beloved ladies, absent chickens, mister rooster. Since unmemorable times and in spite of human beings our species has survived. That responds to the value we have conferred to life. It has been an arduous struggle that has required many sacrifices. We have always maintained an active protest against the presence of ‘Cherch’ y ‘Kentoki’. As creatures of God, gifted with life and capabilities, it is for us, in this time and epoch to recognize that such sacred right is not limited to our kin. That divine gift has been extended to other creatures. Let us accept the challenge and come forward in this historical juncture proclaiming that living is an inalienable right bestowed upon all beings, including our brethren the insects. It is reproachful that some here present propose to convert cockroaches into food and much more, that such atrocity be considered a sport or a source of income.” -
Voices of approval, others of anxiety and even fear were heard. Opinions arose concerning the ecological balance and how the food chain would be affected if there was a drop or an increase in the cockroach population. The spotted hen thought, but did not dare say, that the logic of the tufted black hen should be made extensive to caterpillars, however she didn’t want to make her appear objectionable since she had a taste for land worms.
A few fowl indicated that all that discussion was in vain until they had the plenary powers to determine the happenings within the fence. On that same line, others proposed that they obtain maximum self-sufficiency while maintaining all the benefits bestowed by the countryman. There was no shortage of those that expressed that the basic problem was that they were local hens and that until they acted, felt and thought like the white plump red-crested from the mainland there would be no real progress.
The rooster’s patience was on its limit and the arguments were more eloquent, extended and elaborate: things were getting out of hand. The differences between the hens increased. Hours became days, days weeks, weeks months and those years. The birds grew old, others died and were substituted by chickens that became roosters and hensthat also aged.
And one thinks of all the energy, of the good intentions and the logic invested in that poultry houseonly because of a lady cockroach that happened to pass by, almost dancing.
By Edric E. Vivoni Farage
Director of the Puerto Rico Center for Conflict Resolution
"Cono cucaracha en bailaile de gallinas"