Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Warrior Rooster

It's not enough that I pick on the Navy as much as I do when he’s around. No, now my neighbor has started calling one of his strange acting bantam roosters by the guy's name.

Then again thinking about it, I really understood because that isn't the first rooster that my neighbor has named after one of the guys around this area. Both other times it seemed to be pretty accurate.

The first was an old rooster who lost his crow and couldn't do what roosters do, and before you knew it the rooster was named after a former Legion Commander.

The next was a scrawny looking pint size bantam rooster who thinks he's 6 foot 4 and about 240 pounds around the hens. My neighbor's family calls him the General after one of the guys who lives nearby. I've seen that rooster, and yes he acts just like him. It's too funny really.

As for this Navy rooster, well it's the only rooster that I've ever heard of that will sit a clutch of eggs. Usually once a rooster has fertilized the eggs then he has nothing more to do with the hatching other than his job of guarding the flock. A rooster will never brood a clutch of egg.

And yes, after seeing that rooster, well I agree that it does act a lot like our Sailor friend. A little strange acting really. I can't help but wonder about a rooster that goes against nature.

I knew that that's the way some Sailors are, and though our Sailor friend is a bit quirky he's certainly not a freak of nature. At least I don't think he is.

Now to some of the people at the American Legion some of this Navy bashing, which is nothing more than part of a 235 year old Navy verses Marine Corps rivalry, it must seem to border contempt. I actually enjoy watching some of the shocked looks as they hear the Navy attack and the Marine Corps counter and vice versa.

They must think we really don't like each other, which of course is just not the truth.

Yes, really, cross my heart, I have no contempt for the Navy! I have nothing but respect for all of our branches of Service including the Coast Guard who I'm not sure who they're under these days. The poor Coast Guard has never been a part of our military to my knowledge, and yet they have been well kinda sorta.

Why did I say kinda sorta? Well it's because they are a military organization, yet they used to come under the Treasury Department. And now, I think they are under Homeland Security. But again, I'm not real sure.

So are they military or aren't they? And if they are then why aren't they a part of the Pentagon and the Department of Defense? And if they are not military, does their budget still come under military spending budgets?

That's OK, I'm sure one of the roosters around here would know. Heck the place is full of roosters really. Just ask the former Sailor who now has a rooster named after him, I'd bet he'd tell you!

He and I have talked about important things like the history of the Navy, the reason for ships bells, or why didn't he tell George Washington to sit down in the boat as he crossed the Delaware?

But don't think he doesn't dish it out. After all he comes back asking me if I was the Marine who told General MacArthur to say those immortal words that he shall return, or if I really was part of the Marine Security Detachment at the Last Supper?

So it's all fair.

And yes, I've shook my head in disbelief a few times when he tells one of his Sea Stories. And God knows I'm sure he's done the same a time or two listening to me, but when he said he had qualified Marines during their annual Rifle Qualification - and that he was the only Sailor in the entire Navy who was qualified to do so? Well I just couldn't beat that one!

Then one day not too long ago he said that while giving a class in the Navy that he found a Sailor falling asleep. He said that he decided to teach the young man a lesson so he called him up in front of the class and made him hold an anvil.

Yes, he said, "an anvil!"

I couldn't hold it in. I blurted out, "Where in the blue pacific did you get an anvil? And what in the world was the United States Navy doing with an anvil?"

Then I realized the answer, and laughed, "I know, I know, it was either to put shoes on the Sea Horses that pulled the boats, or it was some sort of a Navy instant fix! If you Sailors got a hole in one of your boats, then you'd take the pointed end and shove it into the hole like a plug right?

Heck, maybe all ships carried anvils and it was some sort of Navy Top Secret fix?"

He didn't think my questions were that funny for some reason. But an anvil?

And though after hearing his stories, yes I've actually wondered how the Navy has kept functioning after he retired. I've also concluded that his tall tales are pretty harmless really. Hopefully he feels the same about mine.

But now, that brings me to my concern lately. It’s about what kind of rooster will my neighbor pick to name after me? Will he be some robust hearty big beautiful specimen of rooster that would win prizes at the Calaveras County Fair? Will he be some young hen chaser who knows his job?

Well I saw my neighbor a day or two ago, and while trying to be funny I asked him where’s the rooster that he’s going to name after me?

First he looked at me a little strange and then let out a laugh before saying that he and his wife were already talking about that. Then he said that he and his wife wanted some rooster that fit me and my story telling nature.

Oops, I thought. I knew this could be trouble.

You see there is one unwritten rule to telling a Sea Story or a War Story for those who have never known the pleasure of being either a Sailor or Marine. You see it is one thing when you are full of beans and everyone knows you're full of beans and it's all in fun, but it's a whole nother thing when you believe your own Sea Stories.

The rule is, if the Sea Story is a tall tale, then you are never to start believing your own tall tales!

And what makes a great Sea Story you may ask? What makes a tall tale a great tale? Well an old Gunny of mine once asked me if I knew the secret to a great Sea Story? And not just a regular run of the mill Sea Story, but a great Sea Story?

Well I remember answering, "No," and waiting for my Gunny's wisdom to come pouring forth. And yes, he didn't fail me.

He said, "Well a great Sea Story, or any War Story, should be like a Fishing Story. You keep the fish the same size, but you make the catching sound better!"

Now though I've never forgotten that rule or to try to keep the fish the same size, I understand how some of my Sea Stories can sound a bit far-fetched. True as they may be!

So wanting to know I finally asked, "OK, what kind of rooster would you have in mind for me? Maybe since I’m from Hawaii you want to find some feral rooster like those in Kauai? Maybe a great champion cock fighter?"

I stopped suggesting when he shook his head no.

Instead he said, "My wife and I picture a rooster with sword in hand, blind in one eye, and kicking butt, still the Warrior Rooster! Sort of what American Indians call a Walking Eagle!"

"Walking Eagle? No kidding?" I asked, although never hearing the term, it sounded pretty good.

“Yup,” my neighbor laughed, “So full of shit, he can’t fly.”

Story by Tom Correa

1 comment:

  1. I've got a funny story about a guy who had a history of telling tall tales when it came to his rooster. It's called, "Grover And The Fighting Rooster". Grover Welby was a World War II veteran living on an Arkansas farm in the 70s. And he'd usually invite his friends over for a couple of beers and just to hang out. One day, Grover says to his friends, "Hey, have I ever told you that story about how I taught Duffy how to talk?" Grover's one friend, Red, goes, "No, I didn't know Duffy COULD talk!" Grover says, "Well, it's true. Just the other day, my wife went out to feed the hogs and Duffy looked up at her and said, "Good morning, Esther." Red says, "The hell you say!" Grover goes, "No, it's true. He can talk! Why, just last week an intruder broke into our house and tried to steal some of our belongings. Duffy scared the hell outta him. He took one look at that intruder and he said, 'Freeze, drop the gun'"! Then Grover says, "Did I ever tell ya about the time Duffy yelled at the reverend?" Red goes, "No, tell us about it." Then Grover goes, "Well, just last year, Reverend Bedford came by and talked with us and I noticed that Duffy was right behind him. Then I heard Duffy yell, 'Hey Bible Thumper, get off me you're plucking my feathers!'" Red goes, "That ain't true". But Grover goes, "Yes it's true!" Grover's other friend, Scotty, had also been told this story and couldn't believe what he was hearing. Scotty says, "Hey Grover, is that story really true about your rooster Duffy learning how to talk?" Then Grover says, "Yep, it's true." Then Grover decides that he's gonna tell them a story about Duffy that he was pretty sure they hadn't heard before. Grover says, "Hey boys, did I ever tell ya how I taught Duffy how to fight?" Grover's friend Red jumps up and says, "Hell, I was there!" Haha.


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