Adventures in Prunetuky
By Russ Bertlow
My husband and I were living in North Monterey county in a small town called Prundale CA but know affectionately as Prunetuky. We live on a nice country road called Paradise Canyon. Our home was a split level 3 bedroom 2 bathroom home that sat upon almost three acres. (most of which was side hill.) We had four very large oak trees that sat on the hillside of the property. We also had an upper Patio off the master and lower patio off the mud porch and dining room The front of the house had a large porch that extended the length of the front of the house. To the side of and behind the dinning room, in the back yard were chicken coups. My husband Steve and I were excited about the prospects of getting some chickens and having fresh eggs. I loved fresh eggs having grown up on a small farm where we had chickens I’d always enjoyed fresh eggs from the hen over store bought. I told my husband it was easy to raise chickens. His response was then we can get some and you can raise them. (his city boy was showing.) We decided that we would look into it over the weekend and go from there.
A few days had passed when our neighbor, who had a crush on Steve ( she flirted with shamelessly.) saw him in our yard. She walked through an Ivy covered arch way between the two properties that was missing it’s gate latch and as he looked up there she was. Oh hi Vicky he said a little surprised to see her there. She proceeded to let him know that she had a bunch of hens and a few rooster that her son had left behind and she wanted to get ride of most of them (she kept some hens and a roster for the eggs.) before he came back from Vegas because he was using them for Cock fights and that bothered her. She informed Steve that the were Araucanas and laid colored eggs. He told her he would discusses it with me but that it sounded good as we were thinking about buying some chickens. We talked it over and decided it would be a good and they where free. The next morning we got up and spoke with the neighbor and soon we had 6 hens and 3 rosters. One of the rosters looked nothing like the other two rosters and Vicky explained that it was because he was an exotic. We never did learn what type he was. My Husband adored him from the minute he saw him. This little white fluffy ball with his cotton top comb. He named him Beaker because he reminded him of the character Beaker on the Muppet show.
For about the first three weeks he and beaker got on well. One day I was unable to feed them and I asked Steve if he would. By then the other two rosters had been put in separate cages as any more then one rooster per coup and they will duke it out, so I took our large cage and turned it into three smaller cages. It also wasn’t uncommon to let them roam the side hill which they loved. After spreading the feed out in the first to cages he closed them up each respectively and went on to the last cage. The cage beaker was in his buddy his pal. He started spreading the chicken feed on the ground when beaker came up to him and pecked his right big to really hard. It didn’t help that Steve was wearing flip flops. Before he even realized what he was doing he had drop kicked beaker to the corner of the cage trying to get him off his big toe. Beaker got up and promptly chased him out of the cage.
The next morning Steve got up and shortly after breakfast Steve noticed that beaker was out of his cage and on the lower patio pacing. As Steve approached the slider beaker came over and started pecking at the bottom portion of the slider near where he could see Steve’s feet. The minute Steve tried to step outside Beaker went into attack mode. I managed to get beaker back into his cage but the next morning he was out again and once again the minute he saw Steve near the slider he started pecking the glass. Needless to say with in a week or so Steve had grown tired of this and Beaker had lost a bit of favor in Steve’s eyes. Beakers behavior was unrelenting for awhile but eventually he would settle down a bit and the fact that I had found his escape hatch had thwarted his escape attempts for the time being. As long as Steve didn’t go in or near the cage Steve was fine and Beaker left him alone.(I’m sure only because he could get at him.) For now the were coexisting peacefully and that made me happy.
One weekend we invited a friend of ours,big Mike who live not to far a way himself, to dinner after which we sat on the front porch enjoyed some after dinner drinks and tokes when we heard the distinctive Spanish voice of our neighbor Vicky say Es Steve your Rooster is over here can you come and get him. I leaned over to our friend big Mike and told him that Vicky was his country girlfriend. Steve didn’t find that amusing but Big mike thought it was . Steve got up and headed over to Vicky’s house. As he round the side of our house and headed through the Ivy covered arch way we lost site of him. Big Mike and I continued to talk until we hears Steve and Vicky talking and trying to get Beaker to come out from beneath a flatbed trailer she had on her property. “Get em get em”, Vicky said. “Watch out” came Steve’s voice. Then “Scare him that way” said Steve. ‘Watch out here he comes” said Vicky.
We heard what sounded like a Peacocks cry and turned to look in the the general direction. We didn’t see anything but then we heard it again. A few seconds later Steve came running through the arch way that separated the two properties flailing his arms in the air trying to run fast in flip flops and doing his best imitation of a peacock. As he ran towards the porch at the front of the house we wondered what he was running from. Was he coming to get back up to get Beaker back in his cage ? Was he injured? We didn’t know all we knew was that he was running as fast as he could to get to us. About 15 seconds after coming through the arch way what should we see appear but the little fluff ball him self, beaker hot on Steve’s tail chasing him as fast as his little rooster legs would carry his foot and a half tall by foot wide body pecking the air the whole time he was chasing Steve. Big Mike and I sat there watching things unfold laughing uncontrollably as tears streamed down our eyes. Our sides hurt but my husband was not amused as he ran up the stairs and into the front door where upon Beaker stood there for a few seconds pecking at the wood door. Before he exited back down the steps he turned to us and tossed a peck and the evil eye in our direction. For a split second it it started big Mike, then he looked down at the rooster and said don’t even think about I’ll drop kick you to the street so fast your head will spin . Beaker thought about it backed up and made his way back down the steps and off the porch. I got up chased beaker to the back yard and got him back into his cage where upon Steve came back out to join us on the front porch and enjoyed the rest of the evening. Beaker lived with us until we sold the property and bought the Inn in South Lake Tahoe at which point he the other roosters and hens were taken up to my parents small farm to live out the rest of their days.