Cockerels Are From The Fiery Pits of Hell

Photo by Jairo Alzate on Unsplash

It’s a sure sign that your owner is having problems when they bring home a cockerel.

“Look at this handsome guy, Bruno,” he said to me, all smiles and with just a flicker of madness behind his eyes as he stroked at the cockerel’s rubbery head. “He’s gonna get me up. He’s gonna change my life.”

I wagged my tail at him because that’s my job, but I wanted to do was give him a slap round the back of the head and tell him to pull himself together.

He already has three alarm clocks, all of them set at staggered times in an attempt to rouse him from sleep. But they don’t do the job. They go off, alright. They sure as hell wake me up from my beauty sleep. They just don’t manage to sift through into the murky, sleeping subconscious of my incompetent owner.

It’s not like I let him sleep, either. I’m desperate for him to wake up so that he can take me out for my morning ablutions and give me the almighty meal known as Breakfast. I nuzzle him. I lick his face. I paw at his head. I scrabble at his chest. Once I trampled all over the area he’s most precious about, and even that didn’t wake him. When that man falls asleep, he’s dead to the world. Only his own body clock can wake him, and that seems to be set to permanent snooze mode.

His life is falling apart. He’s had a million warnings from work about his tardiness. He lost his girlfriend when she got sick of waiting for him to wake every day. His family think he’s a lazy oaf and will have nothing to do with him. And even though I’m obligated to provide him with unconditional love, he’s really starting to go down in my estimation. The only reason he’s remained in my good books for so long is because he buys the fancy treats with the bacon wrapped around them.

So he brought in this cockerel and I’m all freaked out because, let’s be real, those things look like something out of the Jurassic Park animatronic reject bin. Its face was too small for its body, its feet were too big for its legs, and it had what looked to be the off-cuts of a ballsack attached to its head.

But I’m a dog. So I played nice.

“Alright, pal. Nice to meet you. I’m Bruno, resident hound. Never met a cockerel before. This’ll be fun, this’ll be great, we’re gonna be the best of friends. What’s your name?”

The cockerel laid one of its beady eyes on me and I felt like the feathery little beast was staring right into my soul, sizing me up, figuring me out, checking for my vulnerabilities. And then he just strutted away from me, bobbing his head like he’s all that. He didn’t say a fucking word. I left him to it; if he didn’t want a friend, I wouldn’t try to be one.

On the first day, the cockerel didn’t crow. The alarms went off, I went through the rigmarole of trying and failing to wake my owner up, and he just carried on snoozing. The cockerel said not a word. Instead, he shat all over the floor and pecked at the rug. When my owner finally woke up, already an hour late for work, he excused it with, “You’re just settling in, aren’t you? Handsome fella,” and he left me with the smell of chicken shit all day long.

On the second day, the cockerel didn’t crow. The alarms went off, I did my thing, my owner snoozed, and the cockerel clambered up onto the kitchen counter, knocked over a box of cereal and served himself the almighty Breakfast. Then he shat all over the floor. My owner was all, “You’re just making yourself at home, aren’t you? I hope you’re showing him the ropes, Bruno.” But I wasn’t and I didn’t plan to, not unless there was set twice as many bacon-wrapped treats in my salary.

On the third, fourth, fifth and sixth days, the cockerel didn’t crow. My owner slept like his life depended on it, and the cockerel shat on every square inch of the house.

“Look, pal,” I said to the feathered monster, “we don’t shit in the house. If I shit in the house, I spend three hours outside in the garden, come rain or shine, to learn my lesson. He’s going easy on you ‘cos you’re new, but if you keep it up you won’t stay here long, I’m telling you. Never, ever shit in the house, okay? And while you’re at it, d’ya think you could try that crowing thing? I don’t want to be a dick about it but it’s kind of your job.”

He cast his beady eye on me and the hairs on my back stood up on end. That bird gave me the willies. And I’m a dog; I like everyone by default. I know a truly bad egg when I see one, and this dude had clearly burst forth from the most rotten egg ever known to man or dog.

The seventh day was a Sunday, and Sundays are rest days. Look, I know the ridiculousness of the situation because every day is rest day where my owner is concerned, but the point is that on Sundays, he doesn’t even try to get up early. He’s usually late to bed the night before, see, with the best part of a bottle of vodka in his system and his limbs all limp and floppy. The alarms don’t go off, and I don’t have to bother with the ritual of nuzzling and licking and scrabbling and trampling. Wake him too early on a Sunday and you’re faced with something more like a bear with a sore head than a human.

But guess what? The cockerel fucking crowed.

I felt like my heart had exploded when it went off. I’ve never heard something so loud, so shrill, so viciously forceful, so unbearably demanding. It made me want to throw myself into a pit of angry cats and end it all.

And it woke my owner up alright. He leapt up out of bed, clutching at his chest. Then his hands moved to his head and he groaned. His legs gave out, he slumped to the floor, and he vomited all over the shit-stained, pecked-up rug.

“Finally found your voice, did you?” I said to the cockerel.

He set his beady eye on me again. “I never lost it,” he said. “I just wanted to mess with him.” And then the bastard shat on the floor.

I’m telling you, cockerels are from the fiery pits of hell.