Broody Hens: Or how I realised a Hen, not a Rooster, rules the Whitehouse Roost.
Many of us have had the opportunity to house-sit for friends, in particular to look after their animals while said friends are off travelling to exciting places.
I took this one step further over the last two weeks— not only did I return to my hometown, Melbourne, Australia, but I was also given charge of caring for a delightful old farm dog (“Razor”) and…four chickens, or chooks, as we Aussies love to call them, by the names of — MOLLY, COPPER, BITCHFACE CAESAR (yes, and yes, she is aptly named, believe me) & AMELIA.
This was a brave new world for me. As much as I love the great outdoors, generally it’s more an occasional treat for me rather than a deep yearning to leave the city in any long-term way. I am the complete urban jungle type (by way of proof, most of my insta posts are even tagged #thisurbanlife), with little experience of “farm life” — FFS, I didn’t even play Farmville on Facebook!
Despite being such a city slicker, over the past two weeks, I’ve become quite the chook herder, wrangler and whisperer, watching these fascinating creatures who all, without doubt, have their own personalities. Copper, for example, is like a little dog, running around loyally behind you, the super-friendly clucky chook that loves a little tickle under the chest or a stroke along her back. Bitchface Caesar, on the other hand…the oft pecked other hand…is more aggressive and not at all friendly, ready to let you know who is boss.
But hey, for the eggs, it’s well worth the odd full-of-attitude peck!
The thing that has most struck me about this experience is the slew of idioms that come from chickens, and how upon witnessing the real thing, it’s so see where they came from.
Count your chickens.
Chicken and egg situation.
Ruling the roost
The list could go on.
However, it wasn’t until one of the hens — which shall remain nameless to save her the embarrassment — became broody that I realised how much the Trump Administration is just one big hen-house full of chickens, with the top rooster really just a broody ole hen.
For the uninitiated, broody hens are a natural phenomenon. In a nutshell, hens lay eggs, obvs, and when there is no rooster around those eggs get collected to be eaten because of simple a-‘roost’-matic. (that’s the only dad joke, promise)
No rooster=no chicks.
However, like females of all species, the absence of the rooster does not mean the hens aren’t maternal. So, every now and then a 21-day cycle can kick in where a hen wants to sit and hatch some chicks, despite absence of said male chook.
And so we come do the ‘real’ Donald Trump.
The supposed rooster at the WhiteHouse coop, who I have come to see from my time with Bitchface and co is in fact only masquerading (quelle surprise) as a rooster, and instead is quite clearly nothing more than a broody hen.
As he squats on his nest, clucking out his inane tweets at anyone who comes his way, he clearly thinks he is top of the pecking order.
But no, Mr Trump, no.
Sure, as President of the USofA, in a position that has certainly been held by some of the most influential men (just men, only men, all roosters…some cock-heads…but sadly, yet, no hen) in the world, even someone as inept as Trump, with such a huge administration around him, should be able to get stuff done and at least attempt to rule the roost…and not just tweet about it a lot or sign lots of pieces of paper to make himself look important.
Instead, we have a grandstanding squawker — a Rhode Island Red, even — who has settled down to brood for his entire term as President (oh, except when he ‘clocks off’ and is at one of his golf courses, because you can do that in a job as President, apparently). A big ole hen, unable to lay any of the real policy eggs he promised those so many disaffected who voted for him (ok, it wasn’t that many…really…), but who is still pretending that he is there for them and can.
An infertile, chook pretender who certainly is in no position to think he rules the roost. Someone who, certainly with the latest tax cuts, is more interested in feathering his own nest and those of the other alt-right and neo-conservative types who are laughing all the way to the coop.
Where does this leave the world — a world that has relied so long on the USA to be a leader, not a follower?
It leaves us in a lot of chicken poop, let’s be honest.
And while this might be usually considered great for fertilising the garden, it’s such toxic poop that it probably will kill off your gardenias rather than see them blossom.
All we can hope is that the Democrats are mobilising for the mid-terms…are scratching around the farm yard in search of a real candidate for 2020 (and not necessarily a rooster…just saying)…
And that the brooding pretender currently holding court is turfed from the hen house, clucking and squawking, missing more than a few feathers…and maybe, just maybe, ends up being the main ingredient of some dish…Russian Plov, maybe — recipe attached, if you are reading Mr Mueller.