03:23

When people dream about having their own farmstead, that farmstead inevitably includes a rooster. We have several, and we can’t imagine not having them. Roosters are beautiful, and their interactions with each other (establishing a pecking order) are fascinating to watch. They give leadership to the flock, and keep the eggs fertile.

Like us before we moved here, people probably have a romantic image in their head of the rooster crowing to greet the sunrise. And, yes, roosters do crow to greet the sunrise. But you know what? Roosters also crow at any other time, day or night, that they jolly well please. That includes 11am, when I’m on an important conference call with a client. Or 8pm. Or 9:30am. They crow for any reason, or for no reason.

Now, picture this: the weather is hot and humid. You’re sleeping with the windows open in your 120 year old farmhouse, enjoying the light breeze. It is pitch dark, hours away from sunrise. And then, at precisely 3:23am, a rooster in the nearest outbuilding begins crowing. Really loudly. Then, from another outbuilding, another rooster crows a response. Not to be outdone, the rooster in the barn with the goats lets loose. And the original rooster simply cannot let that go unanswered. And so on. And so on. Until you drag yourself out of bed, shut the windows, and wonder if you’ll be getting any more sleep before it’s time to get up and milk the goats.

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