Dom Joly Meet Brian, the would-be killer cockerel
‘As my wife drives past a wall or a ledge, Brian will launch an attack of Vietcong stealth and effectiveness’
Regular readers of this column might remember the unfortunate fate of our last cockerel, Steve who was murdered by our pig, Wilbur. Wilbur was becoming more and more aggressive and his decapitation and mutilation of Steve was the final straw. He was moved to a wonderful pig sanctuary (where he has found love) in exchange for Stanley, a sweet pig that was found wandering the streets of Accrington Stanley early one morning. He was joined by Sir Francis Bacon and they make a very happy duo. Our pig situation was stable. We, however were cockerel-less, and our chickens were beginning to show distinct signs of unhappiness with the lack of male company. Help came in the shape of our lovely neighbour Ilya who presented us with a massive cockerel that we named Brian.
Brian immediately made it known that he was no Steve and that no stupid pig was going to give him any stick. Not that either Sir Francis nor Stanley would ever consider giving Brian stick – they are the sweetest pigs imaginable, but Brian is not one to take any chances. On pretty much his first day he marched up to the pig’s enclosure, hopped over the fence and proceeded to attack both pigs before eating most of their breakfast. Brian was a bad boy and the pigs had been served notice.
One of our Labradors, Truman decided that he and Brian were destined to become best friends. Brian had other ideas. Every day I am forced to watch the pathetic performance play out. Truman will spot Brian, run up to him and attempt to lick him. Brian goes batshit crazy and attacks Truman in a series of Rooster karate kicks until Truman eventually retreats, confused and alone.
But it’s not just the other animals that Brian is aggressive to. He has decided that all humans are bad. He sensed my daughter’s bird phobia early on and clearly took it as a personal affront. Every time she leaves the house, Brian sprints across the yard and launches himself at her. It’s got so bad that we have to have the car door open for her so that she can sprint from house to vehicle like an American President leaving an Iranian restaurant. If it was just my daughter I might have thought that Brian was just anti-ginger, but it’s more than that. Brian is massively angry about something and he has decided that our household must pay. He seriously dislikes my wife and lies in wait when she is sitting on the ride-on mower. As she drives past a wall or a ledge, Brian will launch an attack of Vietcong stealth and effectiveness. Twice he has actually knocked Stacey off the mower and she has now refused to mow the lawn unless Brian is locked up. Unfortunately, nobody is able to lock Brian up as even I get the sharp end of his tongue (and claws) if I attempt such a thing.
My elderly mother lives with us and she likes to go on a slow walk down to the gate and back every morning. Brian had clearly been surveilling these walks and taking notes of her routine. Last Tuesday he struck. Hiding behind the American-style mailbox, he waited until my mother was bending over to pick some flowers before he made his move. It was so effective that I answered our gate phone to hear my mother pleading with me to come and help as Brian had actually chased her off the property.
There is now a move by the family to have Brian ‘removed’. I will fight this to the end, but the life of Brian is not looking rosy. He and I get on very well; he even allows me to pick him up and stroke him, but you always get the sense with Brian that he is planning something and it’s only a matter of time before he turns on me. Having just returned from walking across Lebanon, I thought that Levantine politics were a complicated affair. They are as nothing when compared to the machinations and intrigue of farm life.