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’

Cotswold Life - - INSIDE - Dom Joly con­tact @domjoly

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.