My Grandmother's farmhouse in east Texas was five miles from the nearest paved road. She raised chickens, and had one bantam rooster, her favorite pet. Realizing the little rooster’s place in my Grandma's hierarchy, my brother Jack set out to cause a disturbance, a way to get a rise between the two. He started by throwing stones at the banty.
Jack was always my nemesis, two years older, he tormented me any way and any chance he got. He was mean – at least I thought so - and he had bright red hair to prove it. He seemed to have a sixth sense about what he needed to do to get under my skin. I wasn't the only one he bothered.
Jack's plan soon worked, but not quite the way he had planned it. The rooster, seeing his flame red hair, attacked him, driving his sharp talons into his head. Within seconds, Jack was screaming like a banshee. Grandma soon heard the commotion and reacted immediately.
Racing from the kitchen, she grabbed her pet rooster by the neck and twisted. Nothing happened immediately, at least anything good for my brother. The headless rooster continued flopping, his claws intact in Jack’s neck. When the beast finally stopped moving, grandma pried him off my wailing brother’s neck and then clutched him to her ample breast.
That night, we had chicken and dumplings, my grandma's specialty. Jack never got punished, even though he was to blame, but I will never forget that little red banty rooster working over my mean bro's own red head. Did I enjoy it? I’m almost ashamed to say that it was one of the happiest moments of my life.