Wild Bill

When I was in grade school, my great uncle, Dave Peebler, and Aunt Rachel kept a few chickens in their back yard at 124 High Street. The flock included a young rooster they had named “Wild Bill” because he was so feisty. Wild Bill thought he was in charge of the back yard and if he caught you trespassing he would sneak up behind you and beat the devil out of you with his wings. He managed to get all of us more than once. One time he cornered me and beat me until my legs were sore before I could escape. Uncle Dave always thought it was hilarious when one of us got beat up.

One evening, we were having supper with Uncle Dave and Aunt Rachel. We were part-way through the meal when Uncle Dave looked over at me and asked “How do you like that drumstick?” I replied that I thought it was really good. “Well,” he says “That’s old Wild Bill!” I was really taken aback. It had never occurred to me that the chickens in the back yard were anything but pets. Aunt Rachel chimed in and told us that she had been out in the yard, tending her flowers, and that no-good rooster had sneaked up on her and began beating her legs with his wings. She said, “That was the last straw and I grabbed him and wrung his neck!”

There were a couple of lessons to be learned here. The first one might be that “not all critters are destined to be pets.” Another might be that “if you are naughty or disrespectful, there may be dire consequences.”

Dave Thomas
December 19, 2014


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