This morning I got to thinking about why a rooster crows. I had heard it was to find a mate, but research tells me that a rooster will pretty much crow for any reason. Scientists have determined that they have an inner clock that calls them to crow before the sun rises.
There are two roosters that live on the farm behind my neighborhood, and my house backs up to the road which the main house of the farm sits on. I’ve never seen them, but I hear them all day. So much so, I often don’t hear them even when they are crowing.
I became fascinated with “my” rooster when I first heard the story of the rooster Chantecler in the play, so named, written by Edmond Rostand, (the man who wrote Cyrano de Bergerac). The play is notable in that all the characters are farmyard animals including the main character, a chanticleer, or rooster. Chantecler believes that his crowing causes the sun to rise and refuses to tell the other barnyard animals why his music is so beautiful. The play goes on with plots of deceit and murder, symbolizing the sign of times during Rostand’s life.
Finally, Chantecler is lured from the barnyard by a beautiful pheasant who wants him to give up his crowing for her. He denies her request but he ends up protecting all the birds from a hawk. He and the pheasant end up together in the forest when his life is threatened and this time she saves his life. Both return to the barnyard where the pheasant resigns herself to being second place to Chantecler’s devotion to his duty of crowing every morning.
We can all take a lesson in devotion to duty and what is wrong with crowing about it as well? I’m sixty-eight years old and my duty in this time in my life is to help take care of my grandchildren. Maybe not every day, but in a supportive role when needed. Whether I’m volunteering at their school, driving them to and from school, being the “mystery reader” in their classroom, or cheering for them at award ceremonies, I am present. Maybe I cook a meal or two now and then, or take them out for a treat, a movie, or lunch. Maybe we play a game of cards, Candyland, or I binge watch Fuller House with them on Netflix.
I’m proud to be a grandmother and grateful for my inner strength, healthy outlook, and ambitious attitude that makes me want crow like a chanticleer rooster or the roosters that lives behind my house.