When I was nine, my arch-enemy was a Speckled Sussex rooster named Tootie-Frootie. Whenever I went outside, he’d be waiting. A lot of roosters wanted to kick my ass, but Tootie-Frootie also drove me insane with his shrill, annoying crow. He would follow me around, trumpeting his presence, and I’d chase him, and then he’d flare his neck feathers and spur me.
Once, I even made myself a tail, wings, beak, and comb so I would look more threatening, and went around flapping and crowing until he got so pissed off we ended up doing this crazy, hostile square-dance out under the clothesline. Mom still has a photo somewhere.
One day, I’d finally had enough. The next time I walked out of the house, I was armed with a two-by-four. When Tootie-Frootie came after me, I bashed him upside the head, smashing his eyeball into his skull. The eyeball never came back out.
It took Tootie-Frootie awhile to learn how to walk straight again instead of in circles.
Around that time, a gang of large, black Cochin roosters started sneaking up on his blind side and jumping him for fun. Whenever they did this, I’d chase them off with a stick. Before long, Tootie-Frootie started to see me as his protector.
He still waited outside the house for me, but now instead of fighting we went everywhere together, and were friends until he died of old age.