ROOSTER’S DAY OFF, II

(The adventure continues – see Rooster I)

As the mythic monster of the mountains snoozed away Rooster made his move. It took him a lot of time to hide the gold and jewels in the gigantic snowball but it took no time at all for that snowball to roll down the mountainside to the bottom of the hill where it crashed into the leg of a thirty-foot elephant that was resting on the outskirts of the jungle while debating which route to take to Zanzibar.

Sparkling jewels spilled across the jungle floor and as the ponderous pachyderm tried to stomp on Rooster for interrupting his cogitations, which is like thinking only deeper, a handsome Prince on the flying carpet with a turban on his head and curly shoes on his feet buzzed by.

Rooster reached up, grabbed the cruising carpet with one foot, and then swooped down to scoop up a stupendous stack of sparklers in his beak. Before you could say “I saw it first,” he was wrestling with the Prince for a thirteen-pound pearl as the now driverless rug careened around the Carpathian Mountains. The hammerlock around Rooster’s neck was finally broken when the carpet crashed in the unloading zone of a Turkish bazaar in Constantinople.

Quick as a wink, Rooster swallowed the peerless pearl, quickly clipped a curl from a dancing girl’s tresses for his moustache, filched a fez, then disappeared into the crowd pursued by the pugnacious Prince, the dancing girl and a now fez-less merchant waving a scimitar which is like a sword only curvier.

In cognito, which is not a place but like a disguise only better, Rooster headed for the harbor and hid in the bowels of a barge bound for Cairo. As the ship sailed over the wine-dark sea, the bodacious bird polished his priceless pearl and dreamed of a harem of hula-dancing hens. But by the time he was floating down the Nile, the sun was slowly rising over the Great Pyramid.  Rooster clapped his wings over his eyes and stuffed his feet into his mouth but no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t control himself. “Cock-a-doodle-do!” he sang out loud and clear.

Before you could yell “Stowaway!” our fearless fowl’s cover was blown and Rooster was scampering to the edge of the deck pursued by an Egyptian sailor holding a meat cleaver which is like a knife only sharper. If Rooster hadn’t squawked, the pearl might not have popped from his mouth, and if the sailor hadn’t chased the pearl it might not have rolled overboard, and if Rooster hadn’t have jumped in after it then the ship might not have capsized which is like sinking only faster.

Rooster was doing a pretty impressive backstroke when a passing tourist strolling along the docks and on the prowl for a souvenir to take home spotted the bedraggled barnyard bird, plucked him from the river and carried him up the gangplank of a waiting yacht. When the ship had pulled into the New York harbor four days later Rooster squeezed through the porthole, scurried across the dock and hitchhiked to New Jersey where he took a well deserved rest from his day off.

the end – for now

 

ROOSTER’S DAY OFF

Rooster had spent a long hot summer cock-a-doodle-doing in the barnyard of a New Jersey farm and one sunny August morning decided he would take a break from working and relax. So Rooster set off in his little sail boat with a good book and a bag of freeze dried worms for munching – and until the pirates came, he was really enjoying his cruise along the coast.

Before you could say, “Yo, ho, ho!” those bloodthirsty sea dogs had taken over the ship, trussed him up like a Tom Turkey on Thanksgiving Day, and danced the jig while a peg-legged sailor played the accordion. When Rooster jumped overboard, the anchor around his left foot made him sink pretty fast and if it hadn’t been for the incredible pecking speed he had developed over the years in the barnyard, he would never have been able to loosen the anchor rope in time to grab a flipper when the whale swam by.

Before you could say Moby Dick, Rooster had hitched a ride around Tierra del Fuego, past Peru, and across the South Pacific. By the time the sun was setting he had washed up on a tropical shore along with an old tire and two empty Pepsi Cola cans. The enchanting island songs perked up the by-now fairly fatigued fowl and the incessant throbbing beat of the jungle drums set his terpsichordian toes to tapping.

After sixteen mosquito bites and a wet walk along a dark river, the water-logged leghorn was surrounded by a circle of carousing cannibals already in the burping phase of dinner. By the time the speeches were made and the votes counted, Rooster was a shoo-in for that evening’s entertainment and in a trice, which is three times longer than a second but shorter than a minute, the unwary cock-a-doodle-do was bounced to the head of a long line of villagers dancing up the side of a volcano.

Now Rooster was nobody’s country bumpkin regardless of what some people say about New Jersey and it didn’t take him long to realize that a one-way ticket to the volcano would cramp his style. When an updraft from nature’s fiery furnace gave him an unexpected lift, Rooster flung off years of barnyard conditioning, called on his ancestral memories and with drumsticks pumping took flight as fast as he could flap.

Before you could say “Holy Smoke!” Rooster was half way over the China Sea and if it hadn’t been for that stray firecracker he probably would have made it to the Great Wall by moonrise but it’s hard to manuever when your tail feathers are on fire. So when he  looked down and saw the solitary caravan wending its way along the ancient Silk Road, he lowered his flaps and hitched a ride on a camel whose compass was set for the Gobi Desert and points east.

From his lookout on the hump of the swaying dromedary, Rooster saw the snowstorm approach and just when he was about to become the first chickensicle, which is like a popsicle only with feathers, the Abominable Snowman came by, took a shine to Rooster’s golden beak and slung him under his hairy arm. The Snowman trudged through the mountain pass, across the glacier and into his secret hideaway where he added Rooster to his treasure trove.

Adventure to be continued