THE COCKY ROOSTER LEARNED HIS LESSON

I was having a vacation in my home province where fruit bearing trees abounded, the likes of mango, coconut, star apple and more. It was very invigorating as I again inhaled fresh air, in contrast from the dreary and smoggy metropolis. It was good to be back from time to time to break the monotony of life and be refreshed. I was having a good time wandering in the nearby farm when I saw a rooster perched atop the trunk of a felled tree, all alone by himself and looking so forlorn. I asked the duck who was happily stomping in a little pond, why it was so and he told me the story of a cocky rooster. The large farm was the dwelling place for different fowls like hens, ducks and geese. There were cows too who provided milk for the owner. Some time ago, those fowls were free to roam the whole place and laid eggs wherever they may please. They’d come to the barn when the sun was setting down and in the morning the owner would feed them. They were happy and content the way it was.

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One day, the owner failed to come to the barn and feed them. One of the fowls, the rooster, took upon himself to lead, take a look at the house and to learn what had happened. He found out that the owner had a heart attack and his son, Jose, would be taking charge of the farm. He also heard that the son will be building pens where they would be cooped up so that he didn’t have to look all over the farm for eggs. The rooster thought of the way how he could avoid being locked in. Came dawn, the rooster flew and stood atop the barn, with chest out and flapping wings he crowed so loud that all those living in the farm including the owner were awaken. So when Jose came over to see what the commotion was all about, he was amazed at finding the rooster giving orders to the fowls that all meekly followed. “All those which were ready to lay eggs had to stay within the confines of the barn, others may roam but only for a short time,” the rooster commanded. Seeing this, Jose decided not to build the pens anymore. He would let the rooster took charge of them all which he successfully did. As a reward, the rooster received more feeds than the others. At first, the intention of the rooster benefited them all so they had no qualms at following his

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orders. However, with the passing of days, they noticed a change in him. He became very strict, laid down several rules and that for every infraction made there would be meted some form of punishment, which is being locked in the barn for five days or shall not be fed for a day. His belief that he was talented and important to the farm made his head swelled to the point of alienating himself to all his friends. He became too cocky that he thought of himself as the “know it all” rooster. One of his friends advised him to go slow and instead looked after their welfare. However, the rooster rebuffed him and said it was about time to give those fowls some lessons so they’d learned to toe the line. His friend was surprised by his attitude that he was no longer the amiable rooster he used to be. Before leaving, his friend gave him a parting remark, “Remember they are the hens you were with when you were on the rise up and they are the same hens you’ll meet when you go down.” The rooster did not heed the advice and continued running the farm the way he believed he must. One day, a visitor came to the house and encouraged Jose to watch and join the cockfight at

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the town plaza. They went to the barn to choose which fowls they would field at the game. The rooster, thinking this was another way to show off, readily posed a fighting form. The visitor took him and said, “This one has the look of a sure winner.” Jose confidently replied, “He sure is. Let’s get him ready and be on our way.” Head held high, the rooster became more proud of himself and soon they left for the game of cockfighting. When he was gone, the fowls begun clucking and everyone had something to say about him. One of them said, “Look at the way he commands us. He thinks and acts like he’s our lord and savior.” The other replied, “He has forgotten he’s just one of us. I hope he’d soon realized his folly.” Hours had passed and the fowls were already resting when the door to the barn suddenly opened and the rooster was unceremoniously thrown inside.

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Jose was very furious as he had lost so much money at the game. The rooster did not keep up to his expectation, that he was not the fighting cock he made him believed but just an ordinary rooster after all. Wounded all over his body and most of all his pride, the rooster was very ashamed of what he had become. Looking at the fowls around him, he tried to reach out but he was given a cold treatment. Clucking, they turned their backs on him which he understands. With his shoulders slumped, the rooster begged their forgiveness for all the wrongs he had made and then left. He flew out as far as he could and did not return to the barn. The duck looked at the lonely rooster as he ended his story. After hearing it all, I asked, “He is your friend isn’t he? Isn’t it enough that he has learned his lesson the hard way? Shouldn’t you be forgiving?” Realizing that the rooster deserved a second chance, the fowls gathered around him and they all forgave him.

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The rooster profusely gave them thanks and made a promise that he’d no longer think for himself alone but for the welfare of all. The fowls had also made their promise that they would lay the best and the most number of eggs they could so that the owner would be proud of them. With this development, Jose was very satisfied. His farm became one of the most prosperous farms in the whole town. Whenever I came back to the place, I always looked forward at seeing the rooster and his friends happy and content.

SUBMITTED BY: CHARITO A. ANTONIO Lot 15 Blk 2, EMCCO Subd., Pandayan, Meycauayan City Email Address: Charito10121959@yahoo.com.ph Cell No. 09279745313

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