|This is not the capon, but I liked it so I’m posting it.|
A few of you have asked me whether we’ve eaten any capon lately as a result of his misbehavior. I am glad (I guess) to say, “no.” After a few days of having severe anxiety whenever the capon would be within eyesight or not, I knew it had to end. Not only was it my JOB to keep these things fed, watered and poo-free, leaving me to hang out in their enclosure a couple times a day and seeing them around the farm all the time, the family was taking a weekend camping trip and I was going to be ALL ALONE on the farm. It was going to be up to me to run the place, and I wouldn’t have anyone else there to help me out.
So, basically a few days after our first “altercation,” so to speak, I began wielding a stick. A bamboo one, nothing too heavy duty, but a stick nonetheless. One evening while I was feeding the chickens, I noticed the capon inching forward. With stick in hand, I boldly poked at him; he was unruffled. (Pun intended.) I had to be more forceful. Up to that point, nothing had actually touched him. My threats were essentially unsubstantiated, which obviously this capon understood. So, I finally got the nerve to make contact. Bamboo touched feather, and the capon was startled enough to back off.
Proud of myself, I kept my eye on him and kept feeding the chickens.
From then on, that bamboo stick was to me what a blankie is to an anxiety-ridden two-year-old. I kept it around wherever I went on the farm; the dad joked that they always knew where I was because there’d be a giant stick propped up right by me. True story. Whenever I’d herd the chickens and capon into the coop, I’d proceed waving the stick in front of me, which served both as a visual barrier for them (they tend not to go anywhere if there appears to be a physical blockage, which makes sense, actually…) and also a protective measure for me.
What I found as the days passed was that the capon and I got along okay. He still seemed to be watching me, though, with those beady little eyes. And then one day it struck me–this is totally like the plot of a romantic comedy, if the protagonists were of the same species, and the guy got off on the wrong foot with the girl because he was trying to overcompensate or whatever, and she initially hated him. Then, he kept hanging around her and watching her, making eyes at her, etc. and eventually she falls for him and they live happily ever after (or, at least, for the duration of the credits).
Maybe I got the capon all wrong. Maybe he liked me. He really does always stare at me.
Example 1: I’m picking figs. He hops onto the bench by the fig tree and stares at me while I pick. Creepy. Or…pining for me?
Example 2: The other day I had to burn off a bunch of dry, old trimmings and had to go back and forth for a ways to load up the wheelbarrow. More than once I caught the capon hiding in the shade of a tree and watching me as I went by, then looking away quickly when I matched his gaze. Interesting…
Example 3: Seriously, he just watches me whenever I’m around.
I”m sure the real reason is because I’m the one overcompensating now. I’m the scaredy cat, and so whenever I herd them in, I’m sure to particularly herd Mr. Capon, even though his entourage of chickens are way more bold and scattered than he is. So, he’s a bit freaked out that I’m going to poke him again with the stick of doom. That’s probably it…
It took 3 weeks, but now I”m mostly walking around the farm like a normal person: without a stick.