Robbie was wearing her bright yellow radio headphones when she came in the barn so she didn't hear me say hi at first. She had been mowing around the pastures and i always admire how fast she goes on the John Deere, and she smiles the whole time. I waved at her and that caught her attention finally and she turned the little black knob and it clicked audibly and she pushed the headphones back off her ears and rested them around her neck, "It's gonna be nice this weekend!" she said and i said i had heard the same. Then she started emptying the barn trash bin and said, "Jerry got a call from a lady we sold chickens to back in the spring, seventeen chickens, and she says sixteen of them are roosters, so he's going over there with Odelle to kill 'em and then we're gonna put them in our freezer." Robbie and Jerry have a Rooster Back Guarantee on all the peeps they sell.
"Wow," i said, "that's alotta roosters."
"Yeah, and she said the one hen was laying four eggs a day."
"That poor hen, living with all those roosters," i imagined she was pestered and annoyed all day, but maybe they were so concerned with battling each other, maybe they just left her alone.
"I told Jerry I wadn't gonna go over there and help, I got too much to do here, and Odelle she's better at that kinda thing. I got a big pot a water boilin' for them, you know? I never plucked and cleaned them, not that many . . . and you know those roosters down in the silo? They gonna kill them today too and I can't be around that, cause I raised them and I can't kill somethin' I raised."
"What a racket those roosters must have made Robbie," i said to her as she took the big trash bags out to the pickup truck.
"Yeah, and she kept them a long time before she called us."
"What's that hen gonna do? Won't she be lonely?" i thought of a traumatized hen among all the killing.
"Lady gave her to someone who's got more hens already."
Robbie stood in the doorway for a moment, "I'm gonna have alotta chicken in the freezer now . . . "
"Yep, maybe it's Rooster Stew for Thanksgiving this year Robbie."
"Heh heh, yeah!" She put those yellow headphones back on and drove off . . .