Well eh? So this was the year of the Rooster? Thinking about it – briefly mind you as such a “fowl” year bears little thinking about – it could easily be described as a complete “cock up”, overlaid with an awful lot of “Cockadoodle” without much “do-ing”, lots of “feathering one’s nest” and “counting chickens before they actually hatched”. The unusual crowing which sounded remarkably like “Chobs n Growf, Chobs n Growf” turned out to be caused by several roosters infected with “Fowl pox” virus – Vaccination with the latest “ Buck, Buck, Buckaaarrrrk Reality” inoculum quickly limited the spread of the disease.
Gallus gallus politicus was out in force with much feather fluffing, wing flapping and raucous noise, quite a few cock fights and lots of disturbed feathers. “Running about like headless chooks” was extremely popular! Much of it, as is usual for this particular breed, was primarily for show with the usual outcome being that those down the pecking order were further down-pecked, if you get my meaning, and ended up primarily with scraps – and not too much of those either. Meanwhile the “Corporate cocks” had much to crow about.
To our chagrin we found that we had been duped by several roosters, and a couple of hens, when it was discovered that despite their beautiful plumage they were actually hybrids – products of chook pen liaisons which had been “overlooked” in their scrabbling for a favoured place close to the feeder. Sadly, the “hybrid vigour” one expects from such crosses was underwhelming to say the least. The New Zealand Barnababble Australope cross was particularly disappointing.
The head of the flock, the Lord High Cockalorum Malcolm, given to bluff, bluster and hyperbole much reminiscent of that well loved cartoon character Foghorn Leghorn didn’t disappoint. Blame was duly apportioned to the rest of the flock when things were all a cackle or cock-a-hoop, and personal accolades duly claimed as one’s own and crowed over when a collective egg or two was laid. All in all our much anticipated fighting cockerel turned out to be a self-aggrandising capon. And we all know who ended up holding the chicken tenders from the castration – don’t we??
And what can we hope for as we stroll into 2018, the Year of the Dog? Hopefully, more bite and less bark, a lot more epic poetry rather than the usual doggerel you might say; a greater consistency in breed so that our Constitution doesn’t end up in more dog fights; less dog in a manger behaviour; a consignment to the dogbox of history of the Lieberal/Neutered Puppy Pirate Capitalists; A government of new dogs with new tricks more concerned with people, egalitarianism and equity; and, hopefully, a leader of the pack who is more akin to Rin Tin Tin than Droopy Dog!
Finally, let’s pray to the Great Gourd in the Sky that our yappy American Cocker Spaniel and/or our Korean Jeju don’t ‘cry “Havoc” and let slip the dogs of war’! That would, indeed, present us with a dog’s breakfast too terrible to contemplate!!
It remains to say only this;
新年快乐 / 新年快樂 (Xīnnián kuàilè)
‘New Year happiness!’ – for 2018
In Mandarin: /sshin-nyen kwhy-ler/
In Cantonese: /sen-nin feye-lor/
* Strangely, when looking to do a quick New Year wishes blog (it’s been a long time between keystrokes) the subsequent “En Passant” was actually number 17! How’s that for coincidence?