It was exiting to for my eleven-year-old niece and nine-year-old nephew when I took them to visit their grandmother in the village for the first time.
They were so delighted to see things they only saw on TV; the big trees, people balancing jerry cans of water and huge baskets on their heads…“How do they do that?” they kept asking.
Coming face to face with real goats (ihene), rabbits (inkwavu) and sheep (intama) was so thrilling for them! In fact they paid little attention to people. They were lost in this ‘new world’, following butterflies and asked what grasshoppers ate for lunch.
That day they slept with smiling faces but, we were awaken by shrieks and cries at the break of dawn! Rushing into their bedroom to see what was happening; they literally jumped, grabbed and held me like I was their only saviour!
I managed to calm them down and asked what the problem was.
“There’s an animal making funny noises,” they shrieked.
Listening carefully, I heard a cock crow outside,
“Is that it?” I asked.
They nodded in agreement.
I laughed my lungs out; I took them out and introduced them to the ‘noise maker’, a fully grown cock with a red comb and wattles! They have never seen a ‘living’ rooster.
This is a rooster also known as a cockerel; a cock is a male chicken.
“Why was it crying in the morning?” Tim the youngest inquired.
“He crows at the break of dawn to wake up all sleepy heads like you!” I said
“Put it this way,” Grandmother said, “he is our ‘alarm clock’, he crows to wake us up! When we open for him, he goes and sits on fence posts, tree branches or other objects, where he crows to proclaim his territory.”
Sometimes he drops and extends both wings and puffs out all his body feathers to give the hens and/or other cocks the impression that he is very large.
When he sees the hen he likes, he struts in a half circle with one wing extended down, in an aggressive approach signifying to females his dominance.
The kids were so amazed by Grandmas rooster.
“Uncle can we take grandmothers ‘alarm clock’ when we go back home, please?” they begged me.
That was day one.