https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=7693-Chickenspeak We Have Roofers April 23, 2008 Joe arrived late on the first day of the roofing job, and his feet hit the ground running. He was apologetic as the three guys in his extended cab exited and started to unload their tools and supplies. By the time they had shoveled off a section of shingles, a boom truck arrived swinging the bundles of shingles over the kitchen roof peak. They landed with a series of thumps as the team distributed what they needed where they needed it. Joe had meanwhile come down to ground level, wiping his bald head with a biker bandana, grimacing. I was thrilled to see him after a hurrican in Novermber of 2007, a partial insurance claim for the roof, and a lot of waiting through winter snow and spring rain. "I'm so sorry I had a hellavatime before I left to pick up the boys." He barely drew another breath before breaking into his story. Meanwhile, I was thinking that his physique was a cross between Mike Holmes and Telly Sevalas especially with the overalls but minus the lollypop. He had a winter tan, which I learned he had acquired in Jamaica. The squaek from the other end of the cell phone ended the conversation and I had a mental image of her rushing to the house, post haste. "It was the nonsense( his pronunciation)," he continued, "not my dog, the wife's dog got into the back of the truck when I was loading up and stepped on a half-empty tube of tar, shot the cap off and walked all through it. She wasn't home the wife that is and so I had to rip up a grocery bag and cover her feet with it and use the duct tape and if I can get my wife and if she can get home before..." He dialed his cell as he spoke, and my imagination soared to a house filled with white furniture, the little fuzzball ripping off the makeshift booties and traipsing all over the rugs. "And then on the way out I smelled antifreeze, it isn't a bad leak but I think I better fix it while it's still running." By this time hubby had wandered out from his workshop in the basement and offered to help. Now I didn't say how phobic he is about repairing vehicles, I wouldn't betray him with a bunch of guys around, and I think he learned a thing or two about jury-rigs when they stopped the leaking hose with some copper pipe and clamps. Bravo, actually. Naturally I had wondered if Joe's work was as good as his truck and booties, but within an hour it was clear that the team had a mission, and as the sun grew higher, things went well. They didn't break until shortly after noon, and it turns out one of the men is a local guy who had bragged about the submarine sandwiches at the general store, so everybody wanted one. I had told Joe that I would gladly put together a lunch for them but maybe they had heard about my cooking. At any rate, I know better than to get in the middle of men and an imagined delicacy. They took no more than 20 more minutes for a bathroom and lunch break when they returned, munching, laughing, talking through the stacked meats and bread. Ari's store does have excellent lunches, it's an oasis out in this rural district where fast food is a fantasy item. Now, we had decided to work on the chicken run during all the hammering, and neither of us was surprised to spot Snowflake, the huge white Leghorn that lives a couple of properties away and belongs to a guy named Murray. Even since I had repainted the front of the red barn Snowflake has been wooing it from afar, and this time he meandered under the cattle fencing to within two hundred feet of us. His painful cry "Ark iddy ARK ark" had alerted us to his presence many times and we paid little attention, except to glance his way as he free-ranged our pasture. He is the survivor of foxes and coyotes that decimated his laying flock after the broilers were executed one fall long ago, and he is a massive rooster. I mean, no one messes with Snowflake. Suddenly Joe cried from the roof, "Ladyyougotta see this!", and he pointed his hammer as we swiveled our heads out to Joe, then beyond to the field. About fifty yards from Snowflake ,a cock Ringneck was stalking Snowflake. The rooster didn't spot the pheasant until he squawked that ugly cry that only they can, or maybe peacocks are worse. The ringneck's double comb was engorged and he had puffed up to look twice his size, which was substantial. His call was rack-rack-rack ( translate: you racking fracking intruder), RACK! rack, rackk rackkk. The hammering on the roof had stopped and I swear everyone was blinking at the expected battle. Except me. Stupid, stupid, me. I'm no spring chicken but I covered the distance faster than Marion Jones. Of course, by then the two were a haze of feathers and spurs. I can't translate the birdspeak they uttered, I'm sure it was full of expletives as the cocks leapt higher than my shoulders in a whirlwind of dust, feathers and territoriality. Within minutes, Snowflake was sailing fencewards with the pheasant slightly above and behind him, striking savagely. He took more than a dustbath. I'm sure that by the time he arrived on Murray's property that he was badly marked but I don;t think he was blinded. My presence likely did little to break up the fight, and had I been smarter I'd have avoided the spurs. Hubby had followed, his cry was dontbestoopid, dontbestoopid and I know that my short stature did little to separate the birds, it was more likely that David running with a hammer in hand was the clincher. I may have apologized to Murray later, I'm not sure why, and I suspect Murray had nestled the bird in is arms later to check him over, for in his day Murray was a superb poultryman and I cherish his bresence as a neighbor. The pheasant cock has been supervising no less than seven hens nesting in the drainage ditch at the bottom of our property and when he sailed back he strutted the ditch for an hour. Not that it's very good, I have never seen water in it. The men on the roof were whooping, I'm not sure if they placed bets. "I used to be a headbanger," Joe said, nearly rolling on the new shingles as I came back to the house, winded and laughing. In fact, he gave me a demo of air guitar and if he still had hair it would have been slapping his knees and back. After, still chuckling, the four of them returned to their work with occasional roars of laughter and exchanges of chicken stories that began with "My uncle had this rooster that..." The hours passed, the ssun blasted the latex to the underlayment and later the shadows lengthened, but no sign of Snowflake. We've decided to name the wild pheasant Bluster and I know we'll see his chicks next month. The roof is superb, the deal as quoted, and entertainment besides. We had roofers.