Although I received many excellent suggestions, I was obliged to grant the winning name to my neighbor’s four-year-old grandson, who came into my backyard to expressly inform me that the rooster already had a name – Richie.
I can't say no to a four-year-old when it comes to something like that. So there it is; Richie, the rooster.
Richie is a strange name because it is neither macho nor wimpy but something in-between. Oddly enough, it seems to fit the rooster quite well because his behavior has – thus far – also landed somewhere between macho and wimpy.
On the one hand, Richie is incredibly wimpy, as evidenced by how the nine older hens hammer away at him and chase him around the run and the backyard. Sometimes he gets knocked around the run like a pinball, with the hens acting like flippers and bumpers.
On the other hand, Richie also shows glimmers of real machismo as demonstrated by his refusal to allow the hens’ pecking to deter him from taking his desired place on the roost in the hen house at the end of the day and by his daring escapades, which have so far involved all sorts of creative fluttering up into tree branches and to the tops of fences despite his clipped wings.
On his second day, he flew atop the fence separating my yard from the neighbor’s, paused for a moment, gave me a knowing look, and then dropped back into my yard, almost as if to tell me that he could escape any damn time he wanted should he choose to do so.
The next day at sunset, he was nowhere to be found. Assuming Richie made good on his unspoken warning, I wrote the rooster off as gone and retired for the night.
I found him perched and hidden in a plum tree in the morning. He had spent the whole night in that tree, which is a brave but stupid thing to do considering all the wood martens that prowl around the village after dark.
All of that aside, one thing is for sure – with his erratic, unpredictable, and puzzling behavior, Richie qualifies as one cockamamie rooster (thank you, pun muses)!
For this reason, I have decided to give him a surname that blends macho and wimpy. That surname is Retardo. Naturally, I won’t mention the surname to my four-year-old neighbor. I’ll keep it strictly between me and the rooster.
So there you have it; the rooster is now officially Ritchie Retardo, which sounds very similar to the Ricky Ricardo character Dezi Arnez played on the I Love Lucy sitcom series.
Come to think of it, Ritchie Retardo has a lot in common with Ricky Ricardo. If he displays less goofiness in the near future, I may drop the pejorative surname and refer to him as Ritchie Ricardo, but he’ll have to earn that.
I guess he could start by giving me his rendition of Cuban Pete.