Our Cockerel

An Elegy to Claude

You were one of our three bantam hens
called Claudia, Clara and Chloe Cluck
and you quickly became the boss
pushing your sisters around in the muck.

Some time later we noticed you
stand on a rock starting to crow.
We promptly renamed you Claude
when your family started to grow.

With Mama Clara and Auntie Clo in tow
eight little chicks would follow you around
but one by one our eight chicks we found
in our shallow pond in our garden drowned.

Then when we lost your sisters too
we wondered why or how they had done it.
But we had witnesses to the deed
and discovered you were the culprit.

You pushed them all in
whilst trying to mount them
There was no point in keeping you then
when we were living without them.

So we had you homed in a hen house
in the local children’s pets zoo
but you were the one who was lost
in the Easter floods of ‘ninety two.

Claude, you were a handsome chap
and I’d thought you were our friend
looking after your chicken troop.
But Claude, you met a fitting end!

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