Why did the chicken cross the road? To my knowledge that question has never been definitely answered. But if you ask me why the rooster crossed the road? Well, it is because he thinks he can. This post is all about my encounter with this rooster which lead me to paint him.
At the beginning of the Covid pandemic, when everything was unknown, frightening, and confining, I had reached my limit of being isolated. I had painted, cooked, worked in the yard, and even resorted to talking to my plants. When I started to feel that the plants were starting to talk back, I decided it was time for a road trip. I like to drive but I didn't feel comfortable going too far. So I thought, where to go that would be outside in open spaces, and close enough to do in a couple of hours? Since I was in a "working in the yard mode", I thought about a nursery that was a few towns over and kind of in the country. I called to make sure they were open. So off I went!
As I got off the interstate I turned down the private drive that lead to the nursery and winded around curves of what I have always assumed were houses owned by the nursery owners. I reached the nursery and walked around, enjoying being outside on a beautiful day. I purchased a few plants, put them in the back of my car, and headed home. Back down the winding road, past the homes, meeting no cars or others on my way out. That is, until I had to stop quickly to avoid this white rooster that had calmly walked to the middle of the road. There was no safe way to go around him on the narrow road and he wasn't moving. Not only was he not moving, but he had turned to face off with my SUV. There was no fear on the face of that rooster. It was like the gunfight at the OK Corral and I laughed imagining the rooster with a gun holster slung across his middle. It was the fight of the white rooster and the white SUV.
As I sat there in my car, nothing was moving him. I tried honking the horn. I even got out to chase him to the side of the road. There was no budging him. He just walked around the middle of the road like he owned the place. This made me think of a line from a Richard Pryor skit which my husband and I love and throw back and forth at each other when one of us wins on how something around the house should be done. The skit is about the main character having a curse on him. A friend tells him to go see the Voodoo woman, Mrs. Rudolph. When he goes in to have her remove his curse, her monkey attacks him and is jumping all over him. He starts yelling, "Mrs. Rudolph, Mrs. Rudolph, get your monkey off me." Mrs. Rudolph replies, "the monkey lives here, you just visiting!" Well, I start laughing out loud and tell myself, "the rooster lives here, you just visiting." So I pull out my phone and start taking pictures of him.
I was inspired by the self assurance of this rooster and did this little painting of him. I share this with you now because the painting was accepted into the International Exhibition on Animals in Art at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. Yesterday I took a road trip to Baton Rouge to drop him off for the show. I put the painting in the back seat of the car, and got in to back out. As I looked in the rear view mirror, there he sat, in all his self assurance. He looked just like he was going on a trip and I would be chauffeuring him on an adventure. As we parked in the parking lot of the Veterinary School, I got out, not sure where to go exactly. I felt a little unsure and apprehensive about it all. I got him out of the backseat and headed with him to the lobby. As I was explaining to the security guard why I was there, a very lovely girl came up and said she was with the exhibit and she would be happy to take the painting from me. We talked for a few minutes and I handed the painting over to her. The painting isn't very big, even framed it is about the size of a large sheet of paper. She grasped it to her chest and started to walk away with him. As I watched her walk away I had the same feeling I always have when I leave my dog at the groomers. I am a little uneasy about leaving him and hope he is safe and in good hands. About that time, the lovely girl turns and asks, "will we see you at the reception?" As she faces me, the white rooster is looking back at me the same way he looked at me when he was in the road...I got this! Self Assurance! I smiled and thought, "the rooster lives here (for the next month), you just visiting!"
So I ask the question again, why does the rooster cross the road? Because he can. Cocky! And he isn't cocky because of his ability to "cock a doodle doo." His cocky is about Self Assurance! So as I leave you with my painting, White Rooster, I hope you will smile as we think of him hanging on those hallowed walls of the LSU Veterinary School of Medicine, probably amongst some much bigger animal paintings, and know that he is staring them all down, no fear, thinking... "I live here."
Thank you for connecting,