Bud hasn't been sleeping well lately. He's been falling asleep fairly quickly, thanks to our good friend Melatonin, but he's been waking early. He has rarely slept past 5:00 in the past several weeks. He's often been up at 4:00. He started one day at 2:30 a.m. - and so, of course, did I.
So you can imagine my frustration when yesterday I was awoken, not by a six-year-old climbing on my head, but by the ear-splitting crows of my neighbor's rooster assaulting me through the open bedroom window. I live in a rural area now, but I didn't grow up in the country. I grew up in a city, and my knowledge of roosters was limited to what I read in storybooks. I have since discovered that what I learned about roosters in storybooks is pure myth.
In storybooks, roosters always do the same thing: they crow a rousing "Cock-a-doodle-doo" when the sun comes up. And then they, and everybody else on the farm, quietly go about their daily business.
This is not so with real-life roosters. In real life, roosters crow an annoyingly loud "ERR-ERR-ERR-ERR-ERRRRRRR" at the first glimmer of dawn, long before the sun is actually over the horizon.
Then they continue to ERRRRRRR until the sun goes down again, which in the summer months is an extraordinarily long period of time.
Sometimes they take breaks.
Sometimes they don't.
Yesterday, the neighbor's rooster started to ERRRRRR around 5:00 a.m. I woke and was astounded to find that Bud was sleeping soundly next to me. With a heart full of gratitude, I rolled over for what I hoped would be another hour of sleep. I closed my eyes and
At the end of 40 minutes, the rooster either collapsed from exhaustion or was shot by another disgruntled neighbor. Either way, it was finally quiet enough for me to go back to sleep.
And that's when I heard it. Not quite as loud. Nowhere near as annoying. But equally persistent, and this time at close range:
"When will Daddy be home?"