The cockerel crowed, his territory slowly and inevitably being challenged by his own offspring.
The products of the three second liaison had been nurtured by one willing mother, who took on the role for her and the other three members of his harem. Extending the harem seemed a good idea, but the thought of male competition was not welcome. The brood had produced eight potential wives but also four future challenges for their favours.
One challenger, somehow maturing that bit faster than his brothers, now stood atop the fence post. His still small yet equally distinct comb and wattle engorged with youthful excitement. He throws his head back in the early morning sun and crows as if his life depended on it, as well it might if in due course this verbal battle turns physical. For his old rival already sports savage heel spurs capable of doing serious damage, or even meting out death, to this young upstart. For now, the verbals are enough, the patriarch of this growing clan flutters atop an adjacent French fencepost and lets blast; a slightly deeper, perhaps more mature, crowing; one carrying more variation and lasting longer; one clearly designed to put the youngster in his place; a rallying call to the hens that are still his and will probably remain so.
For this new cockerel, just like his three brothers, is unlikely ever to savour the glory of being king of the coop. A few more days and he and his brothers will be segregated from the rest of the flock with a different end in mind. Fattened for three or four weeks on a rich diet of corn, he will make a magnificent lunch one day soon, leaving his father to deliver another crop of siblings who he will never see or hear.
Enjoy your crowing dear cockerel while you can…