A day off; a cockerel, a shotgun and recollections of mama……

Posted on September 8, 2010


I went to buy some oranges to juice for the Goddess’ day off as Sunday she closes her little shop and is pampered by yours truly. On the way I bumped into Stavros and asked about his new chicken hut,  ten minutess later I was back at the house having one of those strange conversations with the Goddess ;

” WHAT the ##### is that”?

“A cockerel”

“But its alive”

“I know”

“What’s it for?”

“To eat”

“But it’s alive”

“I know”

“But it’s alive”

She then fixed me with one of her looks, the one that says “what ever possessed me”!!.  Anyway time was up for the cockerel but when I came into the courtyard ready to kill,  the Goddess spoke to me in one of those authoritative voices only women can pull off;

” GO give the shotgun back to Stratis at once, NOW”.

This reminded me so much of my Mama;

” Put the petrol down darling , you know what we said about explosions “.

As a child I had always been a fire bug, whenever Mama heard the siren of the fire engine I would be sent for to be sniffed at like an old cheese. Then one Christmas I was given a chemistry set by uncle Alice ( don’t ask ) and there was no holding me back from the fascinating world of pyrotechnics.

The above quotation from Mama came shortly after my chum Fat Malcolm had finally started to get his hearing back after a 2- month stint in the local infirmary due to the infamous compressed weedkiller experiment; ” Honest Mal it will be fine, just remember when you’re hammering the end of the tube shut don’t let it spark!!”

There was also the incident with my ingeniously desguised, but highly unstable, pencil bomb which was supposed to go off in nanny Ursula’s desk, the desk she would slam the lid of to regain my attention when my thoughts would drift off to the tree house, cousin Charlotte, dappled sunlight and the scent of Palmolive shaving cream!! How was I to know that she used a pencil to dislodge ear wax…

Anyway I digress, back to the cockerel. This was not the first cockerel that had played a part in my life; the cockerel is also big in Haitian vodoo. I learned this in the 1960’s whilst working for the  FBI and was sent to Haiti to  infiltrate the bodyguard of Papa doc Duvaliar – the infamous Tonton Macoute.  I had been selected because of my relationship with the famous New Orleans Vodou Priestess Ida Finkelstein.  Ida had gotten me into trouble before with her stories ” Oedipus, smoedipus, what’s it matter as long as a boy loves his mama “. This time was no exception, her suggestion of offering  the guards a bribe of chopped liver and Baba Ganoush  did not go down well, however my knowledge of the Santeria religion and some clever ventriloquist skills used on a cockerel called Baron Samedi saved the day and even earned me a pat on the back from the old girl himself JEH.

So now I have a cockerel cut in the French sauté style in the fridge, any ideas other than coq au vin….. ?