I don't think he had a name.  He was simply known to all our grandchildren as “The White Chicken,” and his name was always uttered with respect, and with more than a bit of fear.

I don't think he had a name.  He was simply known to all our grandchildren as “The White Chicken,” and his name was always uttered with respect, and with more than a bit of fear.

We had been pleased when a friend had offered him to us.  Actually, we were given a pair.  They were white Japanese silkies.  We had silkies before and were especially fond of them.  Those we had in the past were exceptionally tame and followed us about like dogs.  Unlike other breeds of chickens, silkies are monogamous.  The roosters do not chase indiscriminately any female they see, but stick strictly to their “wife”.  We found this quite endearing, and besides, silkies are small and fuzzy and cute.  That was before we met the “white chicken”.  He was monogamous, but that was the only quality he shared with others of his breed.  He was fierce!

The white chicken was half the size of any other rooster in our barnyard, but what he lacked in size, he more than made up for with bravado.  If any other rooster so much as looked at his lady, the silky would leap at him, hackles raised and the spurs on his legs ready for battle.  The other roosters soon learned to leave the pair of them strictly alone.

Well, this wasn't a problem, as long as he confined his fighting tendencies to other roosters, but after a while, he apparently decided that humans were a danger too and should be driven off.  His territory expanded to cover all corners of our yard and orchard.  I took to carrying a stick every time I stepped off the back porch.  At least I was bigger than he was, but when our small grandchildren came to visit, he believed the battle was a little more even.  They were a real challenge and he took to hiding behind a bush or around the corner of the house and leaping out at them without warning  After one or two nasty “stabbings” by his spurs, they hesitated to leave the house.  Their first question on their arrival was, “Where's the white chicken?”  On more than one occasion, we heard screaming from the back yard and went out to find our grandson standing on top of a large tree stump yelling for help.  The white chicken had him cornered and was standing on the ground near-by prepared for battle.

Finally we had had enough.  We were prisoners in our own house.  He would simply have to go.  Often people come to our house wanting to buy live chickens.  In some cultures it is thought best to eat “really fresh” meat.  We couldn't bring ourselves to really kill the white chicken ourselves, but this would be a way to remove him from the premises.  He was (with several others) caught at night while asleep and put in the pen to be sold to the next buyers.

The following day we received a phone call from the purchaser.  They had plucked the bird and were horrified to find that the flesh of one of the chickens was black.  What was wrong?  Was the bird sick?  No.  The skin of all Japanese silkies is black.  (But if they found the color unappetizing, we would replace the bird with their next order.)

Peace was restored to the farm, but somehow we all sort of missed the challenge presented by “The White Chicken”.