Number five of the “Fowl Kingdom” rooster series is “Fowl Foreign: Garth”. Although this colorful rooster was never introduced into the hierarchy, he begged to be involved.
In August, 2008, my father happened upon something wriggling in a briar and wild rose patch across from our driveway. It was a rooster, trapped in the barbs. My mother caught him to find him malnourished, but very large, docile, and beautiful. It took many weeks to get him to a healthy weight when we noticed lameness to his left leg. The leg was stiff at the joint and couldn’t bend correctly. Still, the rooster we named Garth (after someone on a movie with a funny blonde hairdo) learned how to walk perfectly. Garth was the biggest and most beautiful rooster we’d ever seen! A large cone and waddle, giant feet and thick legs. His colors – what colors! He’s a mix of every color chicken we’ve ever seen! Red body, white wings and tail, buff and white head, with various other colors mixed in. He also has black specks on his tail and stripes on his neck. We were charmed by his gentle, kind demeanor and handsome appearance.
We contemplated putting him in the coop, but at that time there was a war going on. The other rooster rulers – Rosie the Fowl Emperor, Big White the Fowl King, and He-she the Fowl Tyrant – were fighting behind our backs. Because of Garth’s handicap, we built him a special pen in the coop so he could see everyone but not get in contact with them. It was a good decision. The aggressive He-she killed the other rulers, his rage fueled by the sight of the foreign Garth.
After He-she was jailed, Garth remained in his pen. We let hens visit him daily and it brightened his spirits. Early 2010 though, his leg condition worsened. The toes curled and the joint became stiff as a board. Garth could no longer stand and he lost weight, struggling to get around. We helped him by moving him from his dog house (he always preferred that as a bed over a roost) to his food and water. He would not be bested though, as Garth learned how to get around even with his disability! With less weight to hold him back, he flapped his wings to pull himself around the pen. He even got the strength to stand, but he couldn’t move without flopping over. We were amazed at his spunk – and we still are! This beautiful rescue continues to get around and enjoy visits from the hens. We help him often, but he’s a fighter we’re lucky to care for.
Unfortuneately, he lost the fight July 4th, 2010 due to natural causes.
“Fowl Foreign: Garth” 16x20” acrylic on canvas. © Cara Bevan 2010
Time: 43 hrs 5 min
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