I went down to give my kids a lunchtime snack of bread crumbs and I noticed that the little rooster wasn’t there. I figured he was busy eating random scraps from the bush in my back yard, so he missed out on the snack; which is fine because he will usually out eat all the other chickens and leave less for them.
So I left, but when I came back hours later, to give my kids dinner, I still could not find the little rooster. He wasn’t anywhere in the backyard. I had seen him climb the stairs to my house, then fly himself down to the lower level. Well, this time he had done it but flown out the front of the house, so that he was outside the gate.
And thus he became the prodigal rooster. Much like the Biblical story, I left my four chickens, still hungry, to go search for my one rooster that had escaped. I walked up and down the street whistling my familiar song. In fact, it’s the same whistle that my mom uses to call Sam or Marley or I assume Jackson as well. I don’t know how, but I just started using it, and now when I do the whistle, my mom’s whistle, my chickens, and rooster, come running to see what I’ve brought them. It also reminds me of home and my mom which is also an added benefit of the whistle.
I walked around for 30 minutes looking for him. Finally, after stopping to look at one more black and gray rooster, I saw my prodigal bird. He was 15 meters from my house, near a latrine of a house nearby. He didn’t see me but I saw him, so I whistled for him. He stood erect and paused. I moved towards him until he saw me and I whistled again. He started coming towards me, much more cautiously than usual, I guess because of the different surroundings. I slowly started walking back home, with him cautiously following. I would whistle every once in a while, and he would listen then continue coming. Finally we made it back to the house and back inside the fence.
I was glad to have him back, although at the same time, I was mad at him for leaving without warning. I guess you have to give them their freedom sometimes, and sometimes show them the way back home.

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