My neighbors seem to be at odds lately. The conversations that have been drifting over my back fence, do not seem as congenial as they used to. I aim to stay out of it come what may. But, the conversation I overheard today is a pretty good indication that things are going to escalate quickly.
“Jacob, either you get rid of them danged roosters or we are gonna have words.” Frank yelled.
“Peers to me you are already having words Frank. Least ways your mouth seems to be flapping an awful lot. What you got against my roosters anyhow?”
“They got big mouths, just like their owner does. That danged crowing wakes me up before daylight every morning. Them roosters are plumb stupid. They can’t even tell time. They are crowing at all hours of the day and half the night. Now, you get rid of them critters or else. ”
“ I ain’t getting rid of them roosters. They are danged pretty and they are gonna make me money after a while. Just go on back in your house. If you close your windows you can’t hear ’em anyway.”
“ I don’t want to close my windows dang it. I like my fresh air!” Frank’s voice was getting louder and his face redder with each word he uttered. “ I said … get rid of them roosters or we are gonna have a set-to and that’s a promise.”
“This here is my danged property and I can do whatever I want to, so you just take that you old grouch.”
Both men turned away and all remained fairly quiet for the rest of the day. Jacob chatted with his beloved roosters and Frank stayed busy in his barn all day.
Along about ten o’clock tonight, just as I was getting ready for bed, a blast of noise had me sprinting into the yard. At the very least, I thought a plane had crashed in my pasture. Unfortunately it was an even worse disaster. The booming, throbbing beat emitting from the huge speakers set in the loft of Frank’s barn, echoed across the valley. Jacob came streaking out of his house, shotgun at the ready. I wisely ducked behind a water tank to watch, listen, and dial 911 if need be. Nobody, I mean nobody, gets between two irate farmers, especially if one of them is armed with a twelve-gauge shotgun.
“What the hell do you think you are doing you crazy old fool?” Jacob yelled.
“ I’m serenading your roosters, dad-gum-it. If them buzzards are gonna get me up before I want to and disturb me all day with their infernal racket, then I am gonna keep them up all night ”
“ You are keeping the whole neighborhood up you jackass. Now cut that racket off ”
“Get rid of them roosters and I will.”
“This is my property, and my roosters, and they are staying.”
“ Then they are gonna get serenaded every night from my property cause I can do what I want to on my side of the fence.”Frank bellowed.
“ I said cut off that noise before the county police get here and arrest you, you old crackpot.”
“ I ain’t afraid of no police. This is my land and I ain’t botherin nobody.”
“ You are botherin me you old fool. Now shut that danged racket off.”
The next sound I heard from my hiding place, was the explosion of both barrels of Jacob’s shotgun. Then there was an eerie quiet. I popped up to make sure he hadn’t killed Frank and drew a breath of relief. Frank was standing, arms flapping and mouth hanging open. Jacob was nodding in satisfaction and walking back toward his house. He had successfully blown, not only a large hole in Frank’s barn, but the new, expensive speakers, into a million pieces.
I headed back to my bed. At least tonight would remain peaceful. Except for all of those darned roosters who were crowing their heads off. Between the music and the shotgun blast, they were wide awake and very excited. I have a bad feeling it is going to be a long summer.