Morning is a relative term, I thought, as I woke today with a start and realized it was already past six and the sky was growing light.
After all, just a few days ago, we were still in Kauai, and morning began, well, right at cock-a-doodle doo. This could be at 4 a.m. or some days even earlier, depending upon the whim of the rooster residing somewhere just to the east of our hotel. “Morning” was a movable feast and entirely up to him. Chickens are as common as coconuts on the island of Kauai, where feral flocks roam without fear of predators.
And so, I thought of Maurice. Remember him? Back in July Maurice the rooster had run “afowl” of the law on the French island of Oléron. His crime? Being a rooster! Neighbors had claimed Maurice was a nuisance and that one way or another (a fricassee comes to mind…) he had to go. Petitions were signed, lines were drawn, and there was much crowing to be heard – mostly from politicians, since Maurice, apparently stressed out by all the commotion, had mostly ceased his “cocorico” while he awaited his fate.
Happily, Maurice will live to crow again, according to The Washington Post, which reported earlier this month that the court ruled in Maurice’s favor, and even ordered the plaintiffs to pay $1,000 euros in damages. (I see, perhaps, a fancy new coop in Maurice’s future.)
Maurice’s cousins in Kauai face similar complaints, often from tourists who discover, like I did, that kakahiaka (the Hawaiian word for morning) can often begin in the wee hours of the night. Fortunately, the spirit of aloha seems to prevail, and after all, an early wake-up call gives one a chance to watch the spectacular Kauai sunrise. Now that’s something to crow about!
Here in California, the sun may be out but I’m still in a time-zone fog. Where are those roosters when you need them?