21.THE CORNERED COCK

The house next door to Isa had a cock, which often came into Isa’s garden. Isa and his sisters would get excited whenever the cock entered. They would rush to the window to watch its antics. The cock would push its chest out and strut around their house. Every now and then, it would shake its backside, amusing the children. It took care however, never to come near the children. They had to therefore always watch it from a distance.

At Fajr time, it could often be heard crowing. The children’s parents had taught them to recite, ‘Allahumma inni asaluka min fadhlik’ or any other dua, asking for the bounty of Allah, upon hearing the cock crowing. Father had once explained that the cock crows upon seeing the Angels. By making dua at such a time it was possible the Angels would say “Aameen” and their duas would be accepted. The children therefore always reminded each other to make dua, upon hearing the cock crowing. One day as Isa and his sisters walked to the open double- garage, they spied the cock. They shrieked with glee and tried to go more closer for a better view. The cock however flapped its wings in alarm and shot out of the garage, heading for home. Unfortunately, granny happened to be returning from the backyard, at the same time. Feeling cornered, it turned and entered the house through the open kitchen door. The excited children ran behind it. The cock then flew onto the table, knocking over some dishes to the floor. This caused a huge din. Fortunately, the dishes were all plastic and nothing broke.

The children’s aunt screamed when she saw the cock and shooed him away with her dishcloth. It flew down to the floor and ran across the kitchen, the dining room and into the passage. It then entered a nearby bedroom. Here it flew and perched high on the headboard. The excited children followed it into the room. They jumped onto the bed, staring at the cock. The frightened cock quickly scanned the room, in search of a place to hide. It then flew and hid in a gap between the headboard and the curtains. Perhaps he thought, if he couldn’t see the children then they wouldn’t be able to see him either.

At that moment granny entered. The children informed her the cock was hiding in the corner. She walked slowly towards it and spied its backside sticking out. She then bent down and firmly grasped the trembling cock. She then lifted it gently, tucking it under her arm. The cock shivered and shrieked loudly in alarm. He was however soon relieved to discover himself released outside. He simply ran for his life as fast as he could. Granny watched him disappear and turned to scold the children. She chided them, for frightening the poor cock. They were told to watch him from afar and were warned not to ever corner him and distress him.

RHYME:

COCK A DOODLE DOO

WE DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO

OUR ROOSTER LOST HIS SENSE OF TIME

AND CROWS AT HALF PAST TWO

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