Wednesday, January 19, 2022


I have been posting on this Blog for almost 16 years so it's no surprise that I've posted this before, but it's one of my favorites so I'm hoping this will be new to some of you...

In January, 1907, this adorable picture of my mother and her pet rooster, Teddy, appeared in the “Boston Globe”, along with the following article:

Roosters are not unknown as pets, but little Ruth P. of West Brattleboro, Vt., has an exceptional rooster, Teddy, in that he will allow her to do anything she may wish with him.

The way this little mistress manages her bird playfellow is extremely interesting. She never punishes him because he never needs a rebuke. She speaks to him in a quiet tone, but there is in her eyes a certain power of the will, a power which is rare in children, which forces him to submit to her kind, though sometimes odd, treatment.

In the morning he struts into the kitchen and with a jolly “crowing” he mounts the low table at Ruth’s command, steps into the washbowl and patiently submits to a sponging with soap and water. After shaking his feathers a bit he is dried off with a towel and then brushed until his coat shines bright and clean.

Then follows another of her favorite pastimes. She hitches Teddy to her small doll-cart and drives her noble steed by “gee” and “haw” out through the woodshed, down the front yard to the sidewalk for a jaunt... both child and bird with tiny white hoods crowning their heads.

Ruth has had this strange comrade for several years and has trained him entirely herself. Teddy shows a great fondness for his mistress and obeys her without the least hesitancy.”

My mother lived to the grand age of 92 and, as one of her five daughters, I can attest to the fact that she “trained” us pretty much in the same way that she did Teddy!


Blogger Bonnie Jacobs said...

I love this story, Ginnie. FYI, it's new to me. Thanks for sharing it again.

12:02 PM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

I remember this delightful story but a few of the fun details had slipped from my mind. Thanks for the repeat. Your Mom was amazing. You were obviously raised by a gentle if determined woman. I had friends who had a pet chicken they took with them on vacations. We too often underestimate the bird

5:18 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Training a rooster is certainly something to crow about.
(No, I don’t remember this one.)

6:00 AM  
Blogger Marie Smith said...

This story is a gem. I loved how you ended it too. Perfect!

6:23 AM  
Blogger Linda P. said...

This story was new to me, too, and what a delightful story it was despite my own discomfort with close contact with birds. I like watching wild birds, but I prefer them at a distance. When I was five or six, I had to wade through a flock of turkeys to get to a family friend's outhouse. I was as terrified as if I'd been wading through a flock of pterodactyls as they felt as tall as I was. When my mom got a parakeet, it bit or pecked me every time I tried to hold it, probably sensing my terror. I admire your mom's fearlessness. Loved the photo and the story.

4:21 AM  
Blogger kenju said...

Interesting story. My mom told me one about how she had pet lambs and piglets and when her dad wanted to slaughter them, she cried and cried. Eventually, he forbid her to have farm animal pets. I think that must have been very hard for her, as I know it would for me.

9:45 AM  

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