When I first read about the wild chickens on Starnes Avenue [“Foraging Ahead,” June 20], I thought what a strange thing to see in the city. About six weeks ago I moved to Starnes, and I can attest that “Big Bro” and his gaggle of hens took a bit of getting used to. Though the family may have [formerly] nested at 85 Starnes, by the time I arrived they had relocated close to the building I moved into. For the first week I could not sleep at all past 4:30 a.m. due to this rooster’s sets of loud crowing. However, after that week I learned to simply put the pillow over my head and started sleeping through the night with no problem.
For me, Big Bro’s crowing was the one thing that set where I live apart—a sliver of nature in the city, if you will. I always looked for the chickens when leaving my apartment during the day. Asheville is full of “bleeding hearts” for one cause or another, and mine is animal compassion. One day I commented to a visiting friend how sad I would be when and if that day came that I no longer heard this proud rooster’s crows, for I would know something bad would have happened to him.
Two days ago, that day came. The ironic thing is that not hearing Big Bro kept me more awake then hearing him. Yesterday, I was informed by a man in my building that he had shot Big Bro with his buddy’s BB gun. This man claimed that he had been living in the building for a year and has to get up early in the morning and that he couldn’t take it anymore. As if he was the only one who had to get up in the morning. I wondered to myself what right he had to take care of the rooster problem in such a dreadful way. Why take it upon himself to act on his behalf and his behalf alone?
So, like that—the rooster problem is no more. I wish I could say Big Bro had been relocated or know that he was “taken care of” because he was a threat to the health and safety of the people, but sadly this is not the case.
I, for one, will miss Big Bro’s calls.
— Rachel Applefield