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by Joella 

Posted: 21 January 2010
Word Count: 332
Summary: The third instalment from Happy Bottom. I'd appreciate any comments. Does it flow well? Suggested amendments gratefully received. Previous comments have been extremely helpful. I'd like to improve this. Is it too clipped? Do you think the lines need to be longer? Thank you!

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Rooster’s Folly - a chicken coop
deserving of its name
The Major cried, ‘Monstrosity’
and Wally took the blame.

Indeed, a unique hen house
built amid the rubble
ruled now by a cockerel
who caused no end of trouble.

Napoleon had few friends
his manner too abrupt
Skirmished with the Major
and war could soon erupt.

The Major was attacked one day
and defending with his foot
sent flying cock down chimney pot
which covered him with soot.

Tumbling out, the flustered bird
feathers not so gleaming
terrified Marie Duval
who’d just finished the cleaning.

Black dust flew, as swift she fled
Napoleon giving chase
out the door, down the path
as if it were a race.

The Major lost his temper
funny it was not
and vowed to catch the wretched bird
and put him in the pot.

In time, it made him smile, though
he chuckled at the thought
When counting out the money
from the eggs that people bought.

One day, Henrietta arrived
the prettiest little hen
Napoleon, keen to date her
question though, was when?

He bided time on charm offensive
worked to get much fitter
Then one night, to his delight
‘I love you’ - said her twitter.

Next day, strutting in the yard
star struck eyes on Hetty
he came across and sought advice
from mother hen, called Betty.

He popped the question, she said yes
Napoleon on cloud nine
tied the knot, they were wed
and everything seemed fine.

Napoleon became a different bird
calmer, more polite
still called the time at six O’clock
when darkness met first light

The Major now could cross the farm,
bad old days forgotten
No more fighting in the yard
or scars upon his bottom.

Alas, poor Hetty fell unwell
was altogether moody
Napoleon feared, till Betty said...

“She’s not ill, just broody.
Give her time, she’ll come round
it’s not you she’s rejecting.
You should be proud
go tell the crowd, that Hetty is .... eggspecting!”

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Comments by other Members

James Graham at 15:54 on 21 January 2010  Report this post
Hi Joella - Next to a small tot of whisky, this poem is just the thing for a dreary January day! As a story, it’s delightful - even more so for me as I’ve had dealings with cocks and hens (country childhood, student holiday job, and more recently my daughter’s hens and ducks). This is surely one of the best episodes in your series.

There are just a few lines that rhythmically you could probably get away with, but could still be altered slightly to trip along better.

who’d JUST FINished the CLEANing

could become

who’d FINished OFF the CLEANing

or even

who’d just FINished OFF the CLEANing.


Out the door and down the path

In later times it made him smile,
even chuckle at the thought


One DAY came GORgeous HENriETta

Tied the knot and they were wed

Seems a lot, set out like this - but they’re all very minor tweaks. Perfection is the aim!


Joella at 21:45 on 23 January 2010  Report this post
Hi James - thanks for taking the time to review my poem. I'm glad you like it. I'm going to take on board your comments and make a few amendments. How uncanny that you've had dealings with hens. I was interested to discover that you think Rooster's Folly is one of the best episodes. I shall be interested to learn what you think of the next one- 'Flock Around The Crops.' Many thanks once again, James. Kind regards, Joella.

Nella at 17:06 on 24 January 2010  Report this post
Fun poem!

Joella at 15:52 on 28 January 2010  Report this post
Thank you, Nella!

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