Thursday, June 03, 2004

My uncle John was in the fertilized egg business when I was
young. He had several hundred young layers, called pullets, and 8
or 10 roosters whose job was to fertilize the eggs. My uncle kept
records and any rooster or pullet that didn't perform well went
into the pot and was replaced.

Now this took an awful lot of time. So when my uncle saw a set of
eight tiny bells that each rang a different tone he promptly
bought them. He glued a piece of foam rubber to each clapper
shaft so the bell wouldn't ring except when violently shaken.

He hung a bell on each rooster's neck and went and mixed a Mint
Julep. Now he could sit on the porch and sip while filling out an
efficiency report on the roosters by listening to the different
tones of the bells and marking down each encounter.

My uncle's favorite rooster was old Brewster. A very fine
specimen he was, but his bell had not rung all morning. Uncle
John went to investigate.

Several roosters were chasing pullets, bells a-ringing. Brewster
had his bell in his beak so it couldn't ring. He'd sneak up on a
pullet, do his job and walk on to the next one.

Uncle was so proud of Brewster he entered him in the county fair.

Brewster was an overnight sensation.

They not only awarded him the No Bell Prize but also the Pullet

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