In 2006, a puppy came to live on a small farm in Colorado. His name was Oskar, and he was the runt of the litter. Oskar was a playful little guy, but on one fateful autumn day, he would learn that he was living in the dark shadow of a blood-thirsty assailant.
In the days leading up to that portentous afternoon, Oskar’s human companion became an unwitting accomplice to the ruthless creature prowling in her midst. So oblivious was she to the sheer aggression lurking inside the feathery beast that roamed her farm that her only worry was that the eventual perpetrator might instead become a victim.
Dogs are notorious for their appetite for fresh poultry, and she didn’t want her puppy to grow up to become a chicken killer. She googled “how to teach a dog not to attack chickens” and called her veterinarian friends. Everyone told her the same thing — the only surefire way to prevent a dog from attacking a chicken is to make sure that it never gets the chance.
The same might be said of the chicken. She kept several dozen of them at her farm, and one, in particular, stood out. They called him the Little Red Bastard. Red was a bantam rooster the size of a child’s slipper and angry as a bull on castration day. He was known to make grown men whimper as he tore his razor-sharp spurs into the back of their legs, and he’d become the neighborhood’s most notorious bully.What drove Little Red to meanness? Through an accident of birth, he was born smaller than the others, and he’d made it his life mission to prove his worth against creatures far larger than himself. Taming a dog would be the ultimate way to impress the hens and lure them into his bachelor pad.
On that momentous afternoon in late fall, Oskar would learn of the Red Bastard’s taste for canine blood. The puppy was just a few months old, and he skipped toward the little rooster as if he were a new friend. Let’s play!
[Voiceover: The following content may be upsetting to young children. What you are about to see is actual footage of the attack. This is not a re-enactment.*]
Red puffed his chest out a little and stood his ground. No way, kid. Don’t you know who I am?
Oskar was still undeterred. Come on birdie, play with me! The LRB widened his stance and held his ground. He could almost smell the blood.
The puppy was getting frustrated. Let’s frolic! He reached his paw out to give the little rooster a playful tap. And that’s when the Little Red Bastard unleashed his wicked spurs.
Blood rose and Oskar retreated in haste. Only the playful puppy’s fast reaction saved him from anything more than a simple flesh wound. No charges were ever filed.
Bonus content: Where are they now?
The Little Red Bastard was sent to the stewpot in late 2007. He was chewy and tough.
Oskar is now a middle-aged dog, fat and happy on the farm. He has feared chickens ever since his encounter with the LRB.
*disclaimer: this post is for entertainment purposes only. Events described here might be embellished. Accusations of scientific inaccuracy will be laughed off, all the way to the bank.
Images: Cartoon rooster via Shutterstock. Dog photos by Christie Aschwanden. Photo art by Erik Vance.