The Fighting Cock, a short story by StevenHunley. Date added: 2010-05-06. Times viewed: 2013.
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- Intro: The life of a famous Mexican Cock described
The Fighting Cock
I was eating in a small cantina in Ciudad Juarez when the owner, a man of some pride, related this tale. We had been talking about cock fighting while I ate some chicken asada .(fried) The beer was a warm Corona, they had no refrigerator. Maybe eating chicken is what triggered the talk. He told me of a famous cock who had lived in those parts whose name was Bruno.
"It is said that even when Bruno exited the egg it was noticed (caramba!) he had legs that were well-shaped, firm and strong."
"His legs are strong and firm and well-shaped," the old men in the village noted. Many men's mustaches bobbed in agreement.
"He will fight well when he is older," is what the men of the village predicted.
When he was growing up Bruno showed that he was well suited to the task of fighting in both leg and mind. He showed that he had the attitude that only one man can be right, and that that man was him. "Cock-sure attitude" is what they called it. His strong legs only re-enforced this belief.
Soon he had had many fights and many victories. He fame grew beyond the small village in which he was born, and drew the attention of the Mexican Mafia, whose banditos smelled that there was money (pesos) to be made.
Soon they pushed the original owner out and took over the training and betting of the cock Bruno. As they have done with many other athletes, they began to give him drugs. At first it was chiva (heroin) to protect him from any pain his opponents gave him with the swift cuttings from the blades on their legs. This was a mistake, as he rarely let any other cocks touch him. His wounds were few. But something was noticed. They'd given chiva (carga) to him once too often, and he became addicted. On one occasion, when he was fighting, there wasn't time to give him his daily dose until after the fight was over.
‘What difference did that make?" I asked like a fool or tourist, same thing.
"He was in a foul mood, if you will forgive the pun senor, and kicked the other cock's ass even more than usual. It was a bloody mess."
"Why is he extra mean today?" asked one of his handlers.
"Because he's dope sick. So he's mean and he's kicking. They don't call it kicking for nothing mi amigo."
Afterwards they gave him his dose and he calmed down immediately and nodded off.
But the Mexican Mafia had noted the formula for his success and his future was decided upon.
This became the standard way of fighting him, and there was no way he would lose. Many pesos were bet and many pesos were made.
Finally, with the help of informers, the secret got out and to the wrong people. The police and Federales were notified.
He and his handlers were arrested, and because he could afford no bail and no attorney (he was only being paid chicken feed) he was found guilty and convicted of murder. It was rare to sentence and convict a poor chicken, but you have to remember this is Mexico where anything poor can happen.
He was sentenced to have his neck broken and he was covered in Tapatio sauce, chilis and green mole sauce as suits a prize chicken. Then they fried Bruno's ass up as was their way.
"When did this happen?" I asked, as only an outsider would.
"Oh, only yesterday senor. We only serve fresh food here," he looked down sadly, "We are a poor cantina and can't afford refrigeration."
I looked down at the leg I was holding in my hand. It was well-shaped, firm and strong. (Ay, caramba!)
And for some reason, though I knew that turkey could make you sleepy, but this pollo (chicken) amigo? It made me dream.
Author's note: Written after too much Hemingway and under the (his) influence. Sorry Papa
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