I hope you didn’t think we finished up our concerns with the animal world, having covered bulls and horses. We must not neglect the animal frequently associated with farms which writers have often advocated bringing to the city: the chicken.
There have always been those writers who, hoping to instill in you a degree of self-sufficiency, wrote that what we all need is a few chickens in our life. This would provide us with eggs, which can be sold, making us a nice side income, and bring us to more healthy habits, as if you have chickens, you need to “go to bed with the chickens”, meaning going to sleep early so you can get up when the chickens awake at the rising of the sun (or earlier,.) Why suddenly changing your daily cycle to reflect that of a bunch of birds indicates self-sufficiency is a matter they discuss at great length without ever making the answer clear, at least to me.
Of course, our ancestors, being knowledgeable about such things whether they decided to go into egg hustling or not, knew that none of this would be possible without the rooster. The rooster played several roles in the cartoons of the postcard companies, but one job was paramount. For amateur or professional egg-grower, the rooster was essential.
And didn’t he know it. The strut of the male chicken who knew he was the be-all and end-all of the egg business gave us the expression “cock of the walk”, for an alpha male.
Not that his work day was any less hectic than that of the person who bought the postcards.
And he was just as liable to complaints that he was falling behind in his job.
Now and again, he would be mistake himself for an absolute ruler.
But the fact of the matter was that he was simply CEO of a large work force. And like any other manager he had to deal with slow-downs by his workers.
He is shown in business negotiations.
Technically, the work force was made up of free-lancers, who might work for chicken feed (sorry) but who could always decide not to put in the effort.
Many of whom were perfectly willing to work, but just wanted to see the boss sweat a bit, too.
No matter what observers had to say about the relationship of management and labor.
Still, one way or another, the work got done.
One way or another. Um, remember what I said about his employees being free-lancers?
(On Friday: the fruit of his labors.)