I heard a rooster crow this morning on my walk and paused to wonder if he would be considered an urban chicken. After all, I live in an unincorporated part of the county, though the population is somewhere between sixteen and twenty thousand. But, alas, it is the county. Thankfully, Gulf Breeze “proper” (population 6000) lets us borrow their name, but we have to use our own zip code. In my short morning walk I passed five other walkers (three dogs in tow), a school bus (thirty kids in tow), one cyclist and a jogger, confirming my belief that I lived in civilization. But my four-year-old granddaughter Keaton told me she has to go through a long forest to get to my house. So, I guess the rooster I heard must be a “rural” rooster.
My grandmother raised “rural chickens,” right there in a fenced chicken yard on the far side of the house. That was before chickens were chi-chi and municipalities were writing rules and issuing permits for urban chickens. Like today’s urban farmers, my grandmother raised chickens for eggs – eggs that tasted like eggs ought to taste. But unlike today’s urban chicken farmers, Mawmaw knew a good roasting hen when she saw it and knew how to wield a hatchet. Chicken gumbo for Sunday lunch?