Tole, pronounced (Toe-lay), is my family rooster. When I walked into my house for the first time 3 months ago, Tole drew my attention right away, chirping from his cage positioned in the middle of the room. He was only a little chick at the time, and I could pick him up in one hand. He is the only chicken in our house because his mother and siblings all died, an event that was explained to me in graphic detail on my first night. From then on, we grew very close. I refer to Tole as anakku, ayamku (my child, my chicken), and I think it is catching on. In fact, my family calls him Tole as well and refer to me as his bapak (father). He follows me around the house when I’m home, and greets me with loud chirps in the morning.
One sweltering afternoon, I wandered out onto my porch to find Tole lying on the floor, like a corpse. I panicked and I expected the worst. But a moment later, he picked his head back up and clucked in my direction. It seemed that I had woken him up from a sunbathing session. Kids, right?
Over the past month, Tole has been growing quickly and is going through the normal stages of chicken puberty. What used to be fluffy yellow feathers, have since fallen off and been replaced by rough exposed skin and disgustingly large legs. He is too big to hold in one hand now, and instead of following me around the house, he just eats ants off of the ground. I’m assuming that it’s just a phase, and he’ll be pretty and loving again someday soon.
I have discussed Toles future a lot with my family as well. What will happen to him after I leave? Who will care for him like a son? My Ayah, father, is pretty adamant that he is going to make a fine meal when I am gone, but my Ibu, mother, is insisting that he will live to be a very old rooster. I’m not quite sure who to believe, but I do know one thing, Tole is a great pet, companion, and son to have in the family.