Excerpt Five:

He was taking his rest.  Pertelote felt the trouble of unraveling events–but today, today she was disabled.  There sat Chauntecleer on his limb, her husband whom she could not kiss…All she could do was to make her world a tiny place, sufficient for herself alone.  She wrapped her wings around her body and grieved…

Chauntecleer was taking his rest.

Then into this troubled congregation of the Animals there came a terrible word which seemed, when it was heard, to name the times like a title underneath a picture:  That word was Death.  No one was surprised to hear it. But for some it was the end of trusting and the motive to handle matters on their own:  for some, the end of faith; for some, the realization of fears, for others, the justification for selfishness…

And no one–not even the quick-eyed Pertelote–saw that the Rooster in their midst had begun to cry.  Chauntecleer cried with harsh, unsatisfying sobs.

Two things grieved him.  He had never in all his life felt so totally isolated, not even when he’d been alone, because loneliness is not rejection.  Behold:  he was despised by his own, an outcast.

[The Book of Sorrows, Walter Wangerin, Jr., pg. 295-297]


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