Tuesday, October 27, 2009


It seems like every “foreign” experience has a rooster story, and of course my time in Utrera included it’s own.
It was an early spring morning.  The sun was just peeking over the horizon when all of a sudden a rooster began to crow.  I would have probably slept through it, after all it was no louder than some of the drunks that stumbled through the plaza on their way home at 5am, but I could have sworn that this cock was on our roof. I knew this couldn’t be since Chiva, who caught pigeons and bats mid air, lived upstairs.  There was no way she would share her space with a feathered friend. It couldn’t be next door on the left since we shared a wall with the downtown branch of the BBVA (a Spanish Bank), and I couldn't imagine our proper neighbors on the right having a pet rooster--but then again, you never know.  To my relief after the rooster let out a few more crows, I was able to roll over and fall asleep.
I didn’t think about it until the next day when, at the crack of dawn, once again I was awakened by a cock-a-doodle-doo.  But wait, this time the sound seemed a bit further away and a little to the east.  Unfortunately, when the early morning serenade ended, I was unable to fall back asleep.  So when my 10 am Pilates class rolled around I arrived a bit cranky.
I asked the class if anyone knew, who in downtown Utrera, had the new pet rooster.  They all told me that I was crazy, because no one who lived in a downtown home would own a rooster and, besides, none of them had heard it.  I argued that I have heard of stranger animals being taken on as pets, and of course they wouldn’t hear it since they all slept with their windows and shutters drawn--besides, nothing could wake them at the crack of dawn since they had just gone to bed at 3 am!!!  My argument didn’t change the fact that the class continued to consider me the Loca Americana, who was now imagining that she heard farm animals in town.
Later that afternoon when returning to our flat from the eastern part of the pueblo, I cut down the little cobblestone street where the three little triplets lived.  I never knew the family’s name, or the name of the street, but whenever I talked about the street where the triplets live everyone knew who and where I was talking about.  As I walked by the gate that lead to their indoor patio I suddenly heard a cock-a-doodle-doo.  I should have guessed; it was these three little terrors that owned the new pet.  At least the mystery was solved, and I would be able to save face at Pilates.
But wait, bright and early the next morning, out to the west my morning serenade began.  How could this be, I knew he was living at the triplets house to the east.  I was dying to figure this out, so I called Mari-Carmen.  She lived in the direction from which the roosters’ song came, and asked her if she had heard anything.  She said that that morning she had heard it for the first time, but that she would figure out what was going on.  If there was anyone who could figure out this mystery it was Mari-Carmen, as she seemed to know everyone and everything that went on in Utrera.
I waited and waited to hear from Mari-Carmen, but she never got back to me.  She probably had more important things to deal with and than an American wanting to know about a loose cock.  Besides, there was nothing we could do about it.
I would continue to hear the rooster each morning, but the sound continued to shift.  Mark, being the engineer that he is, tried to convince me that it was the echo and wind that made it sound like it was changing directions.  What did he know, he was always snoring right through the wake up call.  Of course, I eventually grew accustomed to the noise, and it stopped waking me up, that or maybe it even went away.
Then several weeks later I was in the check out line at the small local grocery store.  As was typical, the cashier was gossiping about life in Utrera.  Suddenly she started talking  to the lady in front of me.  “You know Ana, right?  Ana Jimenez, the one whose father owns the small farm that is located behind bar on the road to Molares.  Well, last month after a Sunday afternoon in the campo, her father sent her home with a rooster to make some stew.  When she took it up to the roof of her piso to ring its' neck, it escaped and has been flying around from roof top to roof top for the last month and no one can catch it.”
Had I heard this story several months earlier, I would have rolled my eyes, and chalked it up as Urban Legend.  But for me, it solved the mystery regarding the roaming rooster crow sound waves.  I just hoped that the bird would eventually make its way to our roof so that Chiva could permanently turn off the early morning alarm clock.


  1. Hi Maya, a great story! :) Thanks for the laugh this morning.

  2. Canta el gallo, canta el gallo con su quiri quiri quiri quiri quiri. I can just hear this rooster's song filling the early Utrera morning.

  3. ha ha - very funny! It's bad enough when they crow at 5am but I seem to find the extra early risers i.e. 2am or 3am - maybe they're jet lagged but I could do with a Chiva nearby for those occasions

  4. Kathy, glad I could add a little laughter into your day.

    Erlinda, I think you did here the rooster in Utrera when you visited!

    Quickroute--Yeah I am glad it wasn't too early a riser, but then again it was a Spanish rooster and nobody is an early riser in Spain! Not sure if you read Spring is Sung, but Chiva had her own moments!