Year of the Cock

By | February 1, 2017 at 1:40 am | No comments | Columns, Haddon Libby, Week 02/02 - 02/08 2017

By Haddon Libby

Only one week after the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States, we say goodbye to the Year of the Monkey and ‘select’ Muslim immigrations to the United States and hello to the Year of the Cock.

Why am I mentioning the ‘select’ Muslim Ban and the Chinese New Year together?  I notice similarities.  For example, in that picture of Donald Trump in the column, he bears a striking resemblance to the gallinaceous bird.  Additionally, this is the Year of the Red Fire Cock and Trump has a firey orange-red glow to his hair and skin. 

There are more similarities but I should first tell you why I am using the word ‘cock’ instead of ‘rooster’.  As surprising as it might seem, after five years of writing this column I have never written about cocks…the closest that I have come is turkeys.  I also prefer to use proper English and the word ‘rooster’ is most certainly a more xenophobic varietal of the bird’s name.  Throughout history, cock has been the more common word to be used in describing this fowl around the world.  It is only here in these younger and more juvenile United States that we snicker when someone says cock.  We also call rubbers erasers which confuses school-aged Londoners when on holiday stateside.

It should be no surprise that a cock is polygamous.  Like President Trump, cocks are territorial and need many hens to keep them from becoming aggressive.

A cock is also known for its crowing.  Some cocks crow all of the time while others are less vociferous.  While most roosters have docile personalities, every now and then you run into an ornery cock. 

Rude cocks can cause problems and should be separated from the rest of your flock.  To avoid these anti-social behaviors, set-up social areas where the cocks can get to know each other.  Otherwise, cocks take to cockfighting.

Cocks hold an important place in religion.

In Christianity, Pope Gregory thought that cocks were the “most suitable symbol of Christianity”.  It was about this time that the Church began putting cocks on weathervanes over their houses of worship.

In Judism, the Talmud states that a person is blessed if they are “given the wisdom of a cock”.  The Talmud also states that if they had not been blessed by the cock, they would have had to learn from other animals like cats, ants and doves.

In Islam, the crow of a cock is supposed to mean that the bird has seen an angel.  As such, followers of the faith should use this moment as a chance to pray.

Here in America, we have literally hundreds of types of cocks including the Iowa Blue, Rhode Island Red and California Gray.  In Europe, they have Long Crowers, English Games and Golden Beauties.  In China, the foot of the Chinese Silkie is thought to have medicinal qualities. 

Despite being called a cock and having a wattle right under its beak, a cock’s sex organs are internal and not visible to the naked eye.   Hens choose mates based on the size of their combs and wattles.

The Chinese New Year is celebrated for two weeks beginning on January 28th and marks year 4,714 on their calendar.  Chinese astrologists expect that 2017 will represent a new dawn and awakening where  prosperity and success are rewarded to those who work hard and have patience.  Here is where I truly hope that the similarities continue with President Trump. 

Haddon Libby is a Financial Advisor and Managing Partner of Winslow Drake Investment Management.  He can be reached at 760.449.6349 or HLibby@WinslowDrake.com.

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