Old Guard, as they called him, ruled the countryside for years and surrounded himself with an orderly harem. He took it upon himself to act as protector and leader, and it could be said that he was respected, although there was some spite among the women in regards to the large wooden door that locked them inside their humble farmstead home each night. In general Old Guard was quite content with his holdings, but he longed for offspring of his own. Alas other forces were at work that prevented even his most beloved ladies from bearing his fruit, and though he never quite understood what they were, he refused to accept the possibility of his own impotence. He wondered if perhaps his rough approach was working against him but it was in his nature and he knew no other way
Just as he was beginning to fret that he had passed his prime he began to notice significant changes in the behavior of one of the quieter ladies, Miss Lorpie. She would slip away from the group for long periods of time until he finally realized it had been days since he’d seen her. Before he was even completely aware of what was happening she had thirteen little ones scurrying at her feet and one, despite appearing to have taken after its mother in gender, in his spitting image. He was so proud of his new family and but took a liking to that little one in particular. But the path of parenthood would prove rough for Old Guard and Miss Lorpie, and within the course of a week or two all of the babies perished tragically…all but the one who stayed protected under her father’s watchful eye. He dubbed her the Survivor; Sue for short. Sue never left her father’s side, and with his guidance she would eventually blossom into ….a strapping young man?
Yes, despite a youthful feminine appearance and tendency toward lady-like behaviors, it became clear that, as time wore on, Sue felt more at home in a masculine identity. He became known as Suevivor and as he grew into his body he began to realize that one day their little community would grow too small for both him and Old Guard, though no one would discuss the matter. Just as tension was beginning to grow, another character appeared on the scene to complicate matters further. Mr. Bardrock came from quality stock and was clearly from a higher echelon than the farm had ever known. He arrived with several ladies in tow, all of them decked out from head to toe in dashing pinstripes never before seen in these parts.
Suevivor knew that the time had come to establish his role in society. Although it pained him to challenge his own father who had cared for and supported him for so long, he knew that if he did not, Mr. Bardrock would, and he would not stop at mere defeat. His mother and the other residents of the farm felt it coming and urged him to reconsider but he knew what he must do. They all gathered round next morning as Suevivor prepared himself, puffed up his chest, and went in for the first devastating blow. Old guard was weak with age by now, and completely unprepared. Though he had as weapons the talons of maturity that Suevivor still lacked, he was unable to defend himself against his strapping young son. The ruckus attracted a crowd and everyone looked on in disbelief that this day had finally come. They wanted to prevent the violence but also understood it to be part of a larger natural process.
Old Guard’s head grew bloodier and his breathing more strained with each attack until he was gasping for air and completely worn down. He could no longer jump and strike and protect himself sufficiently enough to ward off his young competition. There was no clear end in sight but it was indisputable that Suevivor had dethroned his father. And just when they thought it was finally over and Suevivor had let up, Mr. Bardrock siezed his opportunity to establish his place as second-in-command. It was more than the onlookers could take, watching the old king go this way, defeated not once but twice in a row. They soon intervened and a truce was called. Old Guard would be allowed to live out his days, but he would remain on the fringes of society, occasionally allowed into the safe room at night to sleep, but constantly reminded of his new place in the pecking order. His comb remained a bloody mess, his once elegant white feathers streaked with red and brown. Most days he would slip under the fence that defined their territory to escape the incessant taunting, but occasionally, for good measure and to prove he hadn’t entirely lost his mojo, he would convince one or two of the older ladies to keep him company for the day.