The mountain rooster

| Dik al-jabal
Author: Fatima Charafedine
Illustrator: Thomas Boom
Asala, Lebanon, Beirut, 2005, 22 pages



Today is the day of the contest the rooster Shakkour has been waiting for. The ‘Best rooster in the mountain’ contest. Shakkour’s dream is to win this contest, and get to wake the whole mountain up, every single morning.

Dozens of roosters are gathered in the mountain today, and Shakkour knows quite a few of them. There are Jemjom, a rooster that only cares for his feathers, combing them with a branch; Qemqom, busy with his smell, and the perfume he spills all over himself; Felfol, pampering his crest with honey; Sousou, a westernized rooster wearing a cowboy hat. Whereas Shakkour, his feathers untidier then ever, stands away from everyone, waiting for his turn…

Let the contest begin! The jury of hens is lined up, and ready to hear the roosters’ cries.

Jemjom comes up first. But he is so busy with his feathers, that his cry goes: ‘Kik..kiki…kikou…kik…kiri..kou’. The jury is not very convinced.

Then comes the turn of Qemqom, absorbed with his scent. His cry goes: ‘Kouk… kik…koukik…kikouk’. The other roosters applaud, but will the hens like his performance?

Poor Felfol comes up. He tries to keep the  honey from flowing from his crest into his eyes so hard, that his cry goes: ‘Kouu…kouu…kouuu…kouu..’. While the other roosters applaud, it does not seem like the hens are convinced.

Sousou comes along with his cowboy hat, and he goes ‘Kookedoodledoo…kookdoodledoo…’. His cry is that of a foreigner and will certainly not do for our mountains, think the hens to themselves.

At last, Shakkour’s turn comes up. Everyone is shocked at his appearance (‘Why, doesn’t he tidy up a bit? Oh my! Look at his feathers!’). But Shakkour does not seem to care. He stands firmly in front of the jury. He shuts his eyes and cries from the bottom of his heart!

The hens are mesmerized! Everybody else shouts ‘BRAVO! BRAVO!’… That is how Shakkour got to become the Best Rooster in the Mountain.

Fatima Charafedine shows a subtle and great sense of humor in this very simple and amusing story of Shakkour the rooster.

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