Scholla: Fighting Cocks

Fighting Cocks

Mr. M. Walter Dundore, of Beloit Wis., sends us a clipping from the Reading Times of May 12, 1937, under the caption “Fifty Years Ago”. In the clipping there is a brief account of a cockfight on the outskirts of Reading which in 1887, attracted 100 “sportsmen.” The cocking main was between two birds, one from Pottsville and the other from Reading, and the Reading bird was the winner.

Mr. Dundore also enclosed a short sketch describing this “sport.” We quote directly from the account.

“The fights would be scheduled to take place in a barn back of the leading tavern and one had to be properly vouched for to gain admittance to the fighting arena and betting ring.

“The pit was about 12 feet square, with sides built of board two  feet high and sloping outward. The floor of the pit was of red clay. Several rows of planked seats surrounded the pit where spectators sat discussing the merits of the contending birds.

“Suddenly two men enter the pit from opposite sides, each holding a game cock. The birds have been weighed and matched to within a few ounces. Both men come together in the center of the pit and both hold out their birds so that their beaks touch. For a few seconds the jaunty cocks are allowed to peck at each other until they are thought to be primed for the fray. A referee looks on.

“Now the two owners set their birds down, four feet apart and at a signal from the referee they release them and the contest begins. The fighters suddenly strike. In the lightning –like flutter of flying feathers  they rise three feet off the pit floor, each cock trying to pass over the head of the other, striking backward with their deadly spurs in the struggle for supremacy.

“Much of the time is consumed by the cocks walking about, eyeing each other and sparring for position. After a half hour of gaffing and pecking, one of the birds usually succumbed. The winner struts over to the beaten bird and pecks at It, thus declaring its own victory.”

This type of “sport” is now outlawed and properly so. Animal baiting is a survival of ancient and pagan lore and has no place in our scheme of things. We present the story here because it does format part of the pleasures of the past and therefore is Scholla, or an Echo of the past.

Source: http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/mt/archives/2008/06/the_call_of_the.php
Source: http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/mt/archives/2008/06/the_call_of_the.php
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s