Feather duster

Updated: Aug 22

I look up at Pedro, my face tilted to one side. He strokes the feathers on the back of my neck, fiddles with my crest, and gently caresses the softness between my eyes. I love it. He has done it since the day I hatched.

‘Very soon, you will be the champion of our beloved state of Hidalgo, here in Mexico.’

I understand him, but I cannot speak. I flap a wing. I want to say, 'No, no, please. I don’t want to fight again.' After the last fight, when I nearly died, he told me I would live out my days with my favourite hens, Maria and my cheeky little Isabella.

‘Don’t worry, amigo. You know what to do.’ Proudly, he shows me a pair of shiny and sharp, long metal spurs. ‘You’ve done it many times before. Attack his face until he is mad and comes at you. His beak can’t do much. Then you jump as high as you can and drop onto his back. These spurs will do the work for you. They'll slice through him. You win, he dies.’