The Cock of Marrakech

Red and black rooster

His puny brain was only capable of meagre thought, but he knew this – the dawn was his.

“I!” he had yelled out, time and again. “I rule this place! Am I not the king? Look at my crown!”

But his pleas were futile. No one could hear him over the cacophony of these dawn-stealers.

They cheated, of course. They started before the dawn, before the sky even started to lighten. He had tried to get around them, had started even earlier, hours and hours before dawn. But everyone was asleep then. No one had heard him and he had felt dreadfully alone. If a cock crows in the Medina and nobody hears it, did it really crow?

He had fought the only way he knew how – by trying to out-crow them. It’s how generations of roosters before him had become the top of the roost; he knew it without knowing it. He knew it in his feathers. But it hadn’t worked. They always beat him. They were the loudest thing in this damn city.

Well, fine. He was done. If they would ignore him, he would ignore them.

He looked out over the city. He looked up at the stars. It was still an hour until dawn. He tucked his head under his wing and went to sleep.

That morning in Marrakech, as the call to prayer went out and thousands of men began to pray, no rooster was to be heard on the Rue El Gza.

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Nat Newman

Nat Newman is an award-winning writer of short stories, content, podcasts, feature articles, drunk text messages and, soon, a novella.

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