Why does Bartlett the rooster attack Duffy every time Duffy tries to collect eggs?

Source : http://www.highlightskids.com/Stories/Fiction/F1099_eggacheggaba.asp...


This was the part he liked.“Do I have to?” whined Duffy. “Can’t someone else do it?”


His mother looked at him while she scraped carrots at the sink. “Collecting the eggs is your job, Duffy.”


“But, Mom, that rooster hates me,” said Duffy. “He just waits for me to reach for an egg and then attacks me.”


“That’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard,” said his mother. “Roosters don’t hate. And Bartlett is a friendly rooster. Why, just yesterday he ate right out of my hand.”


“Oh, sure,” thought Duffy as he dragged his feet down to the henhouse. “That rotten rooster is smarter than Mom thinks. He butters her up so she won’t believe me.”


Duffy looked all around before opening the door. So far so good. Bartlett was nowhere to be seen. Duffy quietly opened the door and stepped into the warm darkness. It smelled like fresh hay and chicken droppings. He heard the soft clucking of two hens who were still sitting on their eggs.


The comforting sounds and smells made him forget about the cranky rooster, and he got on with his job.


This was the part he liked. First he picked up the smooth brown eggs in all the empty nest boxes. Then he stopped in front of one of the hens still sitting on her nest.


“Eggacheggaba!” he shouted. The startled hen jumped up with a squawk, and Duffy quickly stuck his hand under her and grabbed the warm egg. Duffy laughed. She was too startled to peck at his hand. It worked every time. He had been pecked on the back of his hands too many times before he came up with this idea.


He stopped at the next hen. “Eggacheggaba!” he shouted. Up she jumped with a squawk, and another warm egg was added to the basket. Pleased with himself, Duffy turned to leave. Then he stopped cold.


There in the doorway stood the big rooster. Bartlett bristled all over and glared at Duffy with beady black eyes, making gurgling noises in his throat. He stepped on one yellow foot and then the other so that he was rocking back and forth like a wrestler before the pounce. There was no way out.


“Mom!” screamed Duffy at the open door. “Mom! Bartlett is going to attack me!” But he could hear the lawn mower going in the front yard and realized she couldn’t hear him.


Bartlett puffed up his breast feathers and started moving toward Duffy with swaggering steps. All the time, his beady eyes glared at the boy.


“Eggacheggaba!” shouted Duffy. But the magic word didn’t work. “Keek! Phooey! Shoo!” The rooster kept coming.


Duffy grabbed an egg out of the basket and hurled it at the rooster’s head. It missed and splattered on the floor in front of him. Bartlett stopped and began to peck at the broken egg.


Seeing his chance to escape, Duffy slowly sidestepped, with his back pressed against the wall, to get past the rooster. He was almost at the door when Bartlett reached out and stepped on Duffy’s sneaker, digging his claws into the shoelaces. Duffy froze. He was afraid to move.


"Mom!"“Help!” he hollered. “Bartlett is attacking me!” At the sound of the boy’s screaming, the rooster jumped and grabbed onto Duffy’s pant leg with his other claw. Duffy kicked out, but the rooster hung on with both feet.


In panic, Duffy dropped the basket of eggs and jumped out the open door with the rooster stuck to him. Bartlett hung on even tighter with his claws and flapped his big wings to keep his balance.


“Mom!” shrieked Duffy.


“Squawk!” screamed the bird.


Duffy’s heart pounded against his chest. He tried to run, but couldn’t. He looked down at the clinging rooster whose own chest was heaving up and down.


Bartlett’s beak was open, and his black eyes were bulging with fear. Suddenly Duffy realized that Bartlett was as scared as he was! Still fearful, Duffy reached one hand down slowly and touched the rooster’s back.


"Squawk!" screamed thebird.“There, there, ol’ boy,” said Duffy softly. “I won’t hurt you.” Slowly Bartlett loosened his grip on Duffy. The boy kept talking and petting the rooster until finally Bartlett stepped off Duffy and stood on the ground.


As if a light had turned on in his head, Duffy realized how it must have looked to the rooster when he shouted at the hens, making them jump and squawk.


“You probably thought I was hurting your hens, didn’t you?” said Duffy. “Mom says it’s your job to protect them. I guess you were just doing your job.”


By this time the rooster had lost interest in Duffy and had wandered off, clucking to himself. Duffy trotted back to the henhouse to pick up the basket of broken eggs. He decided to stop shouting his magic word at the hens. After all, what were a few pecks on the hand among friends?