He's a rooster.
The town center is surrounded by a city wall -- built in the 14th century, renovated many times since. (The Swedes aren't likely to attack any time soon, but why take chances?) Just outside it is a garden strip... one of those German things where everyone has a little lot to plant flowers, raise vegetables or just relax. No, wait, it's Germany. Okay, flowers or vegetables.
Or chickens! There's one plot that's full of them -- six or eight dowdy hens, and one magnificent rooster.
The boys love Big Eddy. Love him! He's all orange and gold, with a flowing green tail, long dangling wattles and a great red comb. He's twice the size of the hens, with a long yellow beak and great griping claws. His eyes are red. He struts among his dull brown wives like a... well, like a rooster among hens.
We stop by his plot almost every day. Coming back from school? Picking up something from the post office? Run to the bakery for rolls? Everything is in the town center, inside the walls, and when we come out of the gate it's just a quick side trip to see Big Eddy. If we have something to eat, we save a few crumbs for him.
A couple of days ago, we came by and one of the hens was outside the fence. She'd somehow fluttered over it, and -- hens not being very bright at the best of times -- couldn't figure out how to get back in. So she was pacing back and forth outside, clucking rather pathetically. What to do? What to do!?!
I opened the garden gate and went "shoo" at the chickens to keep them inside while the boys went after the hen. Run run run! The silly bird, cackling wildly, ran this way and then that way and then, finally, figured it out: the gate! Open somehow!
She ran inside and I slammed the gate shut. The hens milled around excitedly: what just happened? something just happened! The boys said "all right" and we exchanged high fives all around. Big Eddy looked down his beak at us disdainfully and ignored the whole thing.
High point of the day.