The call was loud. It was high pitched. It was definitely human but sounded more animal.
It was the features editor, standing near one of the reporters on her team.
I was on the phone, but as soon as I could, I wandered over to two and said, “You know, you just made my ‘Overheard in the Newsroom’ blog. What was that?!” She was laughing too hard to respond, so I continued, “It sounded like a rooster!”
Ding-ding-ding! The editor and reporter had been discussing the Ohio State Fair, and she had given her best impression of a rooster call.
It was damn good, actually.
I wish I’d recorded it, but I had no advance notice. Instead, I found this YouTube video of a real rooster crowing. It’s not exactly the same, but close.
I can only imagine what the people over in the advertising department thought. I mean, we’re used to hearing crazy stuff coming from them, but we’re generally the quiet bunch!
As much as I love writing and the solitude of being in my writers’ cave—just me and the characters in my head—there’s something to be said for the camaraderie of working in a large group, especially a group of creative people, like the people who make up a newsroom. We’re all busy, but occasionally we get to talk about things other than newspapers—like brainstorm story plots or shared experiences of writing conferences.
And occasionally we get to demonstrate our other skills—like rooster calling.
That particular day I was stressed from too many obligations (at work and home), and like the real critter’s morning Reveille, the editor’s “crowing” woke me out of my tunnel vision.
She reminded me that not only is it okay to take a mental break, it’s essential . We need to remind ourselves that we’re people, not machines. We’re meant to have fun once in a while, to enjoy not only the grand events of our lives, but even, or maybe especially, the smallest moments.
I don’t think I’ll ever listen to a rooster crow quite the same way again.
Leah writes stories of mystery and romance, good and evil, and the enduring power of love. To learn more, visit her at LeahStJames.com.