Wetumpka Public Library director Susan Hayes may have answered a question at the center of many jokes. If not generally accepted, Hayes is happy with the answer herself after a rooster took up residence at the library.
“Now we know why the chicken crossed the road,” Hayes said. “To get to the library.”
Hayes said the rooster has been coming around the library for more than a month and has been spotted and heard among the buildings and green space surrounding the library.
“We thought it was just a one-off thing but he has been coming almost every day since the middle of February,” Hayes said. “I get here at 7:30 a.m. I can hear him. It sounds like he was across the road. I saw him in front of the art gallery. It has a door with a window and he looks at himself (in the window) at about 7:30 a.m. and crows and then he will come around the side of the library and get some breakfast and makes this sweet clucking sound when he starts to eat. After he eats, he struts around.”
The rooster already has a following. Hayes posted a photograph to Facebook that has been seen by more than 6,000 people.
“When I first saw him, he was near the front door,” Hayes said. “I went out the side door and went down and around to make a picture of him with the sign in the background. I posted it on Facebook. The mayor got on there and said, ‘Who said Wetumpka doesn’t have something to crow about?’”
Hayes says the rooster will hide but others have seen him.
“People come in and comment they have seen him,” Hayes said. “Some comment they have heard him but didn’t see him. He will dive into those bushes if it gets busy but I can still hear him during the day.”
The rooster’s presence and more importantly his noisy calling card have not caused issues.
“He will crow all day,” Hayes said. “People don’t seem to complain. We have people trying to work and study — luckily they don’t complain, asking us to make him stop.”
The rooster’s suggested names may have saved the library staff from having to evict him from the grounds.
“We haven’t officially named him,” Hayes said. “Russell Crowe and Gregory Peck have been suggested.”
The rooster has even suggested altering the library schedule.
“He doesn’t like it that we don’t come to the library on Sundays,” Hayes said. “On Monday, he was on the steps of the library and he’s looking at me like, ‘Where have you been?’”
Hayes said the rooster follows a regular schedule.
“I keep thinking one morning when I get here he is not going to be there but he is,” Hayes said. “I think he has his routine. I will empty the book drop and he will hear the sounds and come on over thinking it is time to get some food.”
Hayes says the library has corn and bird food for the famous rooster but Hayes has given him a few treats.
“I will sometimes get a biscuit from a gas station,” Hayes said. “I will give him the top part of it. He likes bread. He is not spoiled. Not at all.”
Hayes said the rooster has no friends of a feather but it might be interesting if it happens.
“It would be cool if a chicken came up,” Hayes said. “We could have an Easter egg hunt year round.”