THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Yearning to hear the cock crow again

Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By David Abel
Globe Staff / May 16, 2008

More than a week since the bird vanished, the woman has called on just about everyone but the Marines.

The black rosecomb rooster that walked into Janie Owen's Somerville backyard seven years ago, crowed from a magnolia tree, and immediately started keeping watch over her cat suddenly disappeared on May 7, leaving the 57-year-old woman and many neighbors desperate for his return.

"I miss him; we all miss him," Owen said of the bird she named Reston, after the Virginia town where her parents live. "He's a good bird. He's a member of the family, a member of the whole neighborhood. We want him back."

Since Reston disappeared, Owen has sought help from local police, animal control officers, neighbors, the nearby high school, everyone from mail carriers to garbage workers. She has posted a "missing pet" item on the city's website and plastered 100 posters from East Somerville to Davis Square.

Her plea for help has triggered about a dozen crank calls. "It's tiring," she said.

Somerville police Sergeant Jerry Reardon said his officers don't search for missing pets. But he understands Owen's pain. "If someone took my rooster, I would want people looking for it," he said.

Owen has received some help. April Terrio, Somerville's animal control officer, has been searching for Reston, a creature she once saw as a potential health threat and nearly took away before neighbors stopped her. "I feel bad for Jane, but there isn't too much that we can do," Terrio said.

As she worries about the possible fates of Reston - who, since 2001, has spent nights in a blanketed cage in the basement of her two-family home - Owen is relying on the moral support of neighbors, who long put up with what they describe as Reston's "singing" and his adventures into their yards.

"He would eat pine nuts right out of your hands," said Andy Winther, who said Reston often followed him around. "He was just like a dog. You could pet him. You could pick him up. He really loved people."

Mary Michaud said some neighbors complained at first. But they accepted Reston as he became a local fixture.

"He was like a friend," said Michaud, who also received frequent visits from Reston. "He would just jump in the flower box and make a rooster sound. We enjoyed him. Now it seems very quiet that he's not here. We miss him very much - very much. I hope someone has him."

There may yet be hope.

Sarah McClellan, a neighbor from a few blocks away who saw an item about the missing bird in the Somerville Journal, called Owen yesterday to say two men stopped by her house with the rooster last week. They asked her for a box and bird food and said they found the rooster - not a common sight in Somerville - on a nearby street.

She said they planned to take the bird to a local animal shelter.

"I said, 'You're not going to eat it, are you?' " McClellan said. "They seemed very concerned about the rooster."

Owen said she's waiting to hear from local shelters.

more stories like this

  • Email
  • Email
  • Print
  • Print
  • Single page
  • Single page
  • Reprints
  • Reprints
  • Share
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Comment
 
  • Share on DiggShare on Digg
  • Tag with Del.icio.us Save this article
  • powered by Del.icio.us
Your Name Your e-mail address (for return address purposes) E-mail address of recipients (separate multiple addresses with commas) Name and both e-mail fields are required.
Message (optional)
Disclaimer: Boston.com does not share this information or keep it permanently, as it is for the sole purpose of sending this one time e-mail.