I once had a rooster named Princess and let me tell you, he was anything but. I had gotten him at the feed store and they told me he was a hen, but once he started his early morning “cock-a-doodle-doo” it became clear he was indeed a rooster. Nevertheless, the name stuck, and he remained as Princess.
While he was cute to begin with, it wasn’t soon after that he started showing signs of teenage rebellion. Aggressive and moody, the moment we would step outside, he would thunder towards us, his claws like daggers waiting to claim his next victim.
One day, as we pulled into the driveway, Princess confronted us, and my dad, the only one brave enough to offer protection, was not there. My mom, offering words of encouragement to my older sister Rocio, said, “Just run real quick and open the garage door for us, it’s okay he won’t do anything to you.” Keep in mind my mom and I stayed in the car with absolutely no intention of stepping out. Slowly my brave sister Rocio backed towards the garage, making sure to keep eye contact with Princess, as he was waiting for the perfect moment to attack. Not only did he have his eyes dead-set on her, he also dug his claws into the ground, like a racehorse just before the bell goes off.
Suddenly, Princess began sprinting with his talons glimmering in the light as they made their way towards her. As she screamed and begged for mercy, my mom swung the car door open and smacked Princess right off his tracks. Now it wasn’t just Rocio screaming, my mom and I were too as we rushed towards Princess who was lying on the ground, still as can be, with his eyes closed. The cold blooded creature was gone, and in his place laid nothing but the sweet baby that we saw at the feed store. As I bent down, I hesitantly reached towards him. Tears streaming down my face, I stroked his feathers, and began saying my goodbyes. Suddenly, his eyes flipped open and his claws got a hold of me, I screamed as my mom grabbed his foot and whirled him to the side.
Princess taught me valuable lessons which I’ve taken to heart lately. Just as I named him Princess, and he turned out to be quite the opposite, he taught me that I am not defined by the labels that are given to me. In high school, especially, we are given many labels; “the smart one,” “the annoying one,” “the athletic one,” etc. However, we are not defined by those and since we are all officially high school graduates; we have our whole lives to work for who we truly want to be. We have our whole lives to prove to ourselves and others that we can achieve things beyond the labels given to us in high school. We can become athletic if we want to, or get a bachelor’s degree with perseverance rather than being born with intelligence. The point is that high school was four years of our lives, and while it holds many incredible memories, we have the rest of our lives to become greater people. Just like Princess, only time can tell where the Class of 2020 will end up, and no matter where it is, make sure it’s somewhere you’re proud of.
As for Princess, he could’ve chosen a better path, nonetheless, he left me with a message too important not to share. Not long after the horrific event that Princess caused, we moved and he was nowhere to be found. Legend has it he still roams the streets, occasionally frightening some neighbors.