Gone but not forgotten could be Leroy the Rooster’s epitaph, or his bragging rights as he wanders the woods in rural St. Clair.

The couple and their four kids were Leroy’s family until last fall when a foul invasion occurred. A wily raccoon, or raccoons, tore a gaping hole in the coop that Leroy shared with laying hens and chicks. The rooster vanished without a trace, leaving the Windes with a barnyard of stories to share.

Leroy’s Back Story

The Windeses originally wanted a rooster because they thought it would be fun. It would be great if he’d procreate, but they really just wanted him for his cock-a-doodle-do. They never imagined Leroy would be “an attack bird,” a reputation that earned him his name, taken from the old ’70s song, “Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown.”

Leroy was a freebie gladly bequeathed — perhaps too gladly, Dana said. The Windeses soon discovered why. He was civil to everyone but their 15-year-old son Joshua. Cocky Leroy had a serious grudge with the teen.

He seemed to have a “sixth sense,” Dana said. As soon as Joshua stepped out of the house Leroy went after him. Fortunately Joshua is a “good runner,” she added. The rooster never bothered Joshua’s older brother and sister, and didn’t give a tail feather about his 8-year-old sister.

Leroy gave Dana plenty to talk about as school nurse at Crosspoint Christian School and at her other job at The Gatesworth where city folks weren’t as familiar with country life.

Roasted Rooster

One of Dana’s funniest experiences happened when she was grilling store-bought chickens. Leroy jumped onto the cover of the barbecue pit and stayed put, despite temperatures that had to scorch his tootsies, the gauge on the grill reading 350 degrees. Dana wanted to rescue him but was afraid he’d go after her.

Alas Leroy’s antics ended the Night of the Raccoon — only four to five months after Leroy roosted with the Windeses. Not long after that tragic incident, Dana took part in a paint party at R&R Ace Hardware in St. Clair, where participants were invited to paint a wooden palette stenciled with a saying. The group also could create their own custom paint color, proceeds from the paint contest benefiting the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Just Like His Feathers

Dana came up with a color in shades of red and peach that looked exactly like the colors in Leroy’s tail. Suddenly she had an idea. She’d name the shade Leroy the Rooster.

Out of thousands of paint colors submitted, Dana’s made it into the final 25 and became R&R Ace’s entry into the national contest. The luck of Leroy was with Dana again late last month when she was notified that her paint color was one of six runners-up. Her prize netted her $250 and the honor of having Leroy the Rooster made into a paint card that others can purchase for their home interiors. Dana’s not sure when this will happen.

In the interim, the Windeses won’t be looking for a new rooster — Leroy would be impossible to replace. To fill the void, they did get a guinea. It’s not giving Joshua a run for his money, but it’s getting on the family’s last nerve.

“It’s driving us crazy because it screeches all the time,” Dana said.

Perhaps a coat of Leroy the Rooster in the henhouse would calm the ol’ bird down. If not they could call in the raccoons.