Orpy's comb was going from red to purple and back to read again all the day long. I watched it with fascination. He stayed close, seemed to want to be near to us. Missed him yesterday afternoon. Lester said he was around somewhere. Went to look for him at dusk. Found Orpy. He was in the Hen Hut, not on the perch but on the ground. Deceased.
We thought we heard a cockerel crow at dawn, but it was a splintered call, not Orpy-like. Assumed it was the young cockerel, who is the grandson of Orpy, starting to practice his crowing. It takes a while for them to master the art of doing this. We thought we heard him do his first practice. In hindsight, we think that it was Orpy trying to welcome the dawn, but the effort expired him.
But at least he died with his girls around him. The previous day he had even mounted one of the hens. You can tell when a cockerel has done his duty because the hen gets a bit of a wet botty. And we had made a fuss of him, just to let him know that we appreciated his efforts at keeping our hen flock provided with new additions.
All in all, it was a good death for him. At least he can rest now.
We are, however, feeling upset. Surprising how animals wriggle their way into the heart.