LAUREN WOOD | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Charlotte Kunkle stands next to her rooster named Bullet in the front yard of her home Saturday morning. Bullet was a gift from Kunkle’s late husband.

The Dart: Natchez woman has a lot to crow about roosters

Published 12:21am Monday, November 12, 2012

NATCHEZ — When driving along Montebello Drive, passers-by might notice Charlotte Kunkle’s house and well-kept yard.

But they’re sure to notice the giant, seasonally decorated rooster.

LAUREN WOOD | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Charlotte Kunkle started collecting roosters when she bought her first one, left, more than 10 years ago. Kunkle’s collection has grown to include the large yard decoration rooster she named Bullet seen at right.

That’s Bullet, and when it comes to chickens, he’s hardly the only one in Kunkle’s life. In her house, she has a collection of decorative rooster ornaments — and a few hens — that spans rooms.

When The Dart found Kunkle Friday, she had just purchased another chicken, a white hen, which she placed on a window seat in her kitchen.

Each chicken has a name and means something to her, Kunkle said.

Above her stove is a tile rooster with a Bible verse speaking blessings over the home splayed across its body.

“I got that after Hurricane Gustav,” she said. “We lost our house, but we were blessed to have our lives, and I got that because we were blessed.”

The names of her roosters often reflect the regional origins of the collection — Tex came from Texas, Prescott came from Prescott, Ark.

“I am thinking about naming the new one Mrs. Magnolia, because I bought her at an estate sale on Magnolia Street,” Kunkle said.

Though Kunkle said she has always liked roosters, the collection began approximately 10 years ago more or less on a whim.

“I just picked the first one up one day, and it went from there,” she said. “When I brought it in, I said, ‘He needs a mate.’”

LAUREN WOOD | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Roosters of different shapes and sizes and a hen line the windowsill in Charlotte Kunkle’s kitchen. Kunkle started her collection over 10 years ago, and has bought some roosters and received others as gifts.

From finding a mate for the original rooster, the collection has grown to include coin banks, tea candle holders with long wire legs, flyswatters and much, much more.

For the most part, Kunkle said her family and friends like her collection, with one exception — the rooster clock that crows every hour on the hour.

“When my children are here they will take the batteries out of that one,” she said. “They say, ‘I don’t like it, it keeps me awake.”