The Fencing Cock
The fencing cock, Gallus gladius, is a mystical animal that inhabits the Philippines, and a few adjacent islands. It had not been seen in the wild for over two hundreds years, and doubts were being cast on whether or not it ever existed, before its recent rediscovery by Prof. Jerome McIndale of the British Institute for Cock Studies.
What we know about the fencing cock today comes mainly from old texts from before its rediscovery. The recency thereof, as well as the scarcity of the animal, have not allowed us much study of this fascinating creature.
In the Philippines, it is believed that the fencing cock is a divine appearance. This believe is closely linked to the large cockfighting-community, who consider the fencing cock to be the best fighting bird. It is even said that the fencing cocks themselves are the patron saints of cockfighting. Many adepts seem to have claimed that their animals were bred with a fencing cock.
As far as the physical appearance goes, a fencing cock looks very much like a regular rooster. It is, however, bigger, and its comb and wattle are reduced in size. In addition, its beak is a straight point.
When confronted with another male, a male fencing cock will posture itself sideways, and turn its head towards the competitor. Then, both animals side by side, they will try to peck at each other, while avoiding the other's blows or pushing them away with their wings. It is said that their fights can be extremely ferocious, and that their footwork is impressive to watch. This fighting method contradicts sharply with those of regular roosters, who will often attack head-on, and whose main weapon are their talons.
Genetic tests need yet to be done to precisely estimate the degree of parentage between the two species, but physical appearance, as well as diet and courting behavior, suggest that fencing cocks are closely related to regular chicken.
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