One summer solstice morning, the narrator awoke at dawn, feeling refreshed and cheerful. They opened their window and enjoyed the cool air filled with the scent of herbs, flowers, and leaves. The trees seemed to be stretching and waking up, and the narrator wondered if they could see and hear. The starling and blackbird songs had already reached them, but now they were silent, perhaps listening to the strange noises that filled the air.
The narrator realized that the sounds were the crowing of cocks, and they were struck by the beauty and power of their song. They remembered how, when hunting in the Russian forests, they had trained their hearing to pick up the distant crowing of cocks in far-off villages.
For a few seconds I felt as though from all the earth trumpets of gold and silver were sending up to heaven appeals of unthinkable purity and sonorous beauty.
The narrator listened to the chorus of cocks, marveling at the magic of their song and comparing it to a human orchestra.
What human orchestra would not seem pitiable, compared to this magic chorus, in which the tone of reddish purple was the dominant?
The cocks seemed to be celebrating the longest day of the year, praising the warmth of the sun, the joys of love and combat, and perhaps even the many-thousandth anniversary of the Ancestral Rooster. The narrator wondered if the sun was late by a fraction of a second, and the impatient cocks were calling for their god to reveal himself.
As the sun finally appeared, the cocks' hymn reached a crescendo, and the narrator felt as if the solar rays themselves were resounding like golden bugles. The great Cock of Gold seemed to rise in the sky, and the narrator thought of the myth of the Phoenix. The cocks gradually fell silent, and the narrator was left with the memory of their beautiful music.
Later that day, the narrator visited some friends and saw a magnificent gamecock in their courtyard. They asked the cock if it had been the one singing so beautifully that morning, but the cock seemed displeased and grumbled something in response.
The narrator realized that they could never truly understand the sacred ardor of the cock's worship of the sun, but they were still allowed to adore the sun in their own humble way.