For nine months, Henry was the talk of the town, a free-as-a-bird rooster who feasted on cookies and fruit left by beguiled townsfolk.

His flirt with freedom came to an end one night three weeks ago when his owners decided it was time to reclaim the bantam."It's too bad, but he's too flighty," owner Roberta Bonaminio said last week. "At least he's safe now from the raccoons."

Henry's fling began last fall, when he flew his coop at the Cheshire Grange Fair and darted across the road to The Picture Framer's parking lot.

No one knew who owned the rooster, so Louise Bartholomew, who owns the framing shop, began looking after him. She started addressing him as Henry, just to have a name to call him.

Reporters flocked to town - even The New Yorker magazine profiled him - but Henry shunned the spotlight, migrating to Mary Denos' nearby back yard. She looked after him for months.

"He'd stand in the street and tap dance," Denos said. "I was just waiting for a car to make a pancake out of him. Henry had the run of the neighborhood."

As the weather warmed, feelings toward Henry cooled, especially when he'd crow at sunrise and wake those who had left their windows open.

"We heard him a lot," said Jill Bournival. "Everybody was getting fed up."

Those awakened were soon throwing slippers, rocks and other objects at poor Henry.

Bonaminio, who keeps about 50 roosters and hens and other livestock, figured Henry was hers when she read about him in the newspaper.