“She told me she just couldn’t take it anymore. She’s so distraught she doesn’t know what to do.” The little hen clucked and preened and pranced, knowing that the dog was fully absorbed in her story.
“Really?” The dog’s huge eyes watched the hen closely, measuring her posture against her words. The hen was known for overdramatizing a situation.
“Well I just don’t know how she has managed thus far!”
Two puppies came tearing around the corner of the barn, nipping at each other’s heels and yipping with glee. The sow rolled over, eyed them carefully, and closed her eyes again, confident that they were headed off in another direction. “Lordy, someone should take a cane to those pups. For their own good, of course. One day they’re going to run right under the tractor.”
The rabbit watched the hen and dog from his cage, hopping from side to side, anxious to contribute something to the discussion, but aware that he had absolutely nothing to say. So he danced, hopped, and scratched, hoping to draw attention to himself and divert the conversation.
The donkey ambled into the barnyard and cast a doleful look around. “Just as I thought. No one has anything worthwhile to say. Always talking about other animals.” He turned and wandered off in the direction of the pasture, content to spend his time alone there rather than suffer fools.
The cat lounged in the shadow of a bench beside the barn unnoticed, taking in all the theatrics and confusion. Her day would be spent napping, visiting the cows and catching mice, as had all her days since before she could remember. That was a good life, she mused. No need to tell the others how to live, or report on the perils and misdeeds of others. Her whiskers twitched as she caught a quick movement nearby. From her languid posture to a full pounce in a second, she snared the mouse and crossed the barnyard to deposit it on the farmer’s doorstep. Her satisfaction with a job well done was evident.
“Isn’t that just like her. She parades around the farm with dead things in her mouth, like it’s some sort of badge of honor!” clucked the hen. “It’s so disgusting, and she behaves as if she’s so much better than we are. And that stupid farmer! He praises her and gives her a saucer of milk! And here I feed his family and never a word! It’s just not right! I deserve better!”
The farmer’s wife stepped out of the kitchen door of the farmhouse and headed to the barnyard. She strode straight over to the hen and grabbed her by the neck, swinging her once around her head, snapping her neck instantly. Off she went back to the farmhouse, to prepare dinner for her guests that evening.
The sow opened one eye, and remarked “I told her she ought not make such a fuss or she’d be the next one in the pot.”
The dog trotted off to find the puppies, intent on quieting them down lest they be next.