After dinner, when everyone was settled for the night, he began writing stories he had stashed away in books and nooks and crannies. He was always surprised to see some story starters he had written. He called them acorns, little nuts that would grow into large trees. When he was lucky those acorns would match perfectly the new stories that were taking shape out of his dreams and life. They would blend together and spring full grown, with a little tinkering, into a poem or story. Usually the acorns were the springboard and the new ideas kept the characters and their personalities running true without too many deviations. Thus, he was able to relax and write without stress.
This night was different. The acorn he found was not cooperating. He tried beginning with old ideas and then new ideas but nothing was working. From computer to pencil and back to computer. He was blocked. His method of letting ideas fall into place was simply non-existent. What was wrong? What had stopped his thought processes?
There was one thing he wanted to try. He wanted to make a quill. Searching the house he found nothing that satisfied him. He went outside and looked for a goose feather. In a short time he found one that was suitable. He sharpened it and dipped it into ink. He felt a surge of energy. The quill was inspiring him!
He heard a noise outside and went to investigate. Quietly he slipped from the barn to the supply room, one building to the next until he saw a dim light burning. He peered into the room and was surprised to see all the farm animals in organized rows. There weren’t many horses or cows so they reluctantly stayed close to each other. The pigs were very smart but lazy with ideas that were only partially thought out. The chickens and other fowl were continually chattering. It was past their normal sleeping hours and they forgot details. Why were they there? Who was in charge? The animals were getting very noisy and some looked very nervous.
The farmer watched with interest as the groups got organized but there appeared to be no leader. Then, a huge skunk squeezed through a hole in the wall. He strode to the front of the groups and leaped up on a bag of chicken feed.
“Listen up,” he yelled. “I want this to be a short meeting and we have many items to consider!”
“I’m the best qualified to run this meeting. Right?” He looked around from group to group.” Who’s with me and who is against me? I want to know that right away. Horses, do you agree?”
The two horses wanted to be left alone but the skunk was forcing them to support him. “We’re with you.”
“Chickens and other fowl, you are not the kind of power troops we need. If you are considered worthless you will be moved to cages, tenderized and eaten. Are you with me or against me? Should we eat chicken, pork, or beef?”
The chickens were sweating under the lights and were tired and sleepy. They were running all over, acting like their heads could be cut off.
The pigs suddenly realized they could be bacon without any friends to back them up.
The cow saw the light. Her calf could be hamburger and she would be doing TV commercials recommending chicken as the preferred meat.
The skunk was glib and persuasive. All the farm groups soon fell under his spell. He had one more thing to say. “We will begin our plans tomorrow. First, we wipe out the dogs. They are our common enemy. Then we get rid of the cats. Our future depends on your dedication. We will expand our territory and right the wrongs committed against us. Onward, my soldiers.”
The farmer slipped away from the shed, got on his motorbike and rode across the land warning all who would listen. He used a special code, one honk if the animals are coming by land, two if they come by sea. He rode through the night and might be riding still. He left one final message. “Be alert and watch out for the skunk.”
July 8, 2017