Life on Farmer Brown’s farm was always peaceful. Pig played in the mud. Duck swam in the pond. Horse chomped on her hay. And Farmer Brown took care of them all.
Life was good. That was, until a new animal came to the farm.
“Good afternoon, my fellow farm animals! I am Joel O’Steer, your newest companion; and I’m going to make every day a Farm Day from now on!”
“Bull,” muttered Pig under his breath.
“A steer, actually!” The bovine smiled at them. “Wouldn’t you all like to have your best farm now?”
Duck stopped paddling for a moment. “What do you mean?” she asked.
“I mean,” said O’Steer, “you need a fresh start! The Farmer wants you to be happy—so you should start by making each other happy!”
Horse looked up from her hay. “But we are happy. Farmer Brown takes great care of us.”
O’Steer narrowed his eyes. “You mean… you don’t mind the hole in your stall he hasn’t fixed yet?”
“Well, he hasn’t fixed it yet—but he knows what he’s doing. If he needed to fix it, he would; I can survive a little draft at night,” Horse said.
The newcomer looked puzzled. “But—the Farmer wants you to do well and prosper! Focus on being a blessing, and the Farmer will bless you, too!”
Duck ruffled her feathers as she stepped out of the pond. “Farmer Brown has blessed us! Look at this farm—sure, it’s not perfect, but we get food, a place to sleep, ponds, mud, hay… it’s more than enough. Why do you want things to change?”
“It’s not that this farm is bad,” O’Steer said quickly. “It’s just that it could be better! You can change this farm if you just change your words; empower each other and empower yourself!”
“It’s up to Farmer Brown if he wants to change the farm or not,” said Horse. “If he wants me to pull something, I will; but I can’t pull anything unless he helps me put on my tack and ties me to the load. I can’t do my job without Farmer Brown.”
“The Farmer wants you to make your life the best it can be!” O’Steer looked from Horse to Duck somewhat frantically.
Pig’s hoof stomped on the ground. “Okay, what are you even saying? You’re just spouting off random things that are supposed to motivate us!”
O’Steer looked baffled at this turn of events.
“And by the way,” Pig continued, “why do you keep calling Farmer Brown ‘the Farmer’? He brought you to his farm—you can call him by name, you know.”
“Well, I…” The steer seemed at a loss for words.
“Come on, guys,” said Duck, “let’s just get back to work.” So Pig played in the mud. Duck swam in the pond. And Horse chomped on her hay.
O’Steer frantically tried to bring the conversation back around. “You can! You will! If you make the farm great, the Farmer will make you great!”
A door slammed somewhere near the barn.
“Hey!” called a voice. “What’s this cow doin’ here?”
“A steer, actually,” O’Steer scoffed.
Farmer Brown did not seem to hear. “You must be lost,” he said to the animal. “I don’t got any cows here.”
At this, the steer tossed his head and loped away towards the neighboring Manor Farm* (which he would eventually convert to Lakewood Farm.) The other animals paused in their activities to watch him go.
“I hope that cow didn’t give you no trouble, now,” Farmer Brown said. “Never you mind him. Just keep on workin’ an’ I’ll take care of the rest.”
So Pig played in the mud. Duck swam in the pond. Horse chomped on her hay. And Farmer Brown took care of them all.
* The farm from Orwell’s Animal Farm
I love satire. 🙂