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The Rooster that Wouldnt Crow By Artie Knapp

It was the driest summer on record, and all the crops were wilting away. Every farmer in the region was reeling from their losses. Desperate to change his fortunes, Peter Harpole decided to try his luck with poultry farming. Peter didn't know much about chickens, but selling eggs would be a great source of food, and hopefully income for him and his family. If he was successful at it !s the sun got closer to rising over the Harpole farm, "oby, the Harpole's new rooster, took his place atop a wooden fence ne#t to the barn. It was "oby's first chance to showcase his ability to crow. Peter purchased "oby the night before from the $cHenry farm down the road. "he Harpole's were desperate for a good crower, because the other rooster on their farm had laryngitis. %ith the purchase of "oby, the Harpole's now had a total of two roosters, and twelve hens. %hen the sun broke across the hori&on it triggered "oby's internal clock. He clinched the spurs of his feet against the wood, and then proceeded to belt out the loudest $''''''''''' you ever heard. !gain, and again, "oby proceeded to belt out $''''''''''', $''''''''''', and $''''''''''' some more. "oby's mooing shocked everyone on the farm ( especially since the Harpole's didn't own a cow. )$a, did you hear that*) asked Peter to his wife. )!re you referring to the biscuits in your stomach, or our new cow you forgot to tell me about*) )I didn't buy any cow.) Peter got up from the table and proceeded to walk out the front door of his home. His two daughters, !nnie, and Ellie followed him. )It's probably +ust some old cow that got loose from the $cHenry farm, Peter,) shouted $rs. Harpole from behind the screen door. !s Peter and his daughters approached the barn, "oby was still sitting atop the wooden fence. )Hello, "oby. %here's the cow at*) asked Peter. "oby didn't say anything. )"oby, where did that mooing come from*) asked Peter. "oby started to shake because he still had some moo left in him. He tried to keep it inside, but his body started to twitch as if he had been holding his breathe for over two minutes. His shaking became uncontrollable. ,nable to hold it in any longer, "oby let out the loudest $''''''''''' ever heard in -rackford .ounty. !nnie and Ellie +umped up and down with e#citement. )Daddy, we have a cow now,) said !nnie. )/eah, listen to him moo, Daddy,) said Ellie. -oth of the girls laughed hysterically. )%e don't have a cow. %hat we've got is a rooster with a weird sense of humor. 0irls, go inside with your $other. I want to talk with "oby alone please.) )-ut, Daddy, I want to play with him,) said Ellie. )/ou heard me. 0et along now.) !s the girls walked away disappointed, Peter looked "oby over and shook his head.

)%ell, let's take it from the top,) said Peter. )%hat's with the mooing, "oby*) )$r. Harpole, you seem really nice and I hope that you'll have some patience with what I am about to share with you.) )!ll right, I'm listening,) said Peter. )I'll e#plain the mooing in a minute, but first there is something I have to tell you. 1ast night, I was taken from my home, and nobody even asked me if I was okay with it. I had a life at the $cHenry farm and was very happy there.) )"oby, this is your home now. I paid for you. $r. $cHenry was your rightful owner and he had every right to sell you if he wanted. If it's a nice hen you're looking to settle down with they're plenty available on this farm. In case you haven't already met her, Ha&el's the cute brown(and(white colored hen over in the henhouse. 2he's a little feisty, but I think you two would hit it off once you got to know her.) )-ut I already care about somebody else, and I miss her terribly,) said "oby in a sad voice. )"oby, you're going to have to get used to living here. "his is your home now. 3orget that hen over at the $cHenry farm, and move on with your life.) )2he isn't a hen,) said "oby. )%hat do you mean*) asked Peter with a pu&&led look on his face. "oby broke out in tears and said, )$y Edna, oh how I miss my dear Edna.) )!ll right, all right, take it easy. Edna's very important to you. I get it. "hat's nice. I am curious though, "oby ( if Edna isn't a hen, what is she*) )2he's a cow, $r. Harpole. Edna is a big, beautiful cow.) )/ou're +oking, right*) asked Peter. )4o, sir, I'm not. "hat's why I've been mooing. I told Edna before I was taken away that I would moo as loud as I could for her. I want her to hear me so she knows I am thinking of her.) )"oby, the first 5uestion I have for you, is how did you fall in love with a cow* /ou're a rooster for crying out loud.) )%hoever said love was easy, $r. Harpole.) )%ell, I'll give you that. -ut "oby, $r. $cHenry doesn't have any other roosters to sell. I asked him about that last night. He's one of the few farmers close by that even has chickens. 3armers in this region aren't looking to sell their roosters right now anyway, because they're trying to breed them. If you haven't noticed the crops aren't doing so well this year.) )I reali&e that $r. Harpole, but what's the problem with me mooing anyway* Is it really that big a deal*) asked "oby. )%hen it's coming from a rooster, yes, "oby it is. 1et's say word gets out around town that my rooster moos instead of crows. "he local grocers would probably 5uit buying from me, because they think I have defective chickens.) )"his +ust isn't fair, $r. Harpole.) )"oby, I want you to think about everything we've discussed. -right and early tomorrow morning, when you start to cackle, I'll be e#pecting to hear several loud crows out of you.) !s Peter walked back toward the house, "oby collected his thoughts and pondered what he was going to do. )E#cuse me,) said one of the hens to "oby. )I hope you don't mind, but I was listening to your conversation with $r. Harpole, and I would like to offer you some friendly advice.) )2ure, fire away,) said "oby. )I could use it right now). )%ell, first you've got to understand $r. Harpole's +ust trying to make an honest living to support his family,) said the hen. )!nd what's so wrong with our place

anyway* I think you would really like it here if you gave it a chance.) )1et me stop you right there. I completely understand and appreciate $r. Harpole's situation. I really do. -ut what kind of life are we living for ourselves, if we +ust settle for whatever makes everyone else happy* "his is a great farm, and everyone here has been wonderful so far. "his isn't about where I live. I'm talking about how I live. I'm talking about being with the one I care about. Please don't take this personally.) )It's a little hard not to. /our wanting to be on a different farm is one thing, but wanting to get back to a cow6 well, now every hen on this farm believes you feel you're too good for them.) )"hat is absolutely not true. Haven't you ever been in love*) )/es, "oby, but it wasn't with a frog, a goat or a tiger. His name was .harlie, and he was, believe it or not, a rooster. 1ook, I'm sorry. I didn't mean anything by that. I know this is tough, but you'll figure everything out. $y name is Paula, "oby. If you ever need to talk +ust come over to the coop and peck three times.) )I will, Paula. !nd thanks for the advice.) "oby couldn't sleep a wink that night. He didn't know what he was going to do. He thought about running back to the $cHenry farm, but was afraid that would get him and Edna both in trouble. "he ne#t morning as the sun peeked over the hori&on, "oby followed his heart and let out a very loud $'''''''''''. !bout ten seconds after doing so, Peter ran out of the house to confront "oby )"oby, what are you doing* Did you not listen to a thing I said yesterday*) )I did, $r. Harpole. -ut I've got to do what I believe in.) Peter shook his head and went back into his house to get the keys to his truck. )%here are you going so early*) asked $rs. Harpole. )I'm going to town to hopefully find a buyer for that cra&y rooster.) )Daddy, please don't sell "oby* %e love him,) pleaded !nnie. )I don't have a choice, !nnie. %e've got to make a living.) Peter stormed out of the house and sped off in his truck. )$ommy, please don't let Daddy sell "oby* Please, $ommy ) cried Ellie. "he ne#t month was not the best of times at the Harpole farm. Peter had failed to find a buyer for "oby, because word had already spread about his mooing rooster. Every morning "oby mooed with all his might. People were starting to flock to the Harpole farm like seagulls to see "oby moo his heart out. %hen "oby's unusual behavior was mentioned in the local paper, Peter had all he could stand, and decided he would have to find a buyer for "oby out of the region. He didn't care if it meant driving three states away. Peter wanted to be done with this troublesome bird once and for all. 'ne evening during supper, Peter mentioned his intensions to sell "oby out of state. It didn't sit well with his daughters. )Daddy, I am begging you. .an we please keep "oby*) asked !nnie. )!nnie, we've already talked about this. %e can no longer have this rooster causing so much disruption in our lives.) )He doesn't cause me dis(rup(tins, Daddy,) cried Ellie. Peter looked at his daughters7 sad faces and it tore him up inside. He got up from the table and walked outside to take a walk. !s Ellie was being consoled by her mother, !nnie became e#cited and blurted out, )I have an idea, $ommy. I have an idea how we can save "oby.)

)%ell, what is it*) asked $rs. Harpole. )"oby wants to be with Edna more than anything, right*) )/es, I'm listening.) )%ell, why can't "oby and Edna be together at the petting &oo in -elvar*) $rs. Harpole was sold on !nnie's idea the moment she suggested it, and was an#ious to share it with Peter upon his return. $rs. Harpole believed in her heart this could be the solution to their ever(growing dilemma. !nd it was. !fter a long sit down talk with both Peter and $r. $cHenry, the -elvar petting &oo agreed to take on "oby and Edna as pets. $ost of the money generated to see this unusual couple would go to the petting &oo, and the rest would be split e5ually between Peter, and $r. $cHenry. In no time at all Peter had made more money from the &oo than he would have with twenty roosters on his farm. !s for "oby and Edna, well, they're still together to this day. "hey couldn't be happier. People who see them now don't find it that odd anymore. -ut they do have the strangest looking kids you ever did see. 8ead more at http9::www.kidsgen.com:stories:long;stories:the;rooster;that;wouldnt;crow.htm< =>?.'fH@>h?2aa+u.AA