A Barnyard Talk

“Cock-a-doodle-doo!” crowed the Cock early in the morning. “I am the cleverest of all on the farm. Every morning, I wake the people up so that the children can get to school at the right time, and not have to stay in for being late. That is the reason the children like me so much. They feed me with corn and bread every day.”

“Cluck, cluck!” said the Hen. “You shouldn’t be so conceited, little father. You never give the children anything to eat, but I do! Almost every day, I lay an egg, and with my eggs, pancakes are made for the children, and they like pancakes so much that they would gladly eat them every day. Understand, that I am cleverer than you.”

“Mew, mew, mew,” said the Cat, who had heard the Cock and Hen talking. “It’s actually I who is the cleverest,” she said. “If I did not kill all the rats and mice, then those wicked animals would come and eat up all the butter and cheese and all the bread and cake, so that the children would have to go to school without any lunch, and would sit there and starve! That is the reason the children and I are such good friends. They give me milk and let me sit on their laps.”

“Bow, wow, wow!” said the Dog. He had put his head out of the kennel when he heard how Cat was boasting. “How do you think things would go if I didn’t watch over the house night and day? So, I am surely the most important one on the farm.”

Just then came the farmer, who had overheard everything. “You are all kind and useful,” said he. And he scattered corn to the Cock and Hen, and gave Cat a saucer of milk, and the Dog a bone to gnaw. Then they were all happy and satisfied and stopped disputing.