Barnyard Unity


 
Something ought to be done! Something has to be done about organization! This chorus was echoed by all the birds and animals from Farmdale to Woodland. Everywhere you turned, the call for organization could be heard. Now, a representative gathering convened officially to bring such a union into being and to outline its purpose and its policies.

There was an undercurrent of optimism evident as the monkey took his seat and pompously opened the meeting. He outlined the agenda and stated that the purpose of the meeting was to seek better understanding among animals, to seek more co-operation in protecting each other and to work for general amity among birds and animals. Schemelly Skunk wanted to know if there was any provision for discrimination against "certain" animals on the agenda. The monkey assured Schmelly that this would be taken care of -- he didn't say how.

The first order of business was declared to be the election of a president. Things got off to a bad start when Willie Goose nominated Mickey Monkey for president. Jack Donkey laid his ears back and with a long disagreeable frown he said, "I object to having Mickey Monkey as president because of his monkey face; further because we do not want any monkey business in our society; third, we have no time to indulge in monkey shines; and finally, we might just get started and have our entire effort sabotaged if he would throw in a monkey wrench and wreck us. I move that we nominate Willie Goose as president," said jack Donkey, hoping that someone would take the hint and nominate him. No one did, however.

Mickey Monkey surveyed the audience for the effect of Jack's speech and then started to laugh. He replied, "While it is offensive to call attention to anyone's looks, I am sure no one will accuse Jack Donkey of being twofaced. If he were, he would certainly not be wearing the one he has. I have no objection to Willie Goose as president, but frankly I consider him a bit of a quack." At this, Jim Crow burst into raucous laughter with his "Haw, haw, haw." A titter went around the assembly and Jack Donkey dolefully hung his head as Mickey Monkey won an overwhelming vote of confidence.

"The next item of business," said Mickey, "Will be the election of a secretary-treasurer. We will now accept nominations for this position." "Humph, " grunted the pig from the far corner, "Do we have to vote on that? Doesn't everyone know that pigs are born treasurers? Piggy banks are established all over the country. No one in the animal kingdom has more experience in handling funds than I have," said Hamhocks, the pig. For a time it seemed that Hamhocks would get the position by acclamation, but Biddie, the hen, cackled, "Whoever got anything out of a hog? Furthermore, all the Piggy Banks have been disgruntled, otherwise, no one would patronize them. I think we should have someone more shrewd in that position, and I nominate Jimmie Fox for treasurer," said Biddy proudly.

Hamhocks gave an angry snort but Mickey Monkey eased the tense situation by adroitly bringing the issue to a vote. The result was that Jimmie Fox won by a narrow margin. Jimmie thanked everyone for this confidence and promised to put teeth into the law if there was a threat to rob him. As the fox grinned broadly, Doodley Duck quipped that "Jimmie is well qualified to put teeth into anything." The monkey was ready to proceed with the next order of business when he noticed several old goats chewing gum in a public meeting. He was about to reprimand them for their manners when he happened to notice that all the kids were imitating their bad example. Mickey ventured hesitatingly, "I don't think it is becoming to chew gum..." Before he could finish his sentence, Ferdinand, a gentleman of the bovines bellowed, "And what is wrong with chewing gum? I chewed it ever since I can remember. My mother taught me, and even bawled me out if I didn't chew my gum. "You stick to your agenda, Mr. President," said Ferdinand irritably. "Oh, well," apologized the monkey, if you want to look sheepish, go ahead and chew gum. Perhaps that's all the culture you've got." "Bah," interrupted the sheep, obviously insulted.


Mickey Monkey decided that the next business on the agenda was to choose a name for the society, and to outline its general policies. Schmelly Skunk suggested that they call the organization, "Friendly Odors." Collie Dawg barked he didn't think that name worth a scent. He preferred calling it Barnyard Unity. After a heated debate it was finally agreed to call the organization, Barnyard Unity. When it came to establishing matters of policy, they seemed to run into a stalemate without getting anywhere. Mickey Monkey suggested they adjourn the meeting for a short break. However, Timmy Cockerel asked for the floor. Timmy stood up and gazed around in every direction. He preened himself and thrust out his chest, then tilting his head back he shouted at the top of his voice, "I'll tell you what I'll dooooo. " Everyone gazed in the direction of Timmy, who was clearly elated with himself, as the president called for silence; in order for Timmy to take the floor and tell what he had to offer. At this, Timmy wracked his little brain for ideas, paced up and down the floor, then struck a stance and flapping his wings for the most dramatic effect, he said, "I'll tell you what I'll dooo. " "Haw, haw, haw," laughed Jim Crow. "Bah," said the sheep in disgust. "Yes, yes," said Mickey Monkey apologetically, "We will be glad to hear what you have to say if you have something to contribute to the meeting, let us hear from you. "

Again Timmy strode forth, pleased that he was the center of attraction. He exuded pride in every step he took. With everyone full of expectancy, Timmy leaped to the back of a chair to command a full view of the audience. There he throatily exclaimed, "I'll tell you what I'll dooooo. " Old Biddie Hen was accustomed to Timmy's bragging, and said, "Tut, tut, tut, shut-up." Gay parrot repeated what Timmy had said, while the gobbler turned red in the face and shouted, "Doubtless, doubtless." Mickey Monkey confronted Timmy and said, "I will not tolerate any more fowl language in this meeting. Timmy was thunder struck. He turned his head sidewise and demanded, "Who's heckling?" No one paid any attention to Timmy now, so he angrily left the meeting. As he was leaving, he told the gobbler, "Well, if they don't want to listen to me, let them fix their own silly policy." "Probably, probably," said the gobbler, not wanting to be drawn into an argument. His face turned purple with rage though when he heard the parrot say, "There goes doubtless, doubtless."

Mickey monkey was getting bored. Once more he appealed to the group, "Has anyone got something to contribute toward the policy of Barnyard Unity? Tabby cat asked for the floor. Tabby purred, "I believe we would understand each other better if we had some testiphonies. I, for one, would like to give my testiphony. "Look out, look out," said the Robin in alarm and distrust. Tabby paid no attention, however, and proceeded to say, "First of all, I think we should sacrifice more. History shows that everything worth while requires sacrifice, and for my part, I want to sacrifice more." Again Jackie Robin responded with excited chirps, "Look out, look out." Jackie wanted to know who Tabby intended to sacrifice next. Tabby started to weep. "I don't know why you don't trust me more and have more confidence in me. I have lots of influence with people but no one seems to want to work with me," Tabby waited. "Me-eow," said the parrot, answering Tabby in her own , language. "Oh Tabby," squawked Willie Goose, "You are always getting your felines hurt." Tabby was a good talker and a smooth operator, but she always interpreted things in her own favor and to her own advantage. Consequently, no one could work with her.

Mickey Monkey was obviously becoming discouraged. He began to frown and at last observed, "I do not think it is possible to achieve Barnyard Unity. Our NATURES do not blend and our aims are all basically selfish. No one seems to have a remedy for the problem. I think we should consider a motion to adjourn, we can send a delegation to some place where they have more advanced information on animal nature."

Jack Donkey began to nod his long doleful face in agreement. "For once," he said, "I believe you are right. The real trouble is with our natures. In order to blend into Barnyard Unity it will require a change in natures." "Yes," agreed Mickey Monkey, Barnyard UNITY does not exist and cannot be achieved until there is a change of nature for all concerned. This is fundamental to success." "Then," chattered the squirrel in broken English, "Then we didn't accomplish nutting! I move we adjourn until we discover someone who can change our natures," said Chatterbox Squirrel in despair. With that the meeting broke up,

The only thing they learned was that unity could not be forced on them, nor explained to them or obtained by them. They all knew that if it were to be accomplished at all, they would have to be CHANGED CREATURES. Unity is not the product of organization but of organism. Unity is not affected by policies but by conforming to principles. Perhaps a demonstration of what Unity is NOT, will enable us better to know what unity IS and how to attain it.

 

Back To Jerry's Parables And Short Stories