Mr. Amer Ican's farm was once a beautiful and serene place to live. But a dark cloud was billowing over the lovely lands and the animals were starting to hate each other. They formed into to groups that became pigheaded and locked into their own thoughts. This divide had been going on for weeks and it seemed to start ever since Chicken Little and Doffy the Duck moved onto the farm. They were charming and funny and very loud in voice. They set up large bulletin boards on each side of the farmland and would post messages for all the animals to see. Some were informative like the weather or how the corn and potato crops were doing. But more and more Little and Doffy began to compete with each other as to which board would get the most views.
"The Sky is Falling!" was Little's first attempt to gather attention his way. For days and days the poor animals were scared and wandered around glancing skyward. Of course the sky never fell and Chicken Little just smirked and explained that he really meant it could have fallen.
Then Doffy the Duck announced on his board that some of the animals on the farm were really planted there from a competitor's farm and were up to no good. They could not be trusted. They were actually undermining the farm and its productivity and needed to be watched and spied on.
The tone of the farm grew darker and darker. The animals began to side with either Chicken Little or Doffy the Duck and soon it was as if there were two separate farms. It got so bad that none of the animals could put together a thought or an idea without first checking what Little or Doffy thought.
"If we don't approve of the thought then it could not be thunk!" was what they would say- always with smile and a pat on the back.
At one time all the animals mingled without problem. Even if they disagreed on what feed they liked or what kind of weather was best they could still wander the pretty farm and chat about it. Like civilized animals. They would lay out the facts of their arguments and present them to each other and that was that. Now the animals only spoke to animals who thought like they did. Corn feeders never hung around with grass nibblers. Horned animals stayed far away from feathered creatures. It got so bad that animals with fur began to shout that the animals without fur were bad and they should go and buy fur coats. The skin animals demanded that the furred creatures shave!
It seems all the animals were getting ready to elect a new barnyard representative. Gorby the Goat and Pilly the Pig were up for the post and all the animals were split down the middle as to who they wanted to lead them. Chicken Little had chosen Gorby to run and Doffy tapped Pilly. They were given a list of ideas and were told never to stray from this list.
The list was easy. Gorby promised and talked about everything Chicken Little posted on his big chalk board and Doffy only spoke of things Doffy wrote on his. The rest of the animals never needed to even consider who they would vote for. They were handed the choice. It was so easy they never even needed to ask questions of Gorby or Pilly! Life was simple. No thinking required. The animals grew fatter and lazy and although they would say they were happy they were grumpy and angry and yelled a lot.
Over the weeks leading up to the election Chicken Little and Doffy duck began announcing terrible things about Gorby and Pilly. They were half truths, exaggerations and outright lies. It didn't matter because the animals were so divided and so locked into how they were told to think it did not matter.
"I hear that Gorby hates all chickens and wants to starve them all!"
"Oh, yeah! Well I heard that Pilly is gonna give all the best feed and all the best barns to his pig friends!"
On the day of the election, Silby the horse and Romeo the bull were walking to the slop bucket where they would cast their vote. They were arguing in great huffs and whinnys. You see, Silby was a devout Dofficrat and Romeo was all, 100% grade A Pillocan.
Sitting on a wooden fence, over the slop bucket was Jimbo the Cat. He smirked as he watched each of the animals come to the bucket and cast their vote. Many ignored him. Romeo, however, was one of those animals that needed to know how you stood on issues. If you were not on his side he would treat you like an enemy, like a slaughterhouse worker.
"Hey Jimbo," Romeo said to the grey and white tiger tabby. "Who you voting for, cat?"
"That is my business," Jimbo said.
"Did you hear that Gorby hates all chickens?"
"No," Jimbo said. "That is not true."
"Yes it is. It was in big bold letters on Chicken Little's board!"
"So. I have seen Gorby with chickens many times. I saw him help one cross the road. I even saw him share an old apple with Momma Poultry."
Romeo frowned but seemed confused. Silby the Horse chimed in.
"How about Pilly? I hear he is gonna tear down all the barns and build fancy new ones for only his Porker buddies!"
Jimbo laughed. "How can he do that? Farmer Ican owns the farm. He will not have the power to do that."
"But Doffy said he would! I read it with my own eyes."
Jimbo shook his head and cleared his throat.
"What color is the sky?"
The horse and the bull shrugged and looked skyward.
"Blue!" they said in unison.
"How do you know? Did you check with Doffy or Little's board to make sure?"
"We don't need them to know what color the sky is. I can see it with my own eyes!"
"Friends, did you ever bother to talk to Pilly or Gorby? Did you ever think Chicken Little or Doffy Duck have the facts wrong? Or may be working for someone else? If you trust your own mind to see the color of the sky, why don't you trust your own minds to see the truth about the candidates and about your fellow farm friends?"
Silby and Romeo looked to each other and dropped their heads in great shame.
"We have all been granted wondrous and powerful minds. And great hearts. Learn about your fellow farm animals using those great tools. Forget the boards. The boards have neither mind nor heart."
And with that, Jimbo raced off to chase a wind-blown leaf. With great joy.