The Hundred Year Old Barn

The Hundred Year Old Barn

The Hundred Year Old Barn

A Fable By Blanche Day Manos

The hundred year-old barn was home to a cow, a rooster, some hens, and a mule who pulled a plow.

The days they spent in working; each one did his best, and when the sun sank from the sky, the animals needed rest.

But, when evening fell across the barn’s old, sturdy walls, squeaks and scurries filled the loft and echoed through the stalls.

“The pesky mice!” the rooster crowed. “I can stand no more. They run along my roosting place; they swarm across the floor.”

The cow mooed in anger, “The reason is quite clear; the mice have overrun us because they know no fear.”

“Look at that cat!” the mule declared. “He’s useless as can be. Why the farmer keeps him is one big mystery.”

A small, black spider left her web and nestled in the fur of the farmer’s tomcat, but no one noticed her.

The spider rode behind his ear as Tom Cat crept outside. “They hate me,” he said sadly. “I need a place to hide.”

“I think you’re right,” the spider said. “Although I don’t know why.”

“I’m scared of mice,” the cat replied. And, he began to cry.

“What?” the spider shouted, “I’ve never heard of that. I think you’ve got this backward. You are a mixed-up cat.”

“The mice are quick,” the cat meowed. “I could not catch a one. And, everyone would laugh at me because I cannot run.”

“Hmm,” the spider muttered, squinching up her eyes. “The answer to this problem is you need exercise.”

“You eat and sleep and laze about; your muscles are too soft. I think I know the remedy. Let’s go up to the loft.”

“Climb these rafters, lift this straw; slide down upon this beam. And, when the farmer feeds you, go easy on the cream.”

One night the mice grew braver. They swarmed both low and high. The Tom Cat was awakened by a tiny, tearful cry.

A ring of vicious rodents glared at his spider friend. “Help me, Tom!” the spider called, “or I have met my end.”

With teeth and toenails flashing, Tom tore across the floor. The mice retreated suddenly and scampered for the door.

Tom howled and yowled and snarled as mice ran left and right. Tom chased them over hill and dale ’til they were lost to sight.

When Tom returned to the old barn, a strange sound met his ears. He heard, “Hooray!” and, “What a cat!” And loud and lusty cheers.

“What a relief!” the rooster crowed. “We’re free of mice at last.”

“You’re wonderful,” the hens confessed. “You’re brave and strong and fast.”

The spider dangled downward upon a dainty thread and sat in furry friendship on Tom’s triumphant head. “When facing fear,” she whispered, “He wins who only tries.”

“Now, I’m prepared,” Tom answered, “for I’ll always exercise.”

End of Furry Fable

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