AUTHOR'S FORWARD:What you are about to read is a general parody involving politics, an old children's tale, and a singular moral; all mutated into a monstrous whole. In this parody I have seen fit to mock some of the major economic and political thoughts of the day while attempting to show preference to none, all for the purpose of telling a story and a moral rather than making a statement. Constructive criticisms are welcome, even preferred, though I would rather those comments be directed at how to tell a better story instead of how my politics are deplorable. ;-)
You Get No Bread With Politics
It was a beautiful spring Sunday down on the Happy Sunshine Farm. The wind blew softly through the vast fertile fields, sending the smell of freshly turned dirt and cow droppings into the air. All the happy little animals rolled and frolicked through this filth, spread it on to everything they touched, then added their own contributions. This was their role in Mother Nature's Great Plan, which was to ensure that none would be able to escape the smell, even if they torched the Happy Sunshine Farm to the ground and bathed in molecular acid. Mother Nature did this because she was evil and cold-hearted—but enough about Mother Nature, nobody cares about her. Let's keep our focus, instead, on Small "Red" Hen. Small had ventured out of her coop early this morning not to admire the spring but to escape the mold spring had brought with it that'd been driving her allergies nuts. When her eyes finally stopped watering she looked out at the unending expanse of farmland and resolved that she would plant something while the weather was good. After assessing her resources, she settled on planting a crop of wheat large enough to keep her in bread for a while. Small took another look at the field and realized that planting all that wheat would be a big job for a diminutive bird like herself to take on alone, and so she went off in search of help. Small first dropped by the cow pasture where Emma "The" Cow, the local Capitalist zealot, was directing a herd of her fellow cattle in the vital task of manure production.
"Let's keep up the pace, bovines! We've got a quota to fill," Emma coached as she walked between the ranks of production cows. "What's this?" she cried suddenly as she came in front of a young calf and picked up an oddly shaped chip, "I'm not paying you for this kind of crap! Take some pride in your work! Go load up on nitrates and be back here in three minutes or it's a transfer to the veal department for you!" The calf was already off at a dead run when Small approached Emma.
"Emma, could you please help me plant some wheat?" Small asked. Emma didn't give any indication of having heard for a few seconds and Small was about to try again when Emma suddenly whirled around, a wild fire now in her eyes.
" Of course! Why should we be dependent upon the growers, bakers, and harvesters for profit? Vertical consolidation is the key to our stability! The investors are going to love this!"
"Right," Small agreed, not really knowing what Emma was talking about. "Should we get to planting then?" Emma gave no notice to Small as she promptly whipped out a cell phone.
"Eddy, find us a way to corner a patent on wheat growing, and start negotiations with the Farm Hands Union. Why? Well, I've got a merger in the works. I'll be out coaxing the investors if you need me." And with that, Emma was off. Small considered chasing after her but thought better of it. Once Emma got these schemes into her head it was best to let them run their course and in the meantime find some place to hide for when the angry mob of investors eventually showed up.
But before she would hide, Small Hen was determined to get that wheat planted for her bread, so she went to the PigSty to see if Bonaparte "Le" Swine, the local Communist zealot, would help her plant the wheat.
"Brothers and sisters of the Revolution take heart! Though the weeks have been hard on us all, we have finally finished the addition to the PigSty and have spat in the faces of our capitalist oppressors!" Bonaparte was making his weekly political diatribe in front of recently completed wing of the PigSty, built to house the new printing press that would allow Bonaparte to cover the farm in Revolution leaflets. No issue was made that the printing press was actually an old typewriter with a missing "E" key, or that the addition had no roof, or that there was no paper to make the leaflets with, or that none of the animals who would be working the press knew how to type. Most definitely an issue was not made about the addition to Bonapatre's personal shed that was constructed with materials from the PigSty project that Bonaparte had deemed "extras." This was partly because the local communists regarded Bonaparte as a kind and just leader around whom compassion radiated like the life-giving beams of the sun, but mostly because the Peoples' Secret Police currently had their machine guns pointed in their general direction. This session was different however; Bonaparte was not getting as many cheers as he usually did, even with the PSP giving moral support. When he put the question to the crowd asking for an explanation there was a lot of shuffling and nervous coughing until one intrepid duck spoke up and said:
"Please forgive us sir, we have not had anything to eat in a week."
"Of course. You are hungry!" Bonaparte crowed as he eyed the duck. "Fear not, my fellow Revolutionaries, for tonight we feast on fowl!"
The resulting cheer drowned out the duck's astonished "huh?" and anyone who looked back to where he had been standing saw only a few feathers and a rut in the ground from something being forcefully dragged away in a bag. Fortunately, for Bonaparte anyway, anyone who did so was too hungry to care. Bonaparte was pleased with this reaction, but in the back of his mind he was aware that he would need to find a new Grand Project for his revolutionaries to keep themselves busy with. In addition, he would have to get access to some sort of food source; he was running out of martyrs to put on the menu.
"Pardon me, Bonaparte," Small said as she approached the stage. " Could you please help me plant some wheat?" Once again Small was seemingly ignored and once again she was about to ask a second time when Bonaparte suddenly whirled around, a fire much like Emma's now in his eyes.
"Comrades, heed my words! For too long we have been at the mercy of the capitalists! For too long they have controlled the means of our livelihood and have seen fit to choke us with it so that we might bend to their will. Comrades, I propose we grow our own crop of wheat and further separate ourselves from the capitalists, and by doing so take another bold step on our way to a more perfect Communist Utopia!" After hearing Bonaparte's impassioned speech and considering his past record the crowd arrived at a decision. Then the crowd saw the guns of the Peoples' Secret Police pointed directly at them and they backtracked and arrived at a completely different decision. A cheer went as they all stampeded off to start their newest Grand Project.
Small decided to leave them be. She knew that interference would only result in being plucked and used for dinner and a pillow in "The Peoples'" shed that Bonaparte had set aside for his personal use. Still hopeful that she might find some help, Small made her way over to The Coop, the nearest well stocked liquor emporium, where finding Rocky "El" Rooster, the local socialist zealot, was just a simple matter of following the smell of corn liquor.
"You….you know whash great 'bout being a shoalshalist?" Rocky was bragging to a small group of hens. "We control all the important indushtries…like farhming, manufactshuring," Rocky paused before the next example to think it up and then thrust his huge jug of corn liquor into the air while adding, "oh yeah! Brewing too…very important." he took another long pull from his jug. "Gotsh to be very careful about quality control, you know." And with a great hiccup he slid off of his barstool, signaling to the hens that he was finished for the moment and that it would be okay to pick his pockets and move on. At least, that's what they thought it meant. Small chased the other hens away when they had finished, picked Rocky up off the floor by his comb, and sat him back onto the barstool.
"Wake up you old booze-crow!" Small said as she slapped Rocky hard enough to get some sobriety into him.
"Wha? Oh! If it isn't Small Red Hen…back to win my affection are you?" Rocky made an attempt to lean forward for a kiss, but the smell of corn liquor had already ensured that Small was well out of smooch range, and so Rocky simply went to the floor again. Small let him stay there this time.
"No Rocky. I'm here because I need some help planting wheat." Rocky thought about this for a second as he ascended his stool again and then shook his head.
"Sorry chicky, but the Government has already handed out the required crops for the farmers this year, and wheat isn't on the list." Rocky suddenly acquired another sly look. "But, uh, it could be put on that list…if it became…important enough." Ordinarily, Small would have just thrown a punch and stormed out of there, but if she couldn't get help from Rocky then she would be forced to seek aid in a place where she really didn't want to go if she could avoid it. Struggling to think up a decent reason, Small noticed the six bottles of corn liquor Rocky had spread around him and an idea sprang to mind.
"I heard that bread was really good for curing hangovers," she lied.
"Whoa," Rocky observed, his advances forgotten for the moment. He glanced at the current bottle of liquor he'd been draining and then announced, "I have a feeling that hangovers might soon become a major problem the Government will need to address. I'll go form a committee to investigate the issue." Small didn't like the sound of that.
"A committee? By the time they get around to deciding anything the growing season will be over!" Rocky just shrugged.
"Sorry, but the Government has to be sure," Rocky suddenly smiled and waved to a hog behind the counter. "Barkeep! Another jug!" He turned back to Small and then explained, "hey, as long as I've got the cure it wouldn't hurt to have a little more of the sickness, eh?" Rocky continued to laugh even as Small's slap sent him back to the floor. Small left The Coop as quickly as possible then slowed to compose herself when she'd gotten far enough away. Where she was about to go would require her wits to be about her, as the alternative was never leaving the place except in the belly of another animal.
Beyond the farmhouse, past the gutted, rusty, tractor, and across the eternally fallow corner of the field, was the old barn. There weren't that many animals who would willingly venture out to the place, and Small was not exactly going there for the fun of it. This dark corner of the Happy Sunshine Farm was the antithesis of everything the farm's name implied, as was its young dictator. His was a reputation that preceded like ash before a lava flow, a warning extending for miles that an unstoppable destructive force was approaching, consuming all within its insatiable maw, and offering no chance for escape. His sadistic nature was one to make Bonaparte look grandfatherly, his randomness, to make Emma seem orderly, and though he wasn't the blood-brother with booze that Rocky had established himself as, his reasoning was such that booze would have improved it and still made Rocky look competent by comparison. All of these dark and twisted vices, sealed in a casket of hard cruelty, encased in a block of unnaturally cold ice, and transplanted in place of a heart into the fuzzy, deceptively cute, body belonging to Katler "Der" Kitten, the local fascist zealot.
"Ah, a young hen has stumbled past our borders…no doubt in search of a new leader to bring order to farm." Katler mewed from the dark.
"I'm actually here to ask for your help in planting some wheat," Small was keeping a close eye on the shadows. Whether she was imaging those barely visible shapes pacing soundlessly back and forth or not would only take a signal from Katler to confirm.
"Are you absolutely sure you're not here to vouch for me as the new leader?" Katler had moved out of his corner and turned on his cute generator. If Small hadn't already known every trick up his sleeve those big innocent eyes and the way his tail flitted back and forth might have put her at ease.
"No, I'm just here to get some…help," Katler's tail had just made a circling motion and Small saw out of the corner of her eye those shadows she'd been watching earlier weren't shadows at all but full grown cats—Katler's Mewstappo.
"You seek help and you came…to me. You asked the others first, then?" Katler broke his gaze with Small and jumped onto a crate before she had a chance to answer but continued on as if she had. "Of course, they were too wrapped up in their own ideas to pay you any mind. The animals on this farm are weak. The farmer has been too lenient with them. They have become soft and…corrupted. Someone must show them the way to glory." Katler, who'd been hanging his head as if his observations had saddened him, suddenly looked up and into the midmorning light visible from a hole above the hayloft and declared, "I must show them. I will show them!" He said it with the kind of enthusiasm that was designed to make you think the idea was an epiphany he had just reached instead of a dark desire he'd been harboring his entire life. The corner of Small's mind that had been telling her that this wouldn't be such a good idea wasn't gloating now, as it was in just as much danger as the rest of Small. It would probably save the gloating for later, if there were a later.
"So when can I expect that help of yours to come around?" Small interrupted as she started edging her way out of the barn.
"My help?" Katler's generator switched off, revealing the true menace that he was for Small to see. "Why should I give you my help? I recognized the corruption, I know how to fight that corruption, and I will be the one to lead the others away from it! All I have to do is make the best bread and they'll see the light. You're not thinking of…competing with me, are you?" Katler's Mewstappo was starting to materialize out of the shadows in greater numbers. Small took the only action left to her and ran.
"No, of course not! Help yourself!" Demented laughter wafted after Small as she left Katler's dark corner of the Happy Sunshine Farm. Forget this! She thought to herself as she ran. I'll plant my own stinking wheat! After Small had finally made it home and tripled locked the door behind her she collapsed into bed, exhausted despite the fact that it was hardly past noon. She slept into the afternoon, on into the evening and through the night, waking up to the aggravating morning mold when the sun reappeared the next day.
AUTHOR'S NOTE:This was actually completed awhile ago, but I've yet to locate the other disks that contains the remaining parts. If I can't find them then I'll just rewrite the thing from memory. You'll get your fascist cats with guns yet. :-D