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Animal Stories: Karl The Cock

When Mavis the mule was in trouble it was Karl the cock who came to her aid.

Graham Whitcroft tells another entertaining children’s tale.

For more of Graham’s inspirational stories please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/animal_stories/

One Sunday afternoon in June when all the animals on the farm were resting from their daily work by relaxing in the sun, the peace was shattered with “Cock a doodle do”. Usually, this only happened as the day dawned so that all the animals could rouse themselves from sleep and prepare for a new day, but this was an afternoon cry and every one knew something was amiss. And it was.

They all left their sun bathing and ran towards the barn. It was then that they heard another animal noise. They recognised it as the voice of Mavis the mule, but it was some time before they could locate her. When they did, they all agreed that it was quite a sight! There was Mavis, flat on her back, in a ditch near the hedge with her legs stuck in the air.

Panic set in. “We’ve got to do something” clucked the chickens as they ran in circles around the farm yard; “Where’s the first aid kid?” bleated a group of sheep as they stood and stared, paralysed by shock. “Give her a drink” grunted Barney the pig without attempting to do anything about it himself. “Yap-yap” barked the dog as he jumped up and down on the spot achieving nothing other than breaking out in a sweat.

Karl the cockerel couldn’t believe what he was seeing – a poor helpless mule and the whole farmyard covered in confusion.

“Cock a doodle do” he crowed again, then, clearing his throat said, “Now we won’t achieve anything if we carry on like this. It needs organisation. First, let’s think about it”.

After a short time, a “Moo” sounded from the back of the crowd. It was Harold, the bull. “If you’ll all stand aside” he bellowed in his deep voice, “I could push her”.

“Don’t be so stupid” mewed the farm cat, “your great horns would do her more harm than good”.

“You know your trouble, don’t you?” rumbled Alice, Harold’s wife, “you’re a know-all-cat” which led all the animals either agreeing or disagreeing with Alice.

“Now shut up, all of you” crowed Karl. “In situations like this, we need to work together. Arguing won’t get us anywhere. We must be united if this problem is to be solved. Now, listen. Has anybody got a rope?”

“There’s some in the barn’ neighed the horse as he clip-clopped his way to the barn, ‘hold on a mo’ and I’ll bring it to you”.

“Thank you’ said Karl, ‘now we’re getting somewhere”.

“The problem is’, said an owl sitting on top of the barn, ‘how do we get the rope under Mavis – it’s impossible to move her”.

“I think I can help there’ said the mole with a voice that could hardly be heard, ‘I can take the rope through the soil and under Mavis”.

“It will take two holes and two lots of rope’, suggested the goat, ‘one round her shoulders and one round her bum – if you’ll pardon the expression”.

“Well thought out’ said Karl, ‘O.K. let’s go for it!”

So, the horse delivered the rope, the mole, took the rope with him into ground, the chicken caught the rope as it appeared on the other side of Mavis, the rat helped the mole out of his hole, the goat tied the ropes around Mavis and Karl organised it all.

“Now, said Karl, I want Harold the bull to make sure that he is tied to one rope and Alice to the other, then I want you all to line up behind one or the other of them, hold on to the rope and when I say ‘Pull’, then pull”.

All the animals took up positions behind Alice and Harold. Then, Karl shouted, “Pull” and everyone pulled. But they got no-where, Mavis was stuck like a cork in a bottle and they couldn’t budge her huge weight.

Karl was just about to give the order to ‘Pull’ again when he noticed a mouse, standing by and looking on. “Now what do you think you’re doing?” asked Karl.

“Looking”, said the mouse.

“Well, don’t just look, pull’ Karl shouted.

The mouse started to cry. “I can’t pull’ he blubbered, ‘I’m too little and I haven’t got any strength whatsoever”.

Karl looked angry.

“Leave this to me luv’ said Karl’s wife Sue, scowling at her husband, “this needs a gentle hand”. Then, making her way to the mouse, she said, “Maybe you’re right. Maybe you don’t have much strength, but you do have a little. Let’s see what your contribution to the problem can be. Go and stand behind Leslie the pig and pull with him”. Tearfully, the mouse obeyed.

“Pull” shouted Karl. “Harder, pull harder”. They were all red in the face, particularly the mouse. But at this attempt, Mavis popped out of her predicament.

“Hurrah!” everyone shouted in victory.

Leslie and Barney ran over to Mavis and helped her to her feet.

“Well done everybody’ said Karl ‘and a special thanks to our mousy friend, we couldn’t have done it without him”.

“I don’t think so’, said the mouse, blushing, ‘I hardly did anything”.

“Oh, but you did” said Karl. “In every situation even the smallest contribution counts, and of course, alongside every contribution is teamwork, nothing happens without teamwork.”

All the animals went back to their sun bathing while Sue helped Mavis get a wash and manage her embarrassment. Then, everything returned to normal.


Mark 12: 42 to 44; 1 Cor 12: 1 to 11


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