by Sam Morris
Jones made his way back from tending the fields,
he counted his sheep, as was his habit, and found
them all present and correct. A few minutes later
he did the same for the pigs, before moving on to
the chickens but stopped in his tracks
before he reached the coop. Walking back to the
pigsty he took a second look and, sure enough,
there were only eight pigs. One fewer than there
should have been. He counted a third time to be
sure, but there was definitely a pig missing.
around to look towards the farm next door.
guess whos been meddlin wi me
down the dirt track to old Murphys farm,
and rounded the barn to Murphys pigsty. It
took no more than a second to see that there were
six pigs there, where he knew full well there
should have been five.
Now with anger
in his stride, he stomped over to the farmhouse
and banged on the door.
you old baaastard!
No reply was
forthcoming however, and when he tried the handle
he found the door unlocked. Proceeding inside he
shouted further expletives, again to no response.
Evidently Murphy was out, probably at the local
inn drinking too much whiskey. Having a nosy
round the house, Farmer Jones found a score of
crates full of ripe tomatoes in the little
storage room next to the porch.
me pigs from right under me nose would
ee, he muttered as he took the first
crate from the top of the pile. His right boot
was more than enough to squash all the tomatoes
in the crate. After that one was done he set to
work on the second, and then the third. By the
time he was finished there were only three crates
left intact. He then decided he might as well
finish the job, and did those ones too.
to his own farm, pig in tow, he smirked to
himself at the thought of Murphy returning to
find the ruined tomatoes. Passing the sty Jones
deposited his ninth pig back where it belonged
before continuing on to the chicken coop, and
when he counted them he found, for the second
time that day, a different number than he was
expecting. This time there were thirteen when
there should have been twelve. Puzzled now, he
walked into his own farmhouse and found his wife
peeling potatoes in the kitchen.
came that extra chicken?, he asked, jerking
his thumb over his shoulder.
said she. Murphy came round this morning,
sayin he needed another pig urgently, so I
swindled the old drunkard. Gave him one o
our old ones in return for one o his
chickens and ten crates of his tomatoes!
Hes bringin em round tomorrow.