"Will you hurry up, please," shouted
Beans. "No wonder they call you Poke. You are the biggest slow poke there
ever was." Beans, a rooster, turned around and started tapping his foot.
His reddish-brown feathers were ruffled up the back of his neck.
"Iím coming," the pig answered. "I
canít help it if I walk slower than you. Thereís much more of me." His
pink skin was covered with thick brown mud.
"If you washed yourself now and
then, you could move a lot quicker. You must have an inch of mud all over
you. Why, I canít even see your curly, corkscrew tail!" Beans added.
"Why are you in such a hurry anyway?
Weíre only going to the silo! I happen to know that Farmer Roy puts plenty
of food out on Tuesdays," Poke said, walking on.
Beans slowed down his pace and the
two walked side by side. "Youíre right, of course, but my mouthís set on
barley and some wheat. I know youíre hungry for corn," Beans smiled.
Pokeís tummy growled. It was hard to
hear it through all the mud though. He picked up the pace a little. "All
this talk of foodís got my mouth watering. Letís walk faster."
When Poke and Beans got to the silo,
there were dozens of hens and roosters pecking away at the seed. A few
ducks had flown over from the pond down the road and there were even a
couple of geese there. "Make way. Make way. Poke and Beans are here and
weíre feeling hungry," Beans shouted.
The other animals looked over at the
pig and the rooster, ignored them, and started pecking the seed again.
Poke made his way through the birds, pushing them out of the way with his
very plump and very large body. There was a lot of clucking and feathers
flying about, but soon Poke found himself in the middle of a pile of corn.
"Yummy. This is delicious," he said, corn dropping from his mouth as he
Beans stayed right next to Poke.
"All right, everybody. Move back. Give Poke some room." The birds moved
out of the way, but were not happy about it. They pecked at the seeds that
had scattered about. Beans started to eat. "This is delicious!" Within a
few minutes, there was nothing left on the ground in front of the silo.
Poke had eaten it all. Even Beans hadnít had enough to eat, but thatís all
there was for that morning.
Poke spent the day lying in a puddle
of mud. His tummy was full. The other animals at the farm could hear him
snoring, clear down by the barn. They were getting tired of Poke and all
his nonsense. Beans was used to the noise and soon fell asleep while
perching on a wooden fence pole near the mud.
A huge gust of wind blew Beans right
off the fence post. "What was that?" he asked, rubbing his sore head.
Things were blowing all over the farm. Pieces of paper came flying by.
"Thatís quite a breeze," he said, standing up and brushing the dirt off
his feathers. "Poke. Wake up. Thereís a storm coming." He pecked the pigís
nose with his beak. "Wake up, I say. Wake up."
Poke opened his eyes. "What is it
now? Has Farmer Roy put out some more food? It is Tuesday, isnít it?" he
"I donít know if Farmer Roy has put
out any food. It is Tuesday, but thereís a storm coming. Watch out!" Beans
shouted. Just then a large piece of wood came flying past, barely missing
his head. "That was close," he sighed.
Poke climbed out of the mud. Big,
brown, gooey drops fell from his body to the ground. It started to rain.
"Ouch!" Poke said. The rain changed to hail. "Ouch!" he shouted again.
"Iím heading for the barn. This hail
hurts," Beans said and ran as fast as he could. "I canít wait for you," he
called behind him.
Poke walked slowly. He was covered
with even more mud. The hail pelted against him. "Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!" he
cried out as he headed for the barn.
Beans reached the barn door, only to
find it slammed shut. He started to pound on it. "Let me in! Let me in!"
The hail was coming down even harder. He raised his wings to protect his
From high above him in the hayloft,
one of the other chickens shouted down, "You canít come in. Neither can
Poke. Youíre too pushy and greedy. Youíll both need to find shelter
Beans looked up. "No. Itís hailing
and it hurts. Let us in, please," he begged, but the other animals in the
barn ignored him. By the time Poke arrived at the barn door, the rain and
hail had washed all the mud off him. He was completely pink. Beans could
even see Pokeís curly tail. "They wonít let us in," Beans explained.
"Why not?" Poke asked.
"They said weíre too greedy and
pushy," Beans said.
Poke didnít know what to think. All
he knew was that it was getting windier and the hail was coming down
harder than ever. "Please let us in," he called. His voice could barely be
heard above the howling wind. "I promise never to push you out of the way
"And I promise never to be greedy
again," Beans added.
For a long time nobody answered.
Poke and Beans started to walk away. They had to find somewhere else to
go. Just then the door creaked open. "If you promise to share the food and
not push us out of the way ever again, weíll let you in," one of the hens
"We promise," Beans said.
"Yeah, we promise," Poke muttered.
The barn doors opened wide enough
for Poke and Beans to go in and then it was quickly shut. The pig and the
rooster wiped the water from their eyes and face. "Thank you," Poke said.
It stormed all day long. Each of the animals found a place to lie in the
hay. The wind whistled and blew through the cracks around the windows.
Beans looked outside. He could see
leaves and branches and all sorts of things blowing around. The hail had
stopped and now it was just heavy rain. He was glad to be inside. The
whole farm was a river of mud. He flew down to where Poke was lying. "Iím
glad they let us inside," he sighed and sat down on the hay next to Poke.
The next morning when Beans got up
to crow, he noticed the storm had passed. He flew to the fence post and
did his cock-a-doodle-doo. Soon the farm was stirring. Farmer Roy milked
the cows, filled up the horseís trough with fresh hay and then opened the
silo door. Seed and corn came rushing out for the animals. He started his
tractor and went off to plow the fields.
The sun rose over the horizon and
morning began. Beans flew over to Poke, who was now lying in the mud
again. "Time to go and eat," he said, clucking away. "Wake up. Wake up!"
Poke opened his eyes and yawned. "Farmer Roy opened the silo again.
Thereís plenty of corn, wheat and barley for us." Poke stood up and the
two of them walked towards the silo. "Hurry up, slow Poke. I want to eat
this morning. I hope thereís something left for us," Beans complained.
"Oh no, here comes Poke and Beans,"
one of the ducks quacked. All the other birds and animals turned to watch.
They were happy and surprised when Poke and Beans stood back and waited
until all the other animals in the farmyard had their fill. Only then did
he started munching the corn. Beans pecked the remaining seed off the
ground. It is much better to cooperate and share, than to be greedy and
pig it all up for themselves.