Note: This is the final part in a four part series entitled ‘The Chronicles of COVID’. For chapters 1-3 visit, tribune242.com online.
By INIGO 'NAUGHTY' ZENICAZELAYA
Farmer Minnis heard the cries of the animals on the farm. He knew they were angry and waiting for a solution to the COVID pandemic.
The Grey parrots, who were learned in healing, advised Farmer Minnis that the farm had to be shut down. So with all the authority the animals had allowed him to take, Farmer Minnis held a meeting.
“This virus is wrecking our beautiful farm. So, effective immediately, all of you animals must stay where you are. Do not leave your styes, pens, dens or nests. Stay on your hills, hives, holes and huts! For seven days!” Farmer Minnis warned.
The animals were in shock. There had been whispers - pervasive whispers - that Farmer Minnis would shut the farm down.
Still, the animals were not prepared. Just a few days earlier, The Andalusian, that fancy horse, had told all the animals that there was no way Farmer Minnis would shut the farm down. And because he was a favourite of Farmer Minnis’ many animals believed him.
“What will we do?” cried the hens. “We don’t have food for our chicks!”
“What will we do?” cried the cows. “We have no water to quench our thirst!”
“You will die!” laughed the buzzards. “And all your treasures will disappear!”
There was confusion everywhere.
The owls, those wise birds who ran the courts, were dismayed. They had heard the animals’ cries and began to push back on Farmer Minnis’ rule.
“I know the law. This lockdown is unconstitutional!” said Grey Owl.
“Farmer Minnis can do as he pleases,” replied Brown Owl.
“We‘ll see about that! We’re suing!” cried Justice Owl.
Every animal on the farm was ready to fight. Well, except the mules.
The mules were the poorest, hardest working animals on the farm. They had tired of being patient with Farmer Minnis. So, having suffered the most, devised a plan to strike! They defied Farmer Minnis’ rules and took to the streets to protest his lockdown decision.
The boars, many of whom were secretly out of commission because they were being ravaged by COVID, showed up to the protest and arrested the mules, which made all the other animals really angry.
“Farmer Minnis must resign!” baaed the sheep!
“Off with his head!” bellowed the bulls.
The Andalusian, along with Renny the Racehorse, as well as all of Farmer Minnis’ top animals realized they were in trouble. If they were not careful, there would soon be a full revolt on the farm which would topple their rule. According to whispers, they held a secret meeting with Farmer Minnis and the very next day Farmer Minnis put out a statement:
“My dear, sweet, animals. Did I say ‘effective immediately’? LOL. Just Kidding! I have heard your baas and whinnies and bleets, so forget everything I said yesterday. Of course, you can shop for food and water and medicine. I would never lock you down with a magnitude 20 hurricane out there. Please prepare for this storm which the groundhogs say is headed our way!”
But no storm ever came to the farm.
The animals were satisfied that Farmer Minnis had rescinded his harsh orders. Many of the top animals tried to take credit for the reversal.
“I convinced Farmer Minnis to spare you hardship!” cooed Travie the ambitious thoroughbred.
“No, I convinced Farmer Minnis to save you!” cried Marvin the Mounthorse.
Bravis, the Mountain Goat who led a faction opposed to Farmer Minnis, had been struck down with COVID (along with many of his friends) and had transferred to another farm. So he could not claim the credit.
None of the animals knew who or what to thank for Farmer Minnis’ change of heart, but they were indeed thankful.
The next day, Farmer Minnis uttered the last directive he would give to animals for a while:
“My fellow animals and extremely special settlers, I give up. I’m coming out of self-imposed quarantine to let you know that y’all hard head birds don’t make good stew. So from today on, do as you will. You want to party? Party. You want to catch COVID? Well, then let nature take its course. My top animals, those backbiters, will instruct you on what they will do to save you. Make sure to ask them specifics on what plans they have because half of them are birdbrains. Once you realize this, I will gladly fire them with your blessing. Just know that I tried. And I will continue to try. But you all tried to savage me so I will go about farm business quietly from now on. Wear your mask and cover your... hinds. Although that may be futile, cause almost all of you are infected at this point. A year from now, I hope you are still on this wonderful, beautiful farm. If not, that’s on you. I have given you what you want. So if your luck buck, I’ne in dat! God bless you. I love you. And don’t forget to ‘Roc with Doc’ in 2022!”
The animals, those sheep, and pigs, and horses, and cows, and bulls, and birds, and pigeons, and sows finally realized the truth that had been staring them in the face during the entire pandemic; they were the ones writing the farm’s story.
And they alone would determine the ending.