The Hobo Philosopher
By Richard E. Noble
The cattle are all grazing in a pasture not far off from the farmer’s house and barn. One of the cattle wanders away from the herd. He ends up grazing in a patch of tall grass just behind the barn. Suddenly he hears the farmer’s voice. The farmer is talking to the butcher. They are negotiating a price for the cattle. The bargaining is tight and in the debate the butcher bemoans the depressed price of meat and the excess of hides for sale at the market. By the end of the negotiation a price for the cattle is agreed upon. The butcher hauls off a load of squealing pigs, and the farmer returns to the farm house with a freshly killed chicken for supper as a celebration.
The steer, which was silently grazing behind the barn, is in total shock. He can not believe what he has just overheard. He runs back to the pasture where all of his compatriots are grazing peacefully.
“You are not going to believe this!” he screams. “I have just overheard farmer Jones. He is about to sell us all to a butcher. The butcher is going to slit our throats, drain our blood, cut and grind our flesh, and sell it to other humans for food. They are going to pickle our brains and tongues, boil our hooves for glue, make chip dip out of our livers, kill and fry our babies. They are even going to tan our hides and make clothing out of our skins. These humans are insane beasts. It is all a trick! The farmer only cares for us and shows concern for our health to fatten us up for the kill. He feeds us cheep free grass, and then sells our flesh, blood, and bones by the pound to other of his horrid merciless human neighbors. Our friends, the pigs, have already gone off to their deaths, and I saw with my own eyes the slaughter of a defenseless chicken. The farmer grabbed the poor thing up by the feet and then with one blow, lopped off its head on a stump. It was the most horrid thing that I have ever seen in my life. We must do something! We must unite. We must organize against the human beasts before it is too late and we are all hopelessly murdered and slaughtered.”
The cattle in the pasture all simultaneously lifted their heads and moo-oaned...
“Oh no, not another conspiracy theory!”