Tuck yourselves in, children, for tonight I’m going to bring you a nice bedtime story. It’s all about our nice friends in the animal kingdom and how they dealt with their nemesis, the wily and ravenous wolf.

Barnyard Justice and the Animal’s Court

The forest is aflame with terror. Animals were being eaten at a voracious rate by the wily wolf and his carnivorous henchmen. For a time, the barnyard watched from a distance barely noticing. Eventually they became uneasy, yet they were still secure that they were safe inside their fences. But, soon enough, the terror was visited upon the barnyard animals, too. It came to pass that all involved decided that it was time that both communities did something about wily wolf’s reign of terror so the accused was brought before the animal court.

Wise judge Owl banged the gavel and called the court to order.

The stalwart Cow brought the accused into the courtroom to face justice.

The sly Weasel, representing the accused, took his place beside his client and winked his weasely wink.

The accused, the wily Wolf, stood proudly unrepentant and faced the court. He glanced at the jury with a slight snarling smile and nodded his head self assuredly. He unconsciously licked his lips and stared hungrily at the animals in the jury box making the Hens and Ducks there feel somewhat uncomfortable though they didn’t know why.

“A whoo-whooo, I bring this court of the Animal Kingdom to order”, said wise judge Owl as he banged the gavel.

“Yer honor”, interjected the sly Weasel, “I move fer a dismissal for the reason dat dis here pillar of the community, my client the wily Wolf, is being maliciously maligned by the court of public opinion and that these jurors could not possibly be unbiased seein as how they have been brainwashed by the powers that be against my innocent and shy client, the wily Wolf.” With that the sly Weasel sat down confident of his perspicacity.

“Motion denied,” Said the wise owl. “The court will now take opening statements.”

The stalwart Horse stepped forward from his table and, papers in hand, began to lay out his argument. “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I am here to lay out a case against the wily Wolf for fraud, deceit and murder. He has used his power to oppress the members of the woodlands, to frighten them and cause them bodily harm. He has done this for over 12 years and shown no indication of abiding by the resolutions passed by the Barnyard commission for Peace. The Wolf has feigned compliance, claimed malfeasance against him and pretended to be an upstanding member of the community all the while he has continued unabated his actions against individual members of the woodland community as well as plotting terror against the citizens of the Barnyard through intermediaries and associates. I ask you to look with sober logic at the evidence before you, to see his lies and falsehoods and in the spirit of cooperation in the animal kingdom to find him guilty of all charges.”

With that the stalwart Horse ended his statements.

Then it was the sly Weasel’s turn. He leapt to his feet and confronted the Jurors mere feet away. “Kind and wise animals of the jury, yer most honorable honor de wise Owl and members of this court, I come to you on behalf of my client the wily Wolf to plead for yer understanding. He admits dat, in the past, he has done some things dat might be considered somewhat impolitic. He HAS eaten a few stray animals here and there. He has used da weapons at his disposal on occasion … but only when in defense of himself and his woodland friends. But he is a beloved ruler of da forest. In fact, he was voted into office just last year with 100% of da woodland vote. Now DAT is da love da woodland creatures feel for him, yer honor. But da Barnyard citizens are only interested in controlling him and his compatriots. He has repeatedly promised not to eat any of de Barnyard citizens and this claim dat he has paid several Weasels to sneak into de Barnyard to do his dirty work is totally unprovable. He has shown dat he agrees to abide by de Barnyard resolutions over and over again. What more could you want of such an honorable animal? If more is required, he needs more time. It has been a mere 12 years. He pleads for peace and more time. I thank you.”

With that the sly Weasel sat down satisfied of his effectiveness.

“Let the court hear the witnesses,” Announced the wise Owl.

For the next several hours a parade of witnesses from all across the animal kingdom came before the animal court and testified to the cruelty displayed by the wily wolf in the forest. Many families were victims of the wily Wolf, their Mother’s and children having been eaten by him in the woodlands and they cried out that they lived in constant fear. Several expert Barnyard witnesses testified that there were connections between the wily Wolf and his weasel operatives within the folds of the Barnyard. A veritable cornucopia of evidences piled up against the wily Wolf.

But the slippery Weasel had witnesses of his own. He introduced a witness who said that the wily Wolf was no real threat to the Barnyard. After all, he had not personally eaten any of the Barnyard citizens had he? And, if he may have been somewhat unkind to some members of the woodlands in the dim past the woodlands ARE his home, it must be noted. Should he not be able to do as he pleases there even if that includes mass murder and terror? Even if he plans on expanding his domain into the mountains and the prairies, what concern is it of the citizens of the Barnyard, anyway? They are safe behind their fences, aren’t they? Why should they care?

The debate raged back and forth. One side presented its points and the other refuted them. One side parried, one thrusted. The stalwart Horse warned that despite what the wily Wolf told them he was STILL a Wolf and Wolves ate other animals therefore he would never change. The sly Weasel asked if his fellow animals could feel right about acting preemptively when there was a chance the Wiley Wolf just might decide to become a fluffy rabbit or a nice kitty cat, even? The court proceedings went on day after day. The wily Wolf’s grin got wider and his belly got hungrier as he looked at the nervous Jurors day after day.

As time passed it looked more and more as if the wily Wolf would get away with his vile actions. But one day, and when the court participants least expected it Farmer George calmly walked into the courtroom and blew the wily Wolf in half with a double barreled shotgun … using both barrels, of course.

And that was the end of the wily Wolf. The woodlands settled into a new day of peace and the Barnyard was free of the gnawing terror that death lived right outside its borders.

But the peace shall last only so long as farmer George was there with his shotgun forever at the ready.

The sun shone and the birds sang.

The End

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