This work of micro-fiction by Ray Charbonneau first appeared in the March/April 2015 issue of our magazine.
Joshua the Husbandman was a breeder of bulls. They were exceptionally fine bulls, for not only were they strong and healthy beasts, but they could also talk, which made them extremely valuable.
At the end of the season, Samuel the Farmer came to visit Joshua the Husbandman, who still had two fine bulls available, Ferdinand and Zorro. Samuel could not choose between the two bulls, so they decided to race them to see which bull Samuel should purchase.
As so often happens when two bulls race, one bull, Ferdinand in this case, won easily. In fact, Ferdinand was far enough ahead that by the end of the course, he was no longer running hard. Meanwhile, Zorro struggled the whole way just to keep Ferdinand in sight.
After the race, Joshua started to clip the bull staff to Ferdinand’s nose ring so Samuel could lead him away. But before Samuel and Joshua could consummate the sale, Zorro stepped forward and butted the staff aside, saying, “While Ferdinand was faster, I was clearly the harder worker. Does that not make my race at least as impressive as Ferdinand’s?”
Joshua looked at Samuel, who shrugged. So Joshua clipped the bull staff to the ring in Zorro’s nose and Samuel led Zorro away to his farm.
When Zorro reached Samuel’s farm, he was castrated and broken to harness for a life of working the land. Meanwhile Ferdinand, Joshua’s sole remaining bull, was retired to stud, to sire a new generation of talking bulls.
So remember, “Let the first be first and the last, last; whatever the result let there be no weeping and gnashing of teeth, for many are culled, but few left potent.”
Get more bull from Ray Charbonneau at y42k.com.
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