*This story was originally published in "Chew on This: Fifty-Two Inspirational Points to Ponder", a book of inspirational short stories by Gary Brock and Kelly Tuck, and is available for purchase here!
*Words of wisdom for inspirational thought are at the end of the story!
Billy and Bobby
Billy Goat and Bobby Goat were best friends, and they spent almost every day knocking around Farmer McDonald’s horse pasture, nibbling at grass, and butting random objects, including each other’s heads. Their home, the pasture, was almost five acres and housed a stretch of woods for shade, a barn for the horses, and a trough full of water.
Although there was plenty of space for Billy and Bobby, as well as the horses to roam around in, there was a fence encircling the entire pasture to protect them from getting into any trouble. Typically in the winter, Farmer McDonald threw out hay for feed and filled a couple of pans with grain for the animals. Now that warm weather was fast approaching and nature was rapidly springing up, the farmer only put out hay a couple of times a week since there was now plenty of green to eat.
One very nice spring morning, Billy and Bobby decided to spend their day searching for new territory to graze. As they walked around the pasture looking for new greens to sample, Billy suddenly spied some rich looking grass beside the woods line...right on the other side of the fence.
Billy nudged Bobby, “That looks so good over there. Check it out!”
Bobby gasped as his eyes took in the sight of the tall green grass. The sun shone on it in a way that made the morning dew sparkle. All of a sudden, he noticed that the fence separated them from it. “It looks delicious,” he groaned in longing, “but there’s no way we can get to it.”
“Don’t say that,” Billy stated, traipsing forward until his face was a mere six inches away from the fence. “I’ve always heard that ‘if there’s a will, there’s a way.’ I’ll find a way!” After giving the fence a long hard look, he first made several attempts to simply reach his head over the fence but couldn’t stretch far enough to reach the grass.
“Told you so!” Bobby called over in amusement as he stretched out to watch.
“I’m not done yet,” Billy replied, slyly looking over his shoulder at Bobby. “I’ve only just begun.” He then decided to shimmy underneath the space between the fence and the ground. He lowered to his front knees and stuck his nose in the free space but, try as he might, he could not make any headway.
“Ready to give up yet?” asked Bobby between mouthfuls of grass.
“Nope,” Billy said without bothering to turn around. He took a large step back to survey the situation and his mouth watered as he gazed at the lush green grass just on the other side of the fence. All of a sudden, Billy noticed the grid-like pattern the fence had been constructed in. He beamed. He could actually fit his head through the squares that made up the fence!
In one quick motion, Billy leapt forward and stuck his head through one of the lower grids before munching away at the sweet crunchy grass. Bobby was awestruck and immediately trotted over to the fence. “Unbelievable!” he shouted.
Coming up for air, Billy turned his head and grinned at Bobby in triumph. “Mm, mm good!”
Bobby lowered his head. “How exactly did you do that?”
“Pick a hole, then turn your head sideways and stick it through, and waalaah! You will find yourself at a fine banquet hall.” He bit off an enormous mouthful of grass, chewed, and swallowed before turning back to Bobby.
Tentatively, Bobby held his breath and carried out Billy’s instructions. He soon found himself face first in a palate of fresh greens and...oh, it was even better than he imagined! His eyes fluttered shut as he chomped on the green goodness from the new spring grass, thinking all the while, It just can’t get any better than this!
All of a sudden they heard Farmer McDonald hollering, “Hey, you two, what are you doing?! Get back in this pasture!”
In the blink of an eye, Billy pulled his head back through the hole and ran on down the fence line away from the farmer’s booming voice. Simultaneously, Bobby attempted to pull his head back through. In his haste, he didn’t turn his head at the right angle and his horns became stuck in the fence’s grid. Try as he might, he could not free himself from the clutches of the fence, and he let out a cry when he received a sharp thump on the rump from the farmer’s work boot.
Thrashing around made it no better for Bobby. With his peripheral vision, Bobby could see Billy sprinting to the far end of the pasture. “Hold still, hold still,” Farmer McDonald stated as he patted Bobby comfortingly, “let me see what we’ve got here, Bobby. We’ll get you out of there.”
He quickly surmised he would have to free Bobby from the other side of the fence. Skillfully climbing over, he grabbed both of Bobby’s horns and deftly twisted his head while pushing it back through the fence. As he was freeing Bobby, Farmer McDonald asked, “Bobby, what were you thinking? You’ve got horns on your head! Of course, you’re going to get stuck.” As soon as Bobby was free, he took off down the fence line to put as much distance as he possibly could between him and the farmer.
Once Bobby made his escape, Farmer McDonald walked the entire fence line to determine if the problem could happen again. Lush green grass grew thick around the entire perimeter of the pasture. After realizing that the goats, like people, think the grass is greener on the other side, he decided it best to turn on the electricity that surrounded the bottom and top of the pasture fence. After a couple of good shocks, the goats would get the message to stay inside their vast confines and then he could turn it off.
The next day, Billy and Bobby were back to bebopping around the pasture. Bobby had quickly moved past his irritation with Billy for abandoning him to fend for himself against Farmer McDonald. As they walked by the horses, the goats noticed they were feasting on some freshly sprouted maple tree leaves. And, boy, did they look tasty.
Billy glanced at Bobby and said, “Check out Hi Ho Silver and Trigger! They sure are working those maple trees over!”
Bobby chuckled in agreement. “Yeah, seems like they are really chomping at the bit.”
Heading toward the fence line, Billy’s sights were still set on the trees on the other side of the fence. “It’s been a while since I’ve had any maple tree leaves, and that maple syrup Farmer McDonald puts in our feed is the bomb! As good as that syrup is those leaves have got to be phenomenal.” Billy carefully placed his hoofs on the top of the fence, stretched his neck, and began pulling some of the leaves off. “Man,” he sighed in satisfaction, “these are amazing.”
Bobby held back, surveying the situation. Billy once again lifted up off his hind legs, put his front two hoofs on the fence, but this time ripped off a branch of the tree and landed munching on pure maple goodness.
Bobby thought to himself, Well, if Billy can do it so can I. He trotted up to the fence and lifted up off on his hind legs to carefully place his two front hoofs on the fence line, just as he’d seen Billy do seconds earlier. He hesitantly pulled a few leaves, hopped back off the fence, and began chewing. He immediately gulped them down, eager for more. How sweet they were! Hopping back up on the top of the fence line, Bobby reached high and far, just like Billy, to snag a branch for himself, but he lost his balance and slipped off. Both of his legs landed directly on top of the electric line.
Zap! Zap! Zap!
Bobby was seeing bright blue stars as he finally fell off the strategically placed electric line and hit the ground. Shaking his head, he looked up to see the line clearly mounted four inches above the top of the fence line. And once again, Billy was nowhere to be found. As soon as the first zap sounded, he high tailed it across the pasture as if he was the one that had been shocked.
Watching the scene from a across the pasture, Farmer McDonald hollered, “Bobby, you need to start thinking for yourself because…
* * * * * * *
Imitation can be the greatest
form of flattery,
but leads to the greatest
form of stupidity.
* * * * * * *
*Chew On This: Fifty-Two Inspirational Points to Ponder is available for purchase here!