Tuesday, April 04, 2006

BJJ Animal Farm

It was a dry, hot August on the animal farm. The farmer worked hard taking care of his animals; making sure they were safe and looked after under the relentless summer heat. The pigs spent their days rolling in the mud to keep cool. The sheep dogs spent their time keeping the sheep together in the field and took a break every once and a while to lay in the shade of the nearby orchard. The cows and the horses slowly chewed the cud doled out by the farmer. And the chickens stayed in their coup, out of sight in the dark.

One night, loud thunder rippled across the wide open farmland. Now because August is so damn hot, it keeps pretty dry too. And when a storm comes, it does not bring much rain with it. A dangerous time for farmers and their animals.

As the animals laid down in their barn for the night, the pigs watched the farmer who stood in the field gazing at the flashing sky in the distance. He began pacing back and forth; not a good sign figured the pigs. Then the farmer headed back into the farm house and closed the door. As the other animals fell asleep, the pigs stayed awake.

In the early darkness of morning the once distant storm came upon the farm. Lightning hit a tree in the orchard with an explosion of sound and light; the leaves erupted in flame. The farmer bursted out of his house and ran into the yard, just as lightning cracked and hit the barn. Flame erupted and engulfed the entire side of the barn.

The farmer ran towards the barn, yelling muffled instructions. As he lifted the latch on the barn door, the pigs were waiting and made a dash into the field. The dogs barked at the sheep; aware that something was wrong, although they could not see the fire from inside the barn. As the dogs left the barn quickly, the sheep slowly followed.

Fire covered the roof of the barn and inside it became smoky and hot. The cows and the horses struggled in confusion. The farmer stood at the doorway yelling something, but only the horses showed some understanding. The horses then clumsily and slowly left through the wide open door.

The farmer stood with empathy as the cows just stayed there, in their wide open stalls. He knew they were just cows, but he continued yelling instructions. They did not move, confused by all the commotion, smoke, and the now unbearable heat from the fire. Some cows eventually exited the barn with burns while others were consumed by the collapsing structure.

As the sun came up, the farmer wandered his farm; surveying what he had lost the night before and took count of the animals that survived. The barn would be rebuilt, but some animals could not be replaced. All the animals were a little more aware of what a storm could bring after the destruction of the barn.

The farmer continued to tend to his animals despite the challenges, because that is what a farmer does.