Once upon a time there was a country farm and on that farm lived many different animals. There was a two story red barn to house all the critters, fences to keep them from straying off, and pig pens for the pigs to wallow in.
The farm belonged to Mr. and Mrs. Weldon and they had farmed the land for over forty years living on the vegetables they had grown year after year. They seldom went into town to buy things for most of their needs were met from the farm animals. There were chickens to produce eggs, cows to produce milk, butter and cheese, bulls for multiplying and producing meat, pigs for bacon and ham, roosters to keep the chickens company. Of course they had cats and dogs like all folk did.
The Weldon’s had grape vines galore, apple trees, pear trees, fig bushes as tall as the moon and peach trees in the orchard to make yummy peach cobbler. When blackberries were ripe in July Mrs. Weldon was up at dawn to see she got the biggest and best of the berries. She used an upstairs bedroom to stock all of her jars of canned goods and kept them rotated every year for freshness.
There was one animal that made all the others seem very dull. Her name was Vinney and she was a huge white duck. She waddled proudly around the barnyard showing off her tail feathers that were extremely fine to say the least. When she and her mate Horace got together in the barn showdown summer festival they always walked away with the first prize. No one could begin to dance the Charleston or the Jitterbug like Vinney. Every year there would be new contestants with new ideas but no one ever walked away with the trophy.
This year there was a new addition in the barn and her name was Clarice, a long-necked turkey. Clarice had longer tail feathers than Vinney and Vinney was very jealous. Jealousy causes people and animals to behave in a mean spirited way.
Vinney watched Horace with a very keen eye every single second for she was so afraid that Clarice would take him from her. She thought that Horace spent far too much time lingering around Clarice not to mention the funny jokes he spent hours telling Clarice. It was as if she had poured gasoline all over the barn and struck a match to burn up all the hay. She was so jealous she could not think rationally and did crazy things that she normally would never do. She acted mean to Clarice and said mean things to her to hurt her feelings hoping she would run away.
Jealousy is the green-eyed monster that most people and animals are very prone to get. It is a combination of possessiveness, suspicion, rage and humiliation. It can literally take over the mind and cause one to do things that are totally stupid. It camps out in your head and can pop out at any time. It can cause fights when tempers flair and normally both are hurt by the jealous actions.
Jealousy bewitches creatures everywhere. Even the monkeys in the jungle get into fights when one female monkey shows her bare red butt to a male monkey. Blue jays are also very jealous birds. If they see another male wandering into his territory he will begin to squawk, snap his bill furiously and try to run the other bird away. Jealousy bedevils all creatures. Two people can get along just fine but when the third person comes in there is always those devilish evil thoughts that cause trouble.
So it was with Vinney. Clarice was sitting under a tree combing her feathers to be sure none had been damaged or frayed. Horace came strutting up along side Clarice. It was a beautiful sunny day and he felt good. He was humming a tune that had gotten caught in the spider webs of his mind. He smiled a big smile wiggling his tail as any proud duck would do. He didn’t see Vinney hiding behind a bush.
Suddenly Vinney came roaring from behind the bush like a freight train. She jumped on Horace and began to pull out his tail feathers.
“Stop it Vinney!” Horace squawked. “You are ruining my feathers and it is hurting. What in the world is wrong with you?
“I see you showing off to Miss Clarice. You just had to come this way. I see the pure devil in your eyes. You are just waiting for me to go down to the pond and then you and Clarice will start kissing! I know how males are. I have to watch you day and night to keep you from playing around with someone else!” Vinney huffed.
Her face was as red blood. The anger had been building up for days and now she was exploding with a vengeance
“What in the world do you mean?” Clarice asked quite startled at Vinney’s actions.
“You just keep your mouth closed or I’ll knock every tooth right out of your head!” Vinney yelled as she reached for another hand full of feathers from Horace’s tail. “I’ll pull out every feather until your butt is shining like a new moon. Then let’s see you and Clarice win the dance contest.” She smirked.
“I’m sorry you are sadly mistaken Vinney. I do not dance at all. I have no interest in Horace except as a friend. I was thinking about doing something quite different at the festival and it doesn’t include either of you.
Now take all your feathers and leave me alone before I jump on you and beat the ever-loving monkey do out of you. You need to see a doctor about your temper child!” Clarice said as she stood to her feet.
“Now look what you have done!” Horace snapped. “Now I will never win a trophy with a tail with no feathers. I’m finished with you Vinney. I’ve told you and told you about your jealousy. You have hurt Clarice’s feelings and you have damaged by feathers so bad that it will take months to grow more. Just get out of my way. I’m going to the barn.” Horace snorted. His face had become very red from anger and his butt was hurting from all the pulled out feathers.
So with that, Horace left Vinney and headed towards the barn.
Vinney could see she had made a terrible mistake but it was too late. Now everyone in the barnyard would be very angry with Vinney. She would have no friends at all and it was all her fault. She had allowed the green-eyed monster to destroy her relationship with Horace and she had destroyed his beautiful tail feathers.
“Oh my gosh! Everyone look at Horace’s buttocks. Vinney has pulled out all of his feathers. Now he is a plucked duck!” Lateecha rolled on the ground in laughter.
Indeed Horace was not only hurt but now was the laughing stock of the animals in the barn. They felt bad for him but the actual site of the holes in his rear was funny in itself. So it came to be that there was no festival, no dancing and no fun at all that year because of simple jealousy.
Question: When did the green-eyed monster visit you last?
Written by Sybil Shearin
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