Compañeros, by Richard Grove

Two compañeros, a pig and a chicken, sat under the reaching arms of an ancient guabba tree. "Which would you rather be a pig or a chicken?" said the chicken to the pig. "I never thought about it before. Which would you rather be?" sad the pig to the chicken.

They languored there for sometime in the glorious gold of the late afternoon leaning against the rather grand trunk, both with legs stretched out, one leg crossing the other. "There are many merits to each, mi compañera." said the pig to the chicken. "Many indeed." replied the chicken to the pig.

There was a gentle cool breeze that moved puffy white clouds into the depths of the rolling horizon. It was a calm and lazy afternoon. "Many merits indeed mi compañero. You get fed so much more food than me. Sometimes even table scraps and soon windfall apples, more than you can possibly eat. There are many merits for being a pig." said the chicken to the pig. "Many more merits indeed."

"Oh but you mi compañera are free to roam all day, I on the other hand am mostly cooped up in the rather crowded stye. I have to root my way under the gate just to get a breath of fresh air and a moments privacy. There are many more merits for being a chicken if you ask me." said the pig to the chicken.

"Well excuse me, señor, but while I do appreciate my freedom to roam you must appreciate the dangers of being a chicken, foxes, weasels and such, why just the other day we lost a compañera to a hawk. Ripped her to shreds poor thing. You on the other hand have the glorious luxury of snoozing after a wallow in the mud with no fear that anything other than a fly will tickle your nose." said the chicken to the pig.

"Well lets not get huffy about it, señora, chicken. There are more merits for being a chicken than a pig." said the pig to the chicken. "Many more merits indeed."

They sat there for the longest time pitching their arguments back and forth getting more and more heated as time went on. Chicken feed twice a day, clean straw to sleep in, never being chased by the dog, being able to roost in a tree. The list went on and on. Time slipped away until the sun was just peeking over the tree covered hills.

It was only with the clanging of the dinner bell, the farmer’s wife calling the family to dinner that they stopped their arguing. "I wonder what they are having for supper tonight?" Said the chicken to the pig. "Hmmmm. I wonder mi compañera." said the pig to the chicken.

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Ruth Massey