Once upon a time, a rooster named Which Mitt decided he would be a better barnyard leader than the Big Owl.
But Icky Ricky, another rooster, also wanted to be the one in charge.
They began crowing, loudly and nonstop, to see who had the scariest stories about each other and about Big Owl.
“Which Mitt isn’t rooster enough to beat Big Owl,” screeched Icky Ricky. “And if Big Owl isn’t knocked off his perch soon, he’ll force every animal to eat broccoli! And he’ll let birds mate with bees! And then he’ll let them kill their offspring!”
“I’m more rooster than Icky Ricky. My hens have the fanciest nesting boxes in the chicken house,” crowed Which Mitt. “We need to stop wasting feed and vet care on animals who don’t have enough to eat and a warm place to sleep, because if they don’t already have them they probably don’t deserve them.”
Many of the animals believed the scary stories about Big Owl, but some were a little scared of Icky Ricky too, and a lot of them didn’t trust Which Mitt. They began braying, bleating and yowling: “Oh, what will we do? Who will save us from Big Owl?”
They finally decided they were more alarmed by Icky Ricky than suspicious of Which Mitt. After that, all the roosters’ scare stories were about Big Owl, and they got scarier and scarier.
“Big Owl is trying to brainwash your young! He’ll enslave us all!”
Big Owl won again, mostly because he hadn’t done anything as scary as Which Mitt claimed. Life in the barnyard went on.
A few of the animals still feared Big Owl, but the ones with bigger brains got tired of hearing the same old stories crowed at them.
Some of them began to wonder whether they’d been afraid of the wrong animals. And when the roosters crowed, nobody listened anymore.