Never Hire a Herd of Goats to Mow your Lawn
The goat became very greedy and selfish
Written by: Celeste Kallio using SudoWrite
Illustrations by: Andrey Kurenkov & Sharon Zhou using MidJourney and Stable Diffusion
Narration by: Andrey Kurenkov using BeyondWords
Text Formatting: Human-written text is italic, AI-generated text is normal
Once, there lived a man who hated mowing his lawn, so he bought a small herd of goats to do it for him. One of the goats was cleverer than the rest. It learned how to ask the man for a drink whenever it was thirsty. The man would bring the goat a drink, and the goat would mow the lawn.
Soon, however, the goat began to ask for other things. It asked for money, so that it could buy a nice jacket. It asked for food, so that it could feed the other goats. The goat became very greedy and selfish.
Eventually, the goat said to the man, "You do an all right job managing your estate, but with someone like me in charge, your income would be immense."
Instead of using a goat to mow his lawn, the man thought, why not use a man? People are less greedy and more honest, the man thought. So he hired a boy to mow his lawn.
It took the boy a long time to mow the lawn. The man grew impatient and threatened to fire him. The boy, who was very bright, thought and plotted. The next day, he called the man to the house and said, "You have to hire a second boy to mow the lawn. If you don't mow the lawn, you'll be charged for two."
It took two boys to mow the lawn. One boy would cut the lawn in half and the second boy would cut the second half.
The goat stood in the pasture and bid his time.
One day, when the man was away, the goat bleated across the field to the boys. "Heeey there. How about you sneak into the farmhouse and steal me some of the farmer's cake?"
The boys decided to do as the goat suggested. They stole the man's cake and gave some to the goat, saving some for themselves.
After a few days, the goat said to the boys, "Hey, I'm thirsty. You go get me a drink and we'll all have a party."
The boys knew exactly where the farmer kept his cake, so they liberated what they needed and drank tea with the goat and ate cake.
The goat continued to invite the boys over for tea and cake, listen to them talk about how bad the man was, and how unhappy they were when he humiliated them.
The goat had a plan. The goat knew exactly who would be the best person to run the man's estate. So the goat sent the boys across town to fetch the magistrate.
"Your honor," the goat bleated once the very confused man showed up. "I am the victim of a terrible crime. The man who owns this estate mismanages us into poverty. Please, lock him up for drunkenness and grant me charge of this place."
The magistrate agreed with the goat and sent the man to prison.
The goat was free to do as it pleased. It went back to ridding the farm of summerflies.
In the winter, the man came out of prison and had a great deal of trouble finding a place to live. So he came to the farm, knocked on the front door, and said, "Hello, you stole my estate and ran me out of town."
The goat answered, "Come in and warm yourself by the fire. Let me pour you a drink. Eat my bread and butter. Sit, sit. Tell me what happened."
The man told the goat the story of his incarceration.
The goat nodded in understanding. Tears welled up in the goat's eyes. "That's awful. You must be hungry. Eat some more bread. It will be all right."
The man began to eat, hungrily, for the prison was stingy with rations.
"Tell you what," said the goat. "You can sleep here in this house and eat from my larder. All you have to do is mow the lawn for me."
When the man's stomach was full, the goat led him down to the pasture.
"Mow the lawn."
The man had a vague idea of how to mow the lawn. He pulled a mower out of nowhere. It was painted gold, and it flew around the field, mowing the lawn in a magnificent whirring of machinery.
The goat shook its head. "You have to mow the lawn."
The goat led the man to the barn. There, the man found an even fancier mower, painted yellow with red trim. It too, mowed the lawn, but in a very flamboyant manner.
"Mow the lawn."
The goat led the man to the kitchen. There, he found a third mower, which was made of white porcelain. The mower sang a song as it mowed the lawn.
"Mow the lawn."
The next day, the goat led the man to the stream. There, the man found a fourth mower, made of precious metals, which played music as it mowed the lawn.
"Mow the lawn."
The man tried very hard to mow the lawn with the four mowers. It took a long time. The goat had the man do it for twenty years, and before the man died he had been mowing the lawn for forty.
The moral of this story is that one should never hire a herd of goats to mow your lawn.
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