Baxter Black: Christmas gift exchange on the farm

The week before Christmas, the farmer announced to the animals that he would not be giving them the traditional cheese and sausage box.

The pig was relieved.

The farmer suggested instead they should pool their names in a black rubber bucket and draw names.

“Does that include non-domesticated animals, too?” asked the armadillo.

“Yes, but only warm-blooded,” was the answer.

Since not everyone had prehensile lips, the farmer offered to do the drawing in the giant name swap.

On Christmas morning, the gifts were exchanged.

The buzzard had drawn the possum. He gave him a can of fluorescent paint and a back pack made of reflector tape.

“That way,” the buzzard explained, “the cars might see you crossing in time to swerve and miss you. And …” he continued, “if it doesn’t, you’ll be a lot easier for me to spot when you’re flat on the highway.”

The dog presented the cat with a coffee can full of sand and a gift certificate to be spayed. She reciprocated by giving the dog a toy flea circus.

“I hope you like it” she snarled, “I bought them off a skunk!”

By some coincidence, the sheep had all drawn each other, and each gave the other a picture of a sheep. Some thought it was a mirror.

The rooster thought it would be a great joke to give the mouse a piece of cheese in a trap camouflaged as a box of DeCon.

Anticipating the rooster’s subterfuge, the mouse already had arranged for the rooster to visit the famous poultry genealogy facility adjacent to the Campbell Chicken Noodle Soup Museum. It included a room with a stew.

There was great excitement between the goat and the mare. The goat always had envied the mare’s magnificent tail, so she had the farmer clip it, and the birds wove it into a beautiful hairpiece.

Not sure how to wear it, the goat put it high on his poll between the horns. It made him look like a 1969 debutant at her cotillion party in Lubbock, Texas.

The cow offered to rub the coyote’s back. He’d been helping himself to the fermented punch and had lost his ability to judge weight and distance, so he accepted. He did okay until he said, “a little more to the right!”

She broke his tail. It healed crooked, and now when he wags it he looks like the flagman on an aircraft carrier.

At the end of the evening, the farmer and his wife were given a rousing Christmas toast from their barnyard employees.

They had chipped in (pardon the pun) and bought him a book autographed by all their cloven hoofed and feathered edible animal friends entitled, “The Vegetarian Cookbook, or how to get the Most out of a Tuber during the holidays!”

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