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Ole' McConnell on the Farm, E-I-E-I-O


The story of how one rooster in Washington betrayed all the chickens in the coop.

Once upon a time, a very, very old (but kindly appearing) rooster named ole’ McConnell lived on the farm.


And on this farm, he had a job.


Ole’ McConnell cock-a-doodle-dooed here, and cock-a-doodle-dooed there, and sounded the alarm when danger appeared on the horizon. It appeared he was performing his task with determination, and courage.

E-I-E-I-OH, but was that really the case?

Behind the barn, ole’ McConnell made compromise deals with the predators. He allowed fox, weasel, and chicken hawk to snatch their allotment of eggs and chicks on a once-a-week basis.

E-I-E-I-OH what a turncoat!

The farmer had no clue. He believed his trusted rooster was performing his duties. In order to maintain that illusion, every once in a while, ole’ McConnell would stage a crisis, then “cock-a-doodle-doo” to warn of danger. The farmer would rush out, shotgun in hand, only to spot the predator disappearing into the woods. Ole’ McConnell would be rewarded with lavish praise and a handful of corn.

E-I-E-I-OH such a sweet deal I’m telling you.

Every week, several eggs and chicks (occasionally a fully-grown chicken) would vanish in the dead of night. The survivors—intimidated into being deaf, dumb, and blind—pretended nothing was wrong.

E-I-E-I-OH how they hoped they, and their offspring, would survive the next raid.

Then, along came Teddy, a Bantam rooster with a different agenda. He knew his job was to protect eggs and chicks. He questioned ole’ McConnell’s policy of sacrificing the few to keep the peace.

“E-I-E-I-OH why not push back?”

Ole’ McConnell told him,

“Cock-a-doodle-doo! Who cares about the few? I’ll strut and crow, and act my part, to stay out of the stew.”

Teddy replied, “E-I-E-I-OH That stinks!”

Ole’ McConnell said, “Listen up green horn. You gotta’ go along to get along. That’s the code of the barnyard.

Teddy thought long and hard about this, and decided that no matter how small he was, or how new he was to the barnyard, “Cock-a-doodle-doo, I care about the few,  I gave my word and gotta’ do what a rooster’s supposed to do . . . even if it brings personal attacks against me for performing my job.”

The next time the fox snuck into the henhouse to grab a take-out meal, Teddy sounded the alarm, “Cock-a-doodle-doo!” When the weasel approached to steal an egg, Teddy pecked him on the nose which sent him fleeing. When the chicken hawk soared in the sky above, Teddy rushed chicks and moms into the barn.

Eventually, the predators, who couldn’t escape Teddy’s watchful eyes and vengeful beak, gave up raiding the barnyard. As a result, everyone felt safe and protected and egg production doubled, which made the farmer happy.


As for ole’ McConnell? He received his just reward and was served (along with fava beans) at the farmer’s Sunday supper.

E-I-E-I-OH you’ll want to read all about it: how Mitch McConnell reveals his true self as he threatens traitorous Senators who don’t march in lock step with the Republicans.

Feature Photo Credit: Courtesy of author.

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