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Rufus's resolution.

"I'm sick and tired of acting like an alarm clock," grumbled Rufus, the bantam rooster to the farm animals. "Every morning I stand on this post and crow. Cock-a-doodle-do! Cock-a-doodle-do! But does anyone ever say, `Thank you Rufus' or `You do a fine job waking the farm, Rufus'? No,never! Well, let someone else wake the farmer and his wife for a change. That's my New Year's resolution! No more crowing at sunrise for me."Rufus turned and strutted away.

"What are we going to do?" asked Prunella Pig."We all depend on Rufus to wake us up."

"That's true," said Percy Pigeon. "I keep my head tucked under my wing until I hear Rufus crow each morning."

"And Rufus is always on time," quacked Dilman Duck.

On the first morning of the new year, Rufus stayed in bed. Prunella Pig decided that she would try to wake the farm. She tiptoed out of the barn and started to climb Rufus's post.Prunella granted and squealed her way to the top.

The farmer woke up and looked out the window. "Good grief!" he said. "What ails that crazy pig? She's trying to stand on the post! Who does she think she is--Rufus?"

Just then, Prunella lost her balance and hit the frozen ground with a THUD! She limped back to the barn, rubbing her back side. "I'm not made for crowning," she cried.

"Oh, all right!" sputtered Rufus. "I'll do it one ore morning!" He strutted to his post, flapped his wings, and gave a loud crow.

"Rufus is late on the first morning of the new year," signed the farmer's wife.

On the second morning, Percy Pigeon sailed out of the barn and lit on the post. He stuck his chest out and gave a loud coo, coo, coo. But nobody heared him. Percy fluttered back to the barn. "I'm all cooed out," he signed.

"That's wouldn't even wake a flea!" squawked Rufus. "I'll crow one last time." Rufus strutted to hi9s post, flapped his wings, and gave a loud cock-a-doodle-do.

"Rufus is even later this morning," said the farmers wife.

On the third morning, Dilman Duck waddled out of the barn and perched himself on the post. He took a deep breath and gave a loud quack, quack, quack, quack!

When the ducklings heard their father quackling, they waddled out to join him. Quack, quack, quack! Quack, quack, quack, quack!

"Now I've seen everything!" the farmer said to his wife. "Dilman and the ducklings are trying to crow! Something must be wrong with Rufus!"

"Oh, dear!" cried the farmer's wife. "Rufus must be sick!"

Meanwhile, Dilman marched his ducklings to the barn. "I am not raising my ducklings to be roosters!" he said. "There is only one animal that can wake this farm, and that's you, Rufus!"

"That's right," Percy Pigeon cooed.

Prunella Pig nodded in agreement. "No one can crow like you, Rufus," she said.

"You're right," said Rufus. "I just wish the farmer and his wife appreciated the job I do."

Just then, the farmer and his wife rushed into the barn. "My poor, sick Rufus," cried the farmer's wife. Before Rufus knew what happening, she slipped a hot-water bottle under his feet and wrapped a warm scarf around his neck.

"Don't you worry, Rufus," the farmer said. "I'll figure out some way to wake the farm I want you to stay in bed until you're feeling better."

Why, they really do appreciate me, thought Rufus. Suddenly Rufus felt like crowing! He hopped out of the bed and marched outside.

"Where's he going?" the farmer asked.

"It looks like he's going to his post," said the farmer's wife.

Rufus strutted up to his post," flapped his wings, and gave a loud clear cock-a-doodle-do!

"I have a new resolution," Rufus declared. "From now on, I'm going to be the best cock-a-doodle alarm clock this farm has ever had.
COPYRIGHT 1997 Benjamin Franklin Literary & Medical Society, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:short story
Author:Albers, Carolyn
Publication:Children's Playmate
Date:Jan 1, 1997
Words:651
Previous Article:Why do we yawn?
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