On The Merits Of Oxen

1 Conversation

Chapter One

A good while ago, there was a farmer, and like most farmers in these sorts of tales, he was destined to have an adventure, though not the type most tales like these seem to tell. Not that he knew it.

What he did know, however, was that his name was Genn, and he was unhappy. Things never seemed to go his way. First off, he wasn't rich. In fact, he was rather poor. Genn liked to call it frugal, but even if you call a rock a stone, you still bleed when it hits you. Genn was, as a farmer, rather well endowed with land. Most would say, "Well, that's good. More profit for him," Whereas, Genn would say, "That's bad. More work for me!"

And so Genn would often stand in his fields, plow, and dream. His dreams were of grand adventures, like in those books he'd read. This itself was odd, because most people couldn't read; Only the nobles and the very rich knew it. Genn would often think to himself, "Maybe I'm the lost son of a noble somewhere, taught at a very young age!" The oxen would often think to themselves, "What is this man up to? Why doesn't he feed us?" But the oxen decided more often than not to keep their opinions to themselves, and when they didn't, Genn would pretend not to hear.

And so, the oxen would lose themselves in their work, and Genn would lose himself in the clouds, never suspecting that what he wanted lay just beneath his feet.

One Spring morning, while plowing his fields, Genn thought to himself, "What would really be grand, would be magic. If I had magic, I could finally, have an adventure." And the sort of luck that makes small men great, the kind that allows these stories to be written1, surfaced in Genn. So, as he plowed and dreamed, his blade struck something hard.

Genn swore gently, and brought the oxen to a halt. When he reached down, expecting a stone, he instead pulled up a small, dark green badge, much like the sort the truly wealthy nobles wore.

"Now that's odd," said Genn to himself. He wiped a bit of dirt off, and examined it. The badge was triangular, and trimmed in gold. It was almost, but not quite, clear, so if you held it to the light, it hinted at deeper things within.

"And stranger yet," he muttered to himself, "It is of good make..."

"Of course it is," said a voice.

Genn straightened, and looked towards the oxen. They stared back at him knowing full well that if this kept up, they might not get fed until late that night.

"That too is odd," said Genn, a little shakily, peering about as if the owner of the intruding voice was hiding under a lump of the upturned soil. "I could have sworn I heard a voice speak to me..." The oxen nodded in agreement, a movement Genn decided that he hadn't seen.

"Yes, that's right. You did." Said the voice again. Now by this point, Genn had become a bit suspicious of chance and all of its weavings, and decided to leave. He stuffed the badge in a wad of handkerchief, and strode to keep up with the oxen, looking all the while for the source of the voice.

1Not the literary kind. The other, more general kind.

Bookmark on your Personal Space

Conversations About This Entry



Infinite Improbability Drive

Infinite Improbability Drive

Read a random Edited Entry

Written and Edited by


h2g2 is created by h2g2's users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the Not Panicking Ltd. Unlike Edited Entries, Entries have not been checked by an Editor. If you consider any Entry to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please register a complaint. For any other comments, please visit the Feedback page.

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more