Felix the Fieldmouse was lying in the corner of the Hayshed. It was afternoon, and he was enjoying the warming rays of the sun stealing through the gaps and holes of a rusty corrugated iron wall. With a belly full of grain, he was kicking back, taking a break. Ears relaxed, whiskers standing at ease, he was about to take a nap.
Herby Horse was shuffling about in his stall not too far away from Felix.
Bored, Herby looked over and asked, “hey Felix, if you were an elephant’s foot, which foot would you be?”
Felix opened one eye and sighed. “What are you talking about, Herby. What a strange thing to ask. Can’t you see I was about to take a nap?”
“Just answer the question,” Felix, “it’s not hard. If you were an elephant’s foot, which one would you be?”
“I’m really sorry, mate, I must be stupid or something, but I just don’t understand the question. You really are a weird horse.”
“Okay,” Herby replied, pricking his ears, raising his voice, “I’ll make it easy for you then, spell it out. If you had to choose, would you be an elephant’s right foot or left foot?”
“But I don’t have to choose; we don’t even have elephants in Culverden. Is this some kind of set-up for a stupid joke, a play on elephants being afraid of mice? Because if it is – well, I’ve heard ‘em all before!
“Don’t make me come over and kick you, Felix! Just choose, right or left?”
“Okay, if I must then, I would choose left…no hang on…I’d choose right. Yes, I’d choose right.”
Herby rolled his eyes, swished his tail. “Finally!”
“Now, I know this is hard for you, Felix, but work with me on this; if you had to choose between being a front right foot or a back right foot, what would it be?”
“Front or back? You want me to choose!”
“Yep,” Herby snorted, “what would you be?”
“Definitely the front”, – Felix replied, wanting the conversation to end, so he could get some sleep before the Farmers cat did her late afternoon rounds.
“Hurrah, a straight answer. Well done.”
There was silence.
“Is that it?” Felix asked a few minutes later.
“Yep, that’s it,” Herby grunted, now hoeing into some pellets.
“Well, what the hell was that all about then? Why did you bother to ask me those stupid questions?”
“No reason, really.”
“No way, that can’t be right; there had to be a reason.”
As I say, Felix, it’s nothing really, but I guess it’s always good to know where you stand.