This is the way it had always been. There were two kinds of cows and one really lush pasture. Every year, the cows had a wrestling match to see who would control the pasture. The problem? The cows who grazed on the really lush pasture grew larger and stronger than the other kind. So one kind always won. Until Clancy came along.
How can one little cow change the way of the world? He didn't set out to be a hero. He wanted to be like everyone else. However, he looked different than the other cows of his kind. They teased him. He didn't like it. He tried to make himself look like the others. It didn't work. But sometimes, different is good.
Because he looked different, Clancy could graze on the really lush pasture without being noticed. He grew big and strong like the other kind of cows that grazed there regularly. Now instead of being teased, Clancy was promoted to lead wrestler for the contest! And, he won! His kind could take over the really lush pasture for the first time ever! Hooray! Or.... not?
It turns out Clancy wasn't just different on the outside. He had new ideas on the inside. He didn't want to go back to the way things were. He bravely yelled, "STOP!" and changed his world. His new popularity and life experience gave him courage. And the others listened. It took a little while, but soon both cows were grazing peaceably together.
Hmm... does this story remind you of another told in late January every year? I find Lachie Hume's, "Clancy the Courageous Cow" to be such a wonderful story for young people learning about Martin Luther King Jr. Even better, the author was 12 when he wrote it! What an inspiration!
Of course, I had to make some cow finger puppets to go with it.
Unfortunately, the book is out of print. I picked up an ex-library copy from Half.com, though it pains me to think a library wouldn't want to keep this fabulous story on its shelves. I know my copy is a keeper.
P.S. The author's note on the title page explains that he got a 9/10 on the project from his teacher. He thinks it was because Clancy is technically a bull, not a cow. I think there's another lesson right there. ;)