It was an active and lively day at the Rype & Readi Farm Market. The air was practically electric all throughout the rural marketplace, and for good reason: It was football season! Teams were pitting brawn against teams, adrenaline was running high, and everyone was having a good time as they supported their teams.
And that support came from sources both human and not alike, as there were even fans of (one of) the greatest sports in America even amongst the livestock that lived on the farm!
Truly the animals were great fans of the sport, hanging decorations, painting themselves team colors, even putting out snacks and such to enjoy as they watched the games!
There was just one problem.
“GATORS FOREVER! WOLVERINES NEVER!”
“GO BACK TO YOUR SWAMPS, YOU WALKING HANDBAGS!”
There wasn’t just one team being represented on the Farm Market’s field.
At the moment, the inhabitants of the Farm Market were split clean down the middle: On the left, Gomez, Bailey, Coffee and Cocoa all stamped their hooves and snorted in furious defiance, the blue paint on their fur highlighting the big yellow ‘M’s that served to indicate their ardent support of the Michigan Wolverines.
On the right, meanwhile, Ducky was leading the chickens in clucking and cawing as they pawed at the ground with their talons, their own orange and blue facepaint (or beak-and-feather-paint, as it were) declaring loud and proud their support of the Florida Gators.
“You’ll never win, you hear us!” Ducky quacked with a proud pump of his wing. “Our Gators’ll eat your flea-bitten hides alive!”
“YEAH!” The chickens clucked in agreement.
“Like heck!” Coffee sniffed primly. “Your mud-lizards couldn’t eat their way out of a bog, much less lay a tooth on our Wolverines!”
“Yeah!” The rest of the mammals concurred just as firmly.
“Why I oughta-!” Ducky lurched forwards furiously.
“Now now, Ducky!” Henrietta hastily caught his shoulder and hauled him back before shooting a stink-eye at the quadrupeds. “Let them throw sticks and stones all they want, our team’s results will speak for us at the end of the day.” She raised her beak in a haughty sniff as she spread her wing out. “At least our team has a sense of decorum!”
“And at least o-o-o-our team has fans outside of their home sta-a-a-ate!” Gomez shot back with a snicker.
That little taunt hit its mark, as Henrietta went very pointedly still, eyelid twitching energetically. “Girls…” she breathed in a faux-serene tone of voice. “Get them.”
Gomez had just enough time to pale in realization-
-and then the Market descended into pure, unabated, feather-tugging, hair-pulling pandemonium.
A ways away from the chaos, Paprika and Drake were watching the madness with negligible interest.
“Should we remind them that in the end, this is all just a game and they really are taking matters just a smidge too far?” Drake inquired curiously.
“Eh, I’d prefer to wait a minute or two,” Paprika waved her wing dismissively.
“Let them get all the energy out, eh?”
“Well, that…” the older chicken grinned conspiratorially as she waved the small orange-and-blue pennant she held in her wing. “And we do outnumber them by quite a bit, so it doesn’t hurt to let them learn their lesson!”
“HA!” Drake guffawed as he tilted his own Gator-emblazoned hat back on his head. “Fair enough, my fair lady! Fair enough!”
by Baxter Balick, contributing writer to Rype & Reader and Flagler College Sophomore