Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Chicken and the Egg

Let me introduce myself, I’m Jimmy Gregg of Gort.
They call me a small farmer for I’m only five foot nought.
My missus, Rita, and myself, we own a hundred sheep,
Ten cows, some chickens and a sow, enough to earn our keep.
She’s the brains and I’m the brawn, we never have a worry,
She does all the paperwork, while I’m knee-deep in slurry.
We haven’t any children, for I’m much too tired at night,
Besides, the wife won’t let me, for I always smell quite badly.

A week ago, I met a man who had a wooden leg.
“Which came first?” he questioned me, “the chicken or the egg?”
I thought awhile, I thought some more, in fact I thought all day,
And, by the time I made to speak, the sod had limped away.
I rushed back home to ask the wife, but Rita only laughed,
She told me to take off my boots and not to be so daft.
And, as my puzzled countenance caused her great merriment,
The idea suddenly came to me – the great experiment.

Next morning, I milked all the cows and counted all the sheep,
Then took the brush into my hand and gave the yard a sweep.
I got a tub of whitewash and marked out a running track –
It started at the barn and ended at the chicken shack.
The local press arrived at ten, a pimply-looking youth,
Accompanied by a camera-man, a bit long in the tooth.
I bade them both to park themselves upon a bale of hay,
Then gave a small dissertion on this most historic day.

“Socrates and Aristotle grappled with the question,
But all these sages came up with was chronic indigestion.
Newton didn’t know, and he was one of our great thinkers,
And even Albert Einstein bluffed he couldn’t give a tinker’s.
Victor Hugo, Sigmund Freud both pondered it in vain,
Franz Kafka shrugged his shoulders twice and then became insane.
But now all our philosophies will have to be reversed,
For I will prove conclusively which of the two came first.”

Upon the starting-line, I placed an egg quite newly laid.
You’ve no idea of the effect that this production made.
The youth appeared to have been smitten by a thunderbolt,
He nudged the ageing camera-man, who woke up with a jolt.
I then retrieved a chicken, which I’d tethered up with twine,
And solemnly I placed it down upon the starting line.
I could hear the two men guessing as to what would happen next,
And could see from their expressions they were mightily perplexed.

I got the shotgun from the barn and shouted, “On your marks!”
Then fired a blast into the air and downed a pair of larks.
The chicken gave a startled squawk, surprised by the commotion,
But in her greatest rival, there was ne’er a sign of motion.
The feathered one ran merrily towards the chicken shack,
But the egg seemed strongly disinclined to follow down the track.
And, as the race approached its end, my pulse began to quicken,
And, when the winning-tape was breached, I shouted, “It’s the chicken!”

The pimply youth and camera man jumped quickly to their feet,
Talking animatedly of deadlines they’d to meet.
And, as they climbed into their car, the old one tapped his head,
Obviously impressed by everything I’d done and said.
So, now you know the answer, all of ye who search for knowledge,
Whether travelling ‘round the world, or smoking hash in college,
If you’re ever posed the question of the chicken and the egg,
You tell them it’s the chicken, and who told you – Jimmy Gregg.

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