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[American Story] SENEWS-2007-0728-FEATURE

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The Traffic Department informed agent Flannery that he should take the 160 guinea-pigs to Mr. Morehouse and collect 25 cents for each of them. Agent Flannery wired back: “I've got 800 now. Shall I collect for 800 or what? How about the 64 dollars a day for cabbages to feed them?”

Many letters went back and forth. Flannery was crowded into a few feet at the extreme front of the office; the guinea-pigs had all the rest of the room. Time kept moving on as the letters continued to go back and forth.
Flannery now had 4064 guinea-pigs! He was beginning to lose control of himself. Then, he got a telegram from the company that said: "Error in guinea-pig bill. Collect for two guinea-pigs, fifty cents." Flannery ran all the way to Mr. Morehouse's home, but Mr. Morehouse had moved. Flannery searched for him in town, but without success. He returned to the express office and found that 206 guinea-pigs had entered the world since he left the office!

At last, he got an urgent telegram from the main office: “Send the pigs to the main office of the company at Franklin.” Flannery did so. Soon came another telegram: “Stop sending pigs. Warehouse full.” But he kept sending them. Agent Flannery finally got free of the guinea-pigs. “Rules maybe rules,” he said, but so long as Flannery runs this express office, pigs is pets, and cows is pets, and horses is pets, and lions and tigers and rocky mountain goats is pets, and rate on them is 25 cents! Then, he looked around and said cheerfully, “Well, anyhow, it is not as bad as it might have been, what if them guinea-pigs had been elephants?”

You have heard the story “Pigs is Pigs”. It was written by Ellis Parker Butler. Your storyteller was Shep O'Neal. The story was published by Random House in 1945 in the best American humorous short stories. It is copyrighted. All rights reserved. For VOA Special English, this is Shirley Griffith.


Perseverance can sometimes equal genius in its results

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