• One day, Farmer Johnson decided he was getting a little too old to continue running his corn fields by himself. He needed some help training and managing the animals who did the work for him because he couldn't get out and survey the progress as often as he used to. The first animal he thought of for the job was his faithful hound, Duke. Duke was the best there was at every task it took to make sure the corn harvest was a success. Duke was the tidiest plower of the fields. Duke dug perfect holes for the seeds, and packed the seeds tightly enough in the ground so they would stay put. He watered the entire field perfectly making sure each seed got just enough, but none too much. Duke even made the nicest looking scarecrow Farmer Johnson had ever seen. Why, Duke was good at every single job Farmer Johnson gave him, so he figured Duke would be a very good choice for the job of managing the other animals. He gathered all the animals together and told them all the news. All of the animals were very proud of Duke, and they all patted him on the back and congratulated him for being named manager. Duke was very well-liked by all of the other animals because they had all seen how good he was at any job Farmer Johnson had given him. They all knew Duke was an honest, hard-working dog, and were happy to work with him on the corn fields.
    Early the next morning, Duke called the animals over and assigned them each a task. Duke assigned the task of plowing the twenty acres of fields to Buford, the bull. He assigned the planting of the seeds to Chelsea, the chicken. He assigned the watering of the fields to Howard, the horse. Finally, he assigned the making of the scarecrow to Pinky, the pig. Each of the animals thought Duke made a wise decision because they each got the job they liked doing the best, and they all thought they were rather good at each of their jobs. Duke went inside the farmhouse to tell Farmer Johnson about the first decision he had made. "I'm very proud of you, Duke. Those were very wise decisions you made." Duke thanked Farmer Johnson for saying so, and walked back out to the corn fields with his head held high. He was very proud of himself.
    Duke stopped suddenly when he saw how Buford was plowing the fields. Buford was plowing the fields north to south. "Stop!" Duke yelled. Buford stopped and looked around at Duke. "What's the matter, Duke?" Buford asked. "Why are you plowing the fields north to south? You're supposed to be plowing the fields east to west. If you plow them east to west then the sun won't scorch them as badly!" Duke explained. "Well," said Buford, "there is a canal on the north side of the field, and when I plow the fields I get mighty thirsty, so I drink from the canal before I go back down south. Then, I'm thirsty again, so I just go back up north to get another drink of water. The fields will still be in neat rows, but north to south instead of east to west." "You can't do it this way!" cried Duke. "It isn't the way I do it, and I'm afraid that the corn won't grow right in the fields if they're plowed north to south." Buford tried to reason with Duke, but Duke just wouldn't listen. "Listen, Buford." Duke started, "If you're not going to do it my way, then just stop doing it and I'll do it myself." Buford dropped the plow, and walked away from Duke.
    Duke had plowed about five acres of the fields when he noticed Chelsea had started to dig holes for the seeds. "Stop!" Duke called. Chelsea stopped, and looked up at Duke. "What's the matter, Duke?" Chelsea asked. "Why are you using your beak to dig the holes?" Duke said. "Your beak isn't long enough to dig a hole deep enough for the seeds!" "Well, Duke," Chelsea replied, "I get pretty hungry working out here on these fields and when I use my beak to dig the holes, I can sometimes find worms to eat. If I don't get the worms to eat, I might just be tempted to eat the seeds, and I shouldn't do that at all." "No, you shouldn't eat the seeds, but you can't go along using your beak to dig the holes for them either." said Duke. "I don't see the problem with it, Duke. The holes are still getting dug, and the seeds are still getting planted." Chelsea tried to explain. "Just forget it, Chelsea." Duke sighed. "If you're not going to do it my way, then I will simply do it after I am done plowing." Chelsea dropped the bag of seeds, and walked away from Duke.
    As Duke was still plowing the fields, he noticed Howard running around the fields where Chelsea had just planted the seeds with a water hose in his mouth spraying water up in the air and all over himself. "Stop!" Duke cried. "What's the matter, Duke?" asked Howard. "You can't water the fields like that!" answered Duke. "If you just run around getting water everywhere, the seeds will not get the proper amount of water! You need to spread the water evenly on each seed so that none of the seeds get too much water, and none of the seeds gets too little water." "Well," Howard began, "When I water the seeds like this, then I can keep cool while I'm doing it. It gets really hot working out in these fields, and this is a good way to keep myself cool. Besides, whatever water lands on me will fall off of me and onto the seeds." "Well, you are not allowed to water the seeds like this." Duke replied. "Water the seeds the right way, or don't water the seeds at all!" Howard dropped the hose at Duke's feet, and pranced away.
    Just as Duke was getting ready to go back to plowing the fields, he noticed Pinky making the scarecrow. "Stop!" Duke yelled. "What's the matter, Duke?" asked Pinky. "Your scarecrow is all wrong!" Duke replied. "You're filling it full of rotten corn, and the clothes are dirty and all messed up!" "That's right, Duke." said Pinky. "When the crows smell this rotten corn, they will think the entire field is full of nothing but rotten corn. When they see how ugly the scarecrow is, the crows will be frightened that it's a monster. Yep, there will be no crows this year, for sure." "Well, it's just not right to put that scarecrow in our field." said Duke. "Our field is much too nice for that scarecrow." "Well, this scarecrow will work better." replied Pinky. "No it won't, Pinky!" shouted Duke. "Now you make a nice scarecrow, or don't make one at all!" So, Pinky dropped the scarecrow, and plodded away to his pigpen.
    Duke worked very hard that day. He had to plow all of the fields by himself. He had to plant all of the seeds by himself. He had to water the fields by himself. He had to do so much work by himself, that he couldn't even finish the scarecrow until the next morning. He was very tired of doing everything by himself, but his corn field was the best looking corn field in all the county. When the time came to finally harvest the corn, Duke ended up doing that all by himself as well because he didn't think anybody else would do it right. When winter came, Duke spent the entire time resting from all of his hard work. Then, it came time to start doing it all again. This time, however, when Duke began plowing the fields, he heard something snap. It was his back! "Oh no!" Duke cried. He fell to the ground and cried for help. The rest of the animals quickly came to the aid of Duke. They took him into the farmhouse and told Farmer Johnson what had happened. Farmer Johnson examined Duke, and told him he would have to sit out this season and let the other animals take care of the corn fields this year. This made Duke very sad because he knew the other animals would not do things the way Duke did things. He was sure there would be no corn to grow this year. When the time came to harvest the corn, Duke was finally well enough to help bring in the crop. Duke noticed that there was just as much, if not more, corn this year than there was the last year. Duke was very proud of all the animals. He gathered them together to tell them how proud he was. "I am happy that while I was away, all of you decided that my way of doing things was the best way after all. Since I taught you the right way of doing things, we have a healthier crop than last year." Duke had a big smile on his face and was waiting for the animals to thank him. Pinky stepped up to Duke and told him, "Duke, I don't know how to tell you this, but we did it the way we always do it." "That's not possible!" Duke screamed. "But it's true." said Farmer Johnson who was just walking in the door. "I watched them all work together and get it done the entire year." "But my way is the best way!" Duke said. "How could they do it their way?" "Duke," Farmer Johnson started, "your way may be the best way, and you may very well be the best there is at all of the jobs it takes to make the corn grow, however, the job got done just the same without you. All it takes to grow corn is to plow the fields, which Buford did his own way, plant the seeds, which Chelsea did her own way, water the fields, which Howard did his own way, and make a scarecrow, which Pinky did his own way. It's not that difficult to do these jobs. They did all of these jobs, and the result was just the same. They worked an honest day's worth of work every day, and they all worked together. You should be proud of the crew you picked to do the job because they did it well." Duke hung his head down and said, "I'm sorry for trying to make everybody do all the work my way. I know now that all of you know how to do the job right and you can get the same results your own way." He looked up at Farmer Johnson and said, "I don't think I should be the manager anymore, Farmer Johnson. I don't think I'm very good at it." "Nonsense." said Farmer Johnson. "This is the crew you picked, Duke. You picked a mighty fine crew and they did a mighty fine job. Just remember this: if you think you can do it better by yourself, you will soon be doing it all by yourself." Duke took Farmer Johnson's advice and every year after that Duke was proud of each harvest of corn that came in from the crew of animals he picked all by himself.
    One day, Duke noticed how Pinky was making the scarecrow. "Stop!" Duke yelled. "What's the matter Duke?" asked Pinky. "You're not supposed to eat the rotten corn. You're supposed to put it in the scarecrow." Duke was a very good manager.