Mr. Hahn resettles his feathers and raises a claw to admire his gold ring in the sun light. He polishes it on one of the fine linen napkins. A lackadaisical yawn erupts from his beak, with about as much enthusiasm as a dead volcano. A wing span away Julian Schwein is seated, turning his jowls from side to side, eyeing the gold ring his counterpart possesses.

“How are your chicken stocks fairing as of late, Hahn?” Mr. Schwein inquires.

“They’re profitable as ever, though I do prefer bouillon, it’s more permanent. It retains value better than the weak soup stock, as you well know, Schwein. What has luck brought to you of late?”

“Luck has been on my side old friend” He cackles and clappes Hahn on the back, “With the Reichsautobone spanning from Frank’s-foot to Darmstadt in September, we plan on really cranking up production of our new vehicles! Life is good.”

The two conspiring friends share a knowing look and clink steins. After a swig and a swallow Hahn gestures to the waitress- “Fraulein! We are ready to order. I’ll have a Hendl, well spiced, and darlin’ go ahead and cut it into beak sized pieces for me.”

“For me,” Schwein grunts, “I’ll take the pork Schnitzel, with a light lemon sauce- on the side of course. I’m trying to watch my weight.” He chuckles as his belly, still full from his last meal, jiggles. The waitress nods her head and nervously folds her orderbook up as she turns toward the kitchen. Abruptly, she begins to scurry away faster as Hahn’s wing momentarily makes contact with her posterior feathers.

“You old egg-sucking bastard! That chick is practically still an embryo!” Schwein gutturally gurgles semi approvingly.

“You don’t get to running a successful hen house like me, by being a lazy clucker, Schwein. How do you think I got all those Deutsche Marks to invest in the market? Folks practically eat their young in this economy. Besides, I like a good omelet for breakfast.” After a slight pause filled with the chatter of neighboring tables Hahn asks, “So, speaking of young, how are your porkers?”

“Ah, yes, my pork chops are a chip off the old block! My oldest is off to the slaughterhouse next summer, finally, we were worried he wouldn’t get accepted. To be honest, I’m glad to see him moving on to this next phase in his life. I’d hate to have to support him living on my couch.” He shakes his head as he takes a sip of beer.

A stillness has fallen over the barn yard that will soon be broken by cicadas singing love songs under the farmhouse widows. A small girl sits next to her father on the old wooden barn fence. A few feet away the chickens peck at the feed on the ground. The pig wallows in a mud puddle, perfectly contentedly.







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