The Barnyard Summary
Down on the farm, the farmer thinks he's in charge, keeping all the animals safe and sound. But when the farmer is out of sight, the lookout sheep shouts "Clear!" and all of the barnyard animals spring up on two legs, walk, talk, watch TV, and orchestrate practical jokes. For Otis the cow that last one is the most important. He and his best friends--Pip the mouse, Freddy the ferret, Peck the rooster, and Pig the pig--are world-class pranksters and always in the mood for a laugh. Otis is in the state of arrested development and quite happy that way. Otis's dad, Ben, is the cow who makes sure the farm is running on all cylinders. Each morning, Ben leads a meeting to take care of farm business and to issue warnings about their common enemy, the coyotes. (It's a position that Ben takes seriously: "As long as I'm still kickin'," he says, "no animal will be harmed inside that fence!") Ben wants Otis to grow up and take responsibility. Much to Ben's chagrin, Otis's main project comes to life every evening. As soon as the Farmer hits lights out, the barn is transformed into Party Central. On this night, there's even a pretty new cow, Daisy--Otis hams it up for her, and she can't help but be attracted to his fun-loving personality. That world is not for Ben. He's outside, guarding the fence and protecting the farm from the coyotes. When Otis explains to Ben that being on watch isn't "his thing." Ben responds: "Otis, a strong man stands up for himself, a stronger man stands up for others." When Ben is no longer able to lead, Otis tries to keep order but the role of leader does not come as naturally for him. Without Ben to keep everyone in line, absolute mayhem breaks loose and it isn't long before the farmer begins to get to the bottom of the animals' secret--and the scheming coyotes begin to think that the farm could be theirs for the taking.
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