Eminent domain. The state legislature moved to put a four-lane road through the middle of Farmer MacDonald’s land. The payment he received from the government was a mere fraction of its agricultural worth and Farmer MacDonald will now likely have to sell the entire farm to pay for his wife’s medical expenses.
Farmer MacDonald was denied a conditional use permit to rezone his residential land as high-density agriculture; therefore while chickens reside on his appropriately zoned residential land, they must cross the road to legally consume feed. (It should be noted County Commissioners went against the Planning and Zoning Committee’s recommendation to allow for said conditional use permit. And it’s common knowledge the request was denied due to personal issues between Farmer MacDonald and Commission Chair Moffit.)
To retain the USDA’s Free Range Organic certification, Farmer MacDonald reluctantly had to expand the chickens’ roaming territory to his land on the other side of the street. Said certification allows Farmer MacDonald to charge a higher price-per-pound, a financial necessity that outweighs the agonizing mental anguish of crossing the road an additional four times a day. His only child was killed on that road just over one year ago. Commission Chair Moffit pled to involuntary vehicular manslaughter, paid a fine and had the misdemeanor expunged from his record.
In order to receive federal Brownfield Reclamation funds for his property across the street, Farmer MacDonald must agriculturally utilize aforementioned land a minimum of 20 hours a week as part of mitigation efforts. He desperately needs the money to stay afloat financially so he escorts the chickens across the street to the far end of his property. Since his wife died he doesn’t mind the extra work and accompanying solitude it provides. Farmer MacDonald often fantasizes about dying during this time.
During the most recent property appraisal a county worker invoked a clause to test Farmer MacDonald’s pond for nitrogen spikes due to the recent algal bloom. Commission Chair Moffit took it upon himself to personally inform Farmer MacDonald he would need to have the chickens drink from a water source on the other side of the road due to concerns about nitrogen leaching that could possibly lead to a financially crippling agricultural moratorium.
An unexpected visit from county law enforcement to inquire about a non-permitted outhouse, Commission Chair Moffit’s shallow grave, caught Farmer MacDonald off guard. Overcome with fear, he fled, grabbed Priscilla (his wife’s favorite chicken) and ran pell-mell toward the four-lane road. After being fatally wounded by a tractor-trailer he glanced up, laughed and thought, “At least Priscilla got to the other side.”