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Barley's Coat

by Necromancer14

Once upon a time, there was a sheep who lived in a barn with some other animals. This sheep was called Barley. Why was he called barley, you may ask? Well, he really liked to eat a specific kind of food. That food was barley. So, he was dubbed “Barley” by the other sheep.

One day, Barley was outside, minding his own business, munching on some grass, when he saw a huge field of barley. Unfortunately, it was on the other side of a fence. However, that didn’t stop Barley, and he forced his way over the fence into the field, where he began eating all of the crops.

Unfortunately, his world of paradise didn’t last very long. A human came out of the house, saw Barley, and ran towards him, all the while shouting. The human forced Barley out of the field, and told him that he was a very bad sheep. Barley went back in the barn, feeling very sad. He was also scared. What if the human decided to punish him? He couldn’t stand the thought. Unfortunately, he was right. The human did mean to punish him, as he soon found out.

The next day he was forced to go into a small shed, where the human had a sort of razor device. Barley was terrified. This was the end. He was going to become mutton.

Unfortunately, it was worse. The human leaned down, and oh the horrors! The human was cutting off Barley’s prize coat! This was terrible! Barley bleated and struggled, trying to escape the extremely unfair punishment he was getting. Unfortunately, it didn’t work, and the human cut off all of his wonderful curls.

Barley walked out of the shed, embarrassed and humiliated, while the other sheep laughed. Then, the human began bringing other sheep into the shed, and cut off their coats too! What was going on? Did they do something wrong too? Barley decided that they must have; why else was the human cutting off their fur?

That was when Barley realized that he was way more comfortable that usual. He wasn’t nearly as hot and stuffy as he had been several minutes ago. He thought for a bit, and then came to a conclusion. It was because he didn’t have his coat! Ha! The human’s punishment had backfired! Barley walked back into the barn, smug that he had been so smart as to anger the human, getting the human to remove his coat, which then made him more comfortable. So, Barley lived happily ever after because that’s how these stories end.

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99 Reviews

Points: 48
Reviews: 99

Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:36 am
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Tawsif wrote a review...

I like this story! It's got an 'Aesop's Fables' feeling to it.

Here's a little suggestion:

'Unfortunately, his world of paradise didn’t last very long.'

You used the word 'unfortunately' five times in the story. You can replace these words if you want.

I'm also not so sure about the last line. The story was sweet throughout, but it kind of ended in a curt way when you wrote: "So, Barley lived happily ever after because that’s how these stories end." You can think of something different here that gives the same message, but in a sweeter way. Because the sweet tone of the story loses its sweetness due to this last line.


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Points: 279
Reviews: 1

Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:03 am
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ColonelMembrane says...

This is adorable. I love it. I'm not a critic by any means so I don't intend to give you professional advice I just wanna that this is a pretty funny and unique little peace. Short and sweet things like this can make someone feel a lot better ;)

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119 Reviews

Points: 10789
Reviews: 119

Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:33 pm
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Clairia wrote a review...

Hi there! I'm Clairia, here to leave you a quick review.

This was quite funny. Playing with dramatic irony can be a challenge, and I don't often see it used humorously, but you pulled this off really well; especially considering that you fashioned it like a children's storybook. I'd like to quote what @IconspicuoslyAlpacaing said, as most of what I have to say goes off of that.

IconspicuoslyAlpacaing wrote:I love how this reads like a children's book, with an air of sarcasm to it.

That's precisely the message that I got from your work. Exploring basic literature and transforming it into something that we can laugh at is something I don't see too often. I applaud you for your effort and even more so for the excellent result.

Technically, again, Iconspicuosly pointed out most of my critiques, so I'd like to go over your flow for a moment. This sentence in particular was a bit choppy:
Barley walked out of the shed, embarrassed and humiliated, while the other sheep laughed.

While I understand what you're attempting to say here, it reads in a way that didn't transfer well (it wasn't particularly satisfying to my writer's brain). It would probably be best for you to either edit it down or do the following:
Barley walked out of the shed while the other sheep laughed, embarrassed and humiliated.

This way, you're making it clear that his embarrassment/humiliation is partly a result of the laughing, rather than forcing the reader to come to that conclusion themselves. Giving your audience a bit of a break with sentences like these gives them more time to think over the moral/intent of the story itself. Choppy writing often makes for unnecessary confusion, but it's an easy fix.

This was well done. I was very happy to see a nod at the fairytale world from you!

Thanks for sharing,


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139 Reviews

Points: 6573
Reviews: 139

Wed Apr 29, 2020 6:16 pm
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Hkumar says...

I don't know what to say other than that it was really a funny and quite silly but enjoyable story. I mean you made such a simple plot yet you presented it in a humorous way. You got a few laughs out of me, especially with that thought of becoming mutton! Loved it.

Thanks for the review!

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84 Reviews

Points: 5850
Reviews: 84

Wed Apr 29, 2020 6:05 pm
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IconspicuoslyAlpacaing wrote a review...

This was super awesome! :smt003
I love how this reads like a children's book, with an air of sarcasm to it. I'd normally critique the story speaking directly to the audience, but in this case it works. I could almost see the little illustrations that would go along with this story. That said, I have a couple minor notes;

-there were couple missing commas. The almost choppy nature makes sense for the children's story type deal, but that is no excuse for other types of grammar! I'd just suggest proofreading to remedy this, and if you already proofread, then doing it a couple times helps even more. The more proofreading, the merrier!

-Some of the ways you phrased things didn't make a lot of sense. For example, "forced his way over the fence" sounds more like Barley ran through the fence, rather than hopping over it. Maybe try something more along the lines of "struggled to get over the fence, but made it!" I don't want to wrote your story for you, but its just something to think about.

That's really about it! This was a wonderful story, and I appreciate that it was smart, without being dark or eDgY TM. Not that there's anything wrong with that, either! I hope this was a helpful review, and keep writing!


Thanks for the review! I see what you mean with the fence thing.

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.
— Alvin Toffler