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The chicken farmer

It was an interest that Murphy had thrown himself into. Breeding chickens would have the end product of providing home-grown food and, eventually, make him rich. His fowl roamed free from the very first moment they were hatched, and Murphy checked every inch of his back garden every day waiting expectantly for his first egg.

But the fates conspired against the exiled Irishman. By sheer fluke, the first bird to lay an egg had wandered through the fence and into next-door's garden. Swiftly Murphy went round to his neighbour's house, only to find him picking up Murphy's egg.

'Excuse me, sir,' said our hero. 'But that's my egg.'

'Look, Paddy,' snorted the red-faced layabout next door. 'It may be your chicken, but according to me the egg was laid on my land. Possession being nine-tenths of the law means that it's my egg!'

'No need to fall out over it,' said Murphy. 'At home we have a simple method to prove ownership - trial by combat.'

'Sounds fine to me,' said the neighbour who was easily twice the size of the Irishman. 'What do we do?'

'Well,' explained Murphy. 'I hit you across the head with a shovel then you hit me. Whoever gives in, loses.'

'OK,' said Red Face. 'Swing away.'

Murphy picked up a huge shovel, swung it with all his might and smashed his neighbour right across the face. Teeth flew everywhere, blood poured from his face and the man went down like a sack of spuds. He was totally unconscious for over five minutes.

Finally he shivered, shuddered, gradually came round, shook his head, winced with pain and said,

'Right, now it's my turn!' 'Don't bother,' said Murphy. 'You can keep the egg!'


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