Background of the Bonetti Barnyard Quartet
A bull, a billy goat, a coonhound, and a rooster greet you upon entering the courtyard at SLO Public Market. What started as a 14-inch model has grown into a towering sculpture. Local Artist, Michael Reddell, had driven past the Long-Bonetti Farm that is now the SLO Public Market many times. With an opportunity to create an art piece for the new development, Reddell immediately thought of the Grimm's Fairy Tale, "The Bremen Town Musicians." The original Grimm story involved a donkey a cat and a rooster.
The Following is the artist's local adaption of the Grimm's fairy talk that inspired "The Bonetti Barnyard Quartet":
There was an old farmer who had an old bull that had served his cows well for many years. One day the farmer walked out to the pasture and with a sigh, he said to the bull (as if he could understand,) “Old friend, I’m afraid the days are numbered for us and this old farm. The land is tired, we are tired, and there is no rain.”
With that he turned and walked slowly away.
The bull was clever, and understood more than the old farmer knew. He found the old billy goat at the far end of the pasture and told him, “The old man is going to quit the farm! We must run away before he sends us to the glue factory.”
Billy bleated, “What good is that? We are old and tired and we have no experience in the world outside the farm. We are doomed.”
The bull snorted, “We can go to Obispo Town to make our fortunes as musicians! I can hit the lowest notes your ears can hear, and I can echo a high tenor bellow across the valley. And your sweet sorrowful bleating brings a tear to all who hear.”
Billy rolled on the ground in uncontrollable fits of laughter. What a silly idea! But then he stopped to catch his breath, jumped up, and said, “OK, lets get out of here.”
So the old friends set out for San Luis Obispo. Along the way, they came across an old hound dog with his front feet high up on the trunk of an oak tree. He was baying long and deep and hitting notes the bull and the goat could not reach. So they came up to the hound and Billy said, “You have a fine voice, sir. You should come with us to Obispo Town where we shall make our fame as musicians.”
“Not until I sing that rooster out of this tree,” replied the hound.
The musical troupe now saw the object of the old dog’s attention: a scruffy old rooster about ten feet up on a large branch. Once the rooster had been seen, he puffed up and set off on the most sudden and hair raising tirade of squawks and screeches that any of the others had ever heard. And so, being impressed with his range and gesture, they invited him to join their troupe, and along they went, singing all the way.
As night fell, they saw a shack in the distance with bright lights and the sounds of partying coming from inside. Quietly now, they peered into the brightly lit window and saw a band of robbers carousing and drinking around an enormous pile of money and loot. Seeing a chance for some fun, the troupe assumed the pose you see in our artwork, and on cue from the bull, each of them burst into their finest, loudest, most cacophonous tunes at the open window. The chaos that ensued was so startling and alarming that the robbers fled into the night in terror, never to ever return.
So the Musicians went back to the farm with their new found treasure and a spring in their step and a tale to tell, and they all retired there with the not-quite-so-old-now farmer to live out their days playing their music and singing their songs and of course, living happily ever after.