This story was written for Pensitivity 101’s Three Things Challenge #347
Today’s three Prompt’s are: Post, Build, Repair
I’d lain awake last night, listening to the howling wind, and lashing rain outside. I knew the storm would do damage on the farm and so I got up early.
I put Jet my border collie in the tractor and headed along the muddy tracks to inspect the fields. The new-build barn was okay. It’d need repair work to the felting on the roof before the tiles could go on, but it was fine. The dairy field had suffered worst, an old sycamore had crashed down during the night; taken out a lot of fencing. A quick count of the cows revealed them all present and healthy which was a relief.
Wasting no time, I grabbed my tools and went to work. I put the chainsaw to the task and soon had the tree cut back far enough to reinstate the fence. I hauled the posts upright and hammered them back into the ground. A post or two was splintered, I couldn’t repair those and so I employed new ones to build the fence back as strong as it once was.
With the cows safely corralled again, I moved on. It was as I rolled the tractor passed the paddocks, I realised something was wrong.
Pauly the goat was missing.
I’d had Pauly as long as the farm. Easily eight years. He was my, pal. At night he stayed safe in his paddock and stable. During the day, he’d follow me around the farm like a dog and we’d hang out as I worked. Now he was nowhere to be seen.
“Find Pauly, Jet.” I urged as I entered the paddock and looked for clues. The fences were intact, the barn undamaged. Where on earth had he gone?
Jet had his nose to the ground too. He circled the paddock to a point in the west fence. There he gave an excited bark and ran out the gate.
I followed him around the outer perimeter of the fence to the same spot. There in the mud were four heavy goat prints. Goats can jump alright, yet Pauly had never escaped before even in storms worse than last night.
“Good boy, Jet. Find Pauly,” I urged as we set off along the tracks and picked up a second more imposing set of tracks. “Fox!”
Jet growled; he didn’t like Mr Fox anymore than I did.
I would never harm the russet fiend but if he’d attacked Pauly, he and I were destined to fall out. I quickened my pace desperate to find my caprine friend.
We entered a small oak woodland; the tracks became harder to follow here but Jet never lost them. He led us directly to an old, gnarled pedunculate oak. Scratches in the bark showed recent violence.
“Pauly!” I called. Goats can’t call back but maybe he’d bleat or something.
I heard it a wavering bleat and close by.
Jet barked and jumped at the tree.
I looked up and grinned. There was the white and brown patched goat, Pauly; high in the branches. It never ceased to amaze me that goats like Pauly could climb trees. Everybody knows of the Moroccan goats climbing trees for the argan fruit. This one had used an oak tree to beat a fox,
“Haha! Good to see you, Pauly old buddy. Come down and let’s get you a parsnip or two.”
Have a great day!