Wednesday, April 29, 2009

An Explanation and "Pilot"

My grandmother’s “good ideas” combined with my brain can have interesting results. So the title is still up for grabs. I’m vacillating between “Tales from the Corn Crib” and “The Lone Ranger-Manager, but it’s a serial post about “our heroine farmer” and the adventures, dire peril, and narrow escapes she faces on the farm. (It makes more sense if you do chores with me. And no, that is not an offer.) But here is the pilot episode and no, the heroine is not me since I'm not sure if I'm going to give her superpowers or not yet, and names have not been changed to protect the criminally insane. Let me know what you think.

We meet our heroine in mortal danger. It’s April and the cows are getting hungry. She stands in the barnyard, hands on hips, a farmer surveying the situation.

“What the hell?” our heroine asks. “Can’t you keep the kids in?”

The boss cow blinks slowly. “We’ve tried,” the boss cow says. She’s been with our heroine awhile and they have a good working relationship. She knows keeping the calves in is a full-time job for the farmer and does her best to keep her calf close. But they are growing up. And a mother is hardly a good mother if she won’t let her calf out of the stall. “The neighbor’s winter wheat really looked scrumptious after that lightening storm.” Lightening puts nitrogen in the air, making the grass green. Our heroine knows this. She also knows that fresh green grass after stale hay all winter is to cows what pizza is at a weight watchers convention.

“It’s only three weeks until grass,” our heroin says. “Can you try to keep the calves in until then?”

The boss cow shakes her head. “Not sure.”

“Well, please try,” our heroine half-implores, half-informs. “Or we’ll be forced to take some drastic measures.”

The boss cow has no illusions about what this means. If animals don’t have the proper respect for fences when they’re young, they are sold. Cows form strong social bonds so it affects the herd dynamic when animals come and go. The threat is clear: if the boss cow wants her herd to stay intact, she’d better teach them to obey the rules. The boss cow gives the farmer a slow nod.

“Oh fuck that, 119M, you chicken shit,” 106P says. “Why should we both staying in when there’s all that damn grass out there?”

“Because if you don’t Dad might decide to start carrying side arms,” the farmer says laconically.

106P blinks. It was her calf that escaped last spring who the senior farmer would have dropped, given a gun and the opportunity.

“Stay in and we won’t have any problems. Get out, and… well, we’ll see, won’t we? Savvy?”

The farmer doesn’t give 106P time to respond, but turns and walks away. When she reaches to the gate, an even scarier fate awaits.

To be continued…

Next time: Our fearsome heroine turns chicken