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The Sacrifice

The Sacrifice

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Published by goatkeeper
Sometimes you have to give up on something even though you don't want to. The fight to hang on isn't worth it.
Sometimes you have to give up on something even though you don't want to. The fight to hang on isn't worth it.

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Published by: goatkeeper on Aug 31, 2010
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03/13/2013

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1
The Sacrifice
By Pablo
Buster behind Ted Mason’s old barn on Mount Gloam Road in West Pewter, NewHampshire, USA, before he got to his new digs in Pewter behind Hollowell’s castlewhere he became…well, I’m getting ahead of myself.
 
2 
O
ne day Clinton Hollowell was sitting with his friend Ted Mason in Ted’s barn
. Morning sunlight poured through the barn door. Tedhad just finished milking his herd of dairy goats. The udders had been stretchedtight; and the close, full odor and the yellow light influenced Clinton. Tedhappened to mention that his new buck, Easy Over, whom he had bought lastear, was ready to take over the chores. His other buck, Buster, had become oldand philosophical, and it took a blue moon for him to get it up. So Ted wasthinking about what to do with him. On an impulse Clinton said, “I’ll takehim.”Ted was amused. “Why not?” He said. “Jenny will love that.”Jenny was Clinton’s wife.So Ted and Clinton loaded the old buck into Clinton’s station wagon. Now, young Eddie Sinsac, who lived just one house down Bog Road fromClinton, discovered within all of five minutes that something new was going onin the neighborhood. Innovation inclined him to enthusiasm; he praised the old boy, Buster, and helped him from the station wagon.In the rugged shed behind the house Clinton built Buster a pen. The shedused to cover firewood; they once had a wood stove in the living room, butJenny hated the scent of wood smoke in the house.“I’ll help you, Mr. Hollowell,” Eddie said.“Thank you,” Clinton replied, smiling gently.While Clinton sawed and nailed, he surveyed the situation. In this seasongoats were in rut, and the old boy smelled strongly. Jenny would have succinctopinions; there would be expressed numerous succinct opinions. Clinton’soungest, Kevin, who prided himself on seeing things Dad’s way, appeared for a short time. But Eddie was the stalwart, helping Clinton saw the boards, and
 
3Eddie drove a nail or two.Buster was not a bad looking boy, given the season. He was a dairy goat of the breed called Nubian. He had large, floppy ears, and he was brown withwhite streaks on his flanks. Large, darkly intelligent, protuberant eyesdistinguished a high, wide forehead. His arched nose dropped into thick black nostrils above strong jaws and a pinkish lipped mouth. His mouth broadened attimes into a toothy, befuddled amusement. His hoary beard, dark eyes and fullmouth were, in Clinton’s opinion, the very picture of poetical suavity, andBuster carried in him the gravity and dark energy of the times. Clinton nailedhis leash to the shed. Buster patiently nibbled on the grass and settled down toobserve the proceedings.Clinton was pleased with himself. He had preserved the life of a fellowcreature on this darned planet! When the pen was set up, they led Buster inside,and he pawed up the place and made himself at home. Eddie went to supper. Avague suspicion that something odd was happening disturbed Clinton, but after a while he made peace with himself. And he hung around to pet the beast.Later, Jenny came out. Buster snorted softly.“What do you see in that thing?” Jenny said.“He understands me,” Clinton said.When Buster sprayed himself in a jet of urine and sipped on itabsentmindedly, Jenny left in a hurry. Such wisdom!, Clinton mused, thus theold boy organized his life against the terrors of marital conversation.Clinton had never gotten around to explain to Jenny, though they had beenmarried for fifteen years, that in his life were an odd lot of dissatisfactions. Hehad been lucky that his natural enthusiasm for chemistry had turned intomoney. But Clinton often thought unhappily about becoming useless and beingturned out. It was the phrase Ted had used, “old and philosophical”, thatworried Clinton. “What do you think?” Clinton said, looking down at Buster.Buster’s dark eyes were enormous and dry.Clinton dropped to Buster an armful of hay, and he put out for him a bucket of water. Buster became interested in the hay and quietly turned to jawon it.

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