Thursday, October 25, 2012

Day Three-Hundred-Fourteen: How Mooving

HoLY crap. We now officially have more animals than we do people living in or around Pubton. Today's unexplained flock confirms it.

You know the drill, diary. We went into the woods to survey the valley. Didn't get there. Stopped by animals that seemed strangely obedient to our whims. Wasn't boars this time, though, nor chickens, but COWS. A fucking FLOCK of COWS.

(What do you call a group of cows? Is there a name? I bet there is, but I don't know what it might be offhand. I'll just call it an 'udder'. Yeah. An udder of cows. Sounds right.)

I was… hesitant… to let in the cows. You may not remember this, diary, but I've had a bad experience with a cow. Or, more precisely, a bull. Remember when I wrote about that bull ripping off my dad's arm? I do. I did it while I was surrounded by zombies, stuck in that tree on the plains. A billion years ago, that, but my fear of big horns is as strong as ever.

There were two bulls in this udder. Two bulls, thirteen cows. All of them were nice animals, like the boars and the chickens, but I didn't enjoy leading them back to Pubton. I was certain that I'd be run up a tree or gored at any minute. Didn't happen, but that doesn't mean it won't.

Oh, and, yeah, there was another farmer waiting, a dairy farmer. No less than Morris, one of my old guard buddies! Good to see he got out of the castle in one piece. Nice guy, that Morris, and now he's Morris the Farmer. Hope he's better at that than guarding - was only one rung higher from the bottom of the guarding pole than me. Because, ah, I WAS the bottom. Sigh.

With the udder secured, the survey abandoned and most of the town at work felling redwood trees and making new boards, I decided it was time to meet with someone who has a track record of controlling animals. Didn't take much aimless wandering in the forest before she found me.

"Mayor's slacking? Tut, tut," June said, dropping out of a tree and floating to the earth with an umbrella over her head. "Shouldn't you be doin' something practical, young man? Or do I have to give that floppy hat and those silly socks to someone else?"

I frowned and reflexively tugged on my socks. I rather like how they look, now. I feel distinguished. "You hush. I'm here on business. I need to ask you about something."

"Ooooooh!" June swept behind a tree with surprising agility, considering she uses a cane, and vanished - but her voice kept going. "Business, eh? Business. How official. You almost sound like a leader. Orders, commands, decrees, all these are second nature to Dragomir. If'n I didn't know better, I might think you're tryin' to tell me what to do, brat."

I stiffened. "N… no. Wouldn't… dream of that. I, uh, just wanted…"

"… to know about the animals?" June asked, somewhere behind my back. I whirled around but she wasn't there. "Yes, that is a bit of a strange topic. Animals, aminals, aliminals, here there and everywhere. Whatever will little Dragomir do with all this from-the-blue charity?"

I waited. Didn't say a word.

"Awww, is the little resurrected boy sulking? What are ya, five?" This from far above.

Silence. I was tired of her weird games.

Sighing, June appeared at last. She stepped out from behind the original tree and jabbed me in the back with her cane. "You're no fun. The burdens of politics have turned you into a stick-in-the-mud. 'n not like the GOLDEN stick in the mud I planted when we got here. How's my tree doin'?"

"Fine," I said shortly. And it was. "Can, um, can you answer about the animals? Please?"

"Sure." June shrugged. "I dunno where they're comin' from. T'ain't me that's driving them. I have my suspicions…"


"… but they're not confirmed. Best not spread rumours that might be wrong, eh?" She cackled, shrugged again, and turned to leave.

"Wait!" I tried to grab her by the shoulder, but something wriggled in her hair and I pulled back. Gross. "Can't you give me a hint, or…?"

June shook her head. "Nope. Not much point, if'n I be wrong. I'd suggest you come out here one more time tomorrow, though, Dragomir - your answer will probably be waitin' for ya."

She slipped behind the tree and vanished. I didn't see her again that day, but I did hear one last thing, in response to my final question.

"Wait!" I called. "Again! Wait! Uh, wondering, how's Robert? The librarian, y'know? We have a bed set up for him, 'n… can he come out yet?"

June tittered, her voice cracked, dry and humourless, not much different from the old leaves under my feet. "Get a library set up first. Then we'll talk."

Her voice floated off, carried by the wind. Gone. As expected, not at all helpful, as I'd planned on coming out again tomorrow anyway.

Gah. Mysteries. I hate mysteries.


Dragomir the Surveyor


  1. It's a 'HERD' a HERD of cows! C'mon Dragomir!

    Jeez, you can't teach these (former) guardsmen anything these days.

    1. You might say he was "udder-ly" clueless about it. I know, it was bad and I said it anyway. Besides, I don't think he "herd" you.
      'k, I'm really stopping now.

  2. An udder of cows! ahahahaha!

    This needs to be spread.

    BTW if I haven't commented much on earlier posts, it's because I couldn't. I was using an old browser in a slightly flaky linux emulator running under an abstruse and arcane old operating system of a different sort entirely.

    1. No worries! Your admission reminded me of the word 'abtruse', which I've long neglected. So thank you for that.

      Coming back here has also reminded me that Morris' hat used to be much cooler than I'm currently drawing it. Dang.