I Heart You
Fiction by Feral
It was February 14th and things were not good at the goat barn. Not good at all.
Anakin the buck was pacing nervously back and forth beside the woven-wire fence early in the morning, his hooves kicking up snow and his rumen quite distressed. Why hadn`t someone reminded him that today was Valentine`s Day?! Oh the looks all eight of his does had given him when they awoke and didn`t find a token of his affection awaiting them…..well the memory of those icy glances curdled his cud just recalling them!
Now he was outside in the cold while the does were inside, no doubt discussing that a lackluster buck he was for forgetting such an important date for lovers. Actually he ruminates mentally; it was warmer out here in the snow than it had been in that estrogen-filled barn! Brrrrrr! There was nothing worse than a cold doe shoulder times eight!
“Good morning Anakin! Isn`t this a most glorious day!” C.B. the barn rooster crowed as he flew up to sit on the top wire of the goat pastures fence.
The red buck shook his head in defeat.”Oh this is far from a glorious day,” the buck lamented sadly.”Did you know today is Valentine`s Day?”
“Why yes I did!” the rooster preened.”I gave each of my hens a very lovely peck and then called them over to share a fresh mound of corn!”
“Well I didn`t know it was Valentine`s Day and now my life is a living hell,” the goat sighed wearily.
“Oh that is a rather bad bit of misfortune,” the bantam rooster replied in manly commiseration. Both of the men stopped talking when Jack, the eldest gander upon the hillside farm, waddled over through a short snow-bank.
“Good day gentlemen,” Jack honked loudly.
“Good day Jack,” C.B. called down. Anakin murmured something then began pacing the fence line again.
“What seems to be stuck in his gizzard?” the gander inquired of the rooster.
“Well it seems our friend forgot today was Valentine`s Day and now he`s in a very bad place with his lovely ladies,” C.B. explained then flapped and crowed just to make sure his hens knew where he was.
“That is indeed a most difficult situation for a man to be in,” the grey and white gander murmured.”Thankfully for my two goose loves I gave them a heaping mound of soaked shell corn and two pans of warm water for them to bathe their lovely webbed feet in!”
“You didn`t give those gifts to them the humans did!” Anakin muttered as he paced by the two fowl.
“Not important,” the gander sniffed haughtily,” The humans did so at my behest! Those humans know that when I honk I expect them to reply’ How high!’”
Anakin and C.B. both rolled their eyes to the crisp cold sky. Geese were such braggarts at times.
“Well no matter who gave your goose`s-“
“Geese,” Jack corrected as he began to fluff up his down.
“My pardon,” Anakin coughed then stopped pacing to stare at his manly barnyard friends.” What can I do to rectify my situation? If I don`t come up with a gift for my does by the time the sun sets my goose will be-“
“PLEASE!” Jack honked with indignation.
“Sorry, uhm, I`ll be in hot-“
“PLEASE!” C.B. squawked and ruffled his pin feathers. “Never mention cooking or pots of hot water to poultry!”
“Sorry friends,” Anakin said with sincere regret,” I`m just at my beards end here!”
“Why don`t you go round and pick them some posies? All women love posies,” Jack the gander suggested. Anakin waved a hoof at the snow-covered pasture in reply.”Oh yes,” the gander whispered and began to stroke his bill with the tip of his wing thoughtfully.
“Maybe you could take them over to the manure pile and let them dig around for frozen bugs!” C.B. offered with a cheery tone.
“That’s a very good thought but we goats don`t dig in manure piles for frozen bugs,” Anakin sighed once more.”If I could just think of something that I could do…something that was sweet and something they`d enjoy….oh dash it! I am SO going to be roasted over a-“
“PLEASE!!!” both of his friends cried then shuddered.
“Sorry,” Anakin muttered and flopped down in the snow in a very woe-begotten way.
“You could possibly make something for them,” Jack suggested off the wing.
“That`s not a bad idea my caprine friend!” C.B. chimed in after Anakin gave the gander a sour look.”Maybe you could make a snow-goat angel for each of your lady loves!”
“Make something for them,” Anakin said and coughed up a sour cud to chew and think. After a moment or two of chewing and thinking he leapt to his hooves, his eyes bright with a grand idea.”I have an idea but I`ll need your assistance to pull it off! What say you? Will you aid a buck in matrimonial distress??”
“Far be it for me to turn down another man in matrimonial distress,” C.B. clucked.
“I suppose I can offer my aid as well although it IS creeping up on my ‘Chase the ducks from the watering bowls’ time,” Jack said.
“Excellent! You two are some fine fowl!” Anakin smiled and swallowed his cud.”Now C.B., I`ll need you to get the girls out into the sunshine. Jack I`m going to require that swanky bill of yours inside the barn!”
“Ah yes, inside the barn,” the goose grumbled and eyed the six foot fence.
“Are you telling me you can`t fly over this fence?” C.B. inquired tauntingly.
“Of course I can fly over that fence! Have you not seen my cousins soaring overhead each fall and spring!?” Jack bristled and extended his wide wings and began flapping.
Even with a running start the domestic goose only got his wings over the top of the woven-wire fence. Anakin and C.B. hurried to tug and yank at him, each with a wing in their mouth and beak. Jack honked and made quite a racket but after one mighty tug in unison the gander flopped over the fence and landed most unceremoniously in the snow on his back. Anakin and C.B. both spit out a few feathers as the gander righted himself quickly.
“I told you I could fly over that fence,” Jack announced with a regal sniff.”Now shall we get to this mission you`ve dreamed up! Does either of you know how to open the gate? Not that I need it opened mind I was just curious,” the goose asked as the three males crept to the goat barn.
All the does were having some fresh hay for breakfast. C.B. strutted inside and crowed with volume. The does ignored him and continued chewing. The rooster made a face then flew up and landed on Mallory`s back.
“Did you know fair doe that a pine tree has fallen over in the night and even now lays in the pasture just waiting for-“
With that news all eight of the does raced outside. C.B. tumbled from the black does back so great was her haste to find the pine tree. Anakin and Jack hurried inside the barn and with great finesse and very nimble lips, the buck was able to pry the latch free and close the door.
“Phew!” Anakin chuckled and swiped at his brow with his hoof,” I didn`t think anything could get them from their morning hay ration! Are you okay? You look like you have a few feathers out of place.”
“I`m fine,” the rooster huffed then gave his misaligned saddle feathers a dark glare.
“Okay, this is my plan,” Anakin said softly. The girls wouldn`t be gone long and once they discovered the pine tree ruse he had better have something to make amends with. “Jack, once I get this dog snap free I`ll need you to bring me bills of water from the rubber water dishes over by the wall,” Anakin informed him then began to wiggle and giggle the snap holding the gate to the grain can open.
“Do I look like some sort of mobile water carrying servant to you? That, my dear friend, is what we have humans for,” the gander said with quite a flair.
“Oh get down off your high horse goose,” C.B. replied snappily as he tried to help unsnap the snap.
“Well!” Jack coughed and waddled over to the black rubber bowl.
It took some fancy lip maneuvers and a few well placed pecks but finally the gate was opened and Anakin was pushing the lid off the grain can with his head. Soon he had a huge mound of sweet grain gathered before his front hooves.
“Bring me some water Jack!” the red buck cried out.
“Oh! Yes, of course, water!” Jack responded and climbed quickly out of the water dish.
“Waterfowl, sheesh,” the rooster said under his breath then grabbed a flake of oats from the large pile.
The gander hurried over with his bill full of water. Anakin pointed to the mound of grain with his hoof. After the bill-full was delivered the buck began to paw in the oats sweetened with molasses.
“We`ll need more Jack! Lots more it looks like,” Anakin said and the goose waddled back for more. Back and forth and back and forth that gander went. He made so many trips his webbings were beginning to ache but finally the red buck stopped patting the small shapes with his hooves.
“Well I dare say those are quite ingenious!” C.B. crowed and Anakin muttered a shy thanks.
“I am going to have to nap half the day to rest my weary webs,” Jack announced with drama.
“As if that`s anything different,” C.B. said with a wink of mischief for the buck.
“I heard that chicken!” the gander honked behind them, resting in the hay under the manger.
“I sure hope they like these,” Anakin said as he carefully carried each gift into the barn one by one.”I sure don`t relish the thought of sleeping outside in the snow!”
“By the sounds of things I`d say you best shake a leg my man! The ladies are getting restless!” Jack honked loudly to be heard over the girls kicking at the closed barn door.
“Jack, can you open the door for me?” Anakin asked very politely.
The gander blew out a breath then stood up and walked over to the door. Using all his strength he pushed at the door with his feathered shoulder. A doe pushed her head in the crack. Jack let out a loud ‘Wee-Snaw’ as eight goats nearly trampled him to come back inside.
“What is the meaning of all this?!” Francesca asked and shook flakes from her brown back.
“I got snow between my hooves!” Felicia scolded angrily.
“Yes Anakin! How could you bar us outside in the cold!?” Farrah inquired pettily.
“I wanted to surprise you with your Valentine`s Day gifts?” Anakin responded warily.
Sixteen feminine eyes regarded him coldly then he danced aside. There on the hay were eight hearts made of firmly packed and well moistened goat grain. Those cold feminine eyes then warmed up considerably.
“Oh Anakin you are simply the most wonderful buck a doe could ever want!” Elizabeth said around a mouthful of her treat.
“Just for this you can curl up next to me tonight,” Jennifer said and winked at the red buck.
“No he`s going to curl up next to me tonight!” Francesca shot back.
“No he`s going to curl up next to me tonight!”
“Well I think it`s time to make myself scarce,” C.B. mumbled as the does all began to rub up against the manly smelling buck.
He ran outside and in a heartbeat was over the fence and back with his hens where they began pecking ardently.
“Uhm…..can someone please open the gate?” Jack honked with goosely exasperation.
Happy Valentine`s Day!!!