Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: India (02/12/09)
TITLE: Not So Bad After All
By Kellie Henningsen
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“I’m Alice,” the other cow replied ripping a clump of grass out of the ground. “Good eatings, huh? Have you tried the lemon grass yet? It is so delish!”
Hope sprang up within Mabel. Maybe things weren’t going to be so dismal after all. She had somewhat of a friend already and the food was satisfying – life was moving forward. Still she was aggravated with herself for being in this position in the first place.
Alice chewed noisily while lumbering her large body a few feet away. “So, what did you do?” she called back over her shoulder.
“I really don’t want to talk about it. It’s not something I’m proud of.”
“Yeah. I hear ya. Gotta say, though, that life in the country sure beats Basant Lane in New Delhi.”
“No way!” Mabel spat out the words and with them her lunch too. “You lived on Basant Lane? Where?” Her eyes grew to the size of mini Frisbees as she inched closer to Alice.
“Whoa…get a grip there Mabel. It’s not all that exciting. I was in the second shanty, I mean house, on the right – blue tarp over the front. Sound familiar?”
“Yeah! It does! It does! I lived two shanties down – laundry hanging to the right.”
Both cows’ heads came up slowly. They knew…they just knew.
“Sylvia!” They chorused together.
With heads now close together, the gossiping started in full swing. “Wait!” Mabel spoke up. “We can’t do this – look at the trouble we’re in now – gossiping will only make it worse.”
“Oh, no! This is too good to pass up on....we have to dish.” Alice exploded.
The afternoon passed by quickly as the two cows talked of their past neighbor. Sylvia had been an awful person, very difficult to get along with, causing all kinds of trouble, and pushing Mabel and Alice to their limits – a true neighborhood bully.
Alice had finally lost her temper and treated Sylvia very poorly. Mabel had likewise done something she was not proud of. Now, they found themselves chewing cud and swishing flies off their backs with dirty tails. This was just not right. Karma had not treated them fairly – they were sure of it. Sylvia was the bad person; not them.
Relieved from an hour’s long vent, Mabel suddenly snapped back to reality. “What do we do now?”
“We have to be nice, super nice I suppose to make up for all of our gossiping. Let’s work to get this life off to the right start.” Alice advised.
Both cows were suddenly aware of a goat marching arrogantly onto the field, bleating incessantly, and bucking at the nearby sheep.
“Come on, Mabel! Let’s get to work – someone needs to set that goat straight and defend those helpless sheep!” Alice started across the pasture at an alarmingly fast pace for such a large animal.
“Ah, ok, right – good idea,” Mabel spluttered. The thought of any kind of confrontation left her uneasy.
Another sheep toppled over as the field bully rammed its side. Looking around for its next victim, the goat suddenly found herself looking into the angry eyes of two Brafords.
“Listen, here, girls! The name’s Sylvia! I don’t want no trouble. I got me some territory to mark – that’s all. Once the others know I’m in charge of this pasture – we’ll be fine,” the goat gloated as she reared up on her hind legs.
Mabel and Alice looked at each other and broke out in to hysterical laughter! Sylvia was…a…goat! What were the odds? Oh, she would have to live several lifetimes to make it back from this quandary. Maybe Karma was not so bad after all.
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