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Rated: E · Short Story · Nonsense · #2271839
Here's a tale of the struggle and survival of a city bull translocated to the country.
         A story ‘bout a displaced animal, eh? Hmm. Well, I kin tell ya one, but first lemme ask ya this. D’ya know how much water a floatin’ animal displaces? Th' answer is “it ‘pends on jus’ how bad that critter wants outta that water!” An ol’ hound dog don’t displace much water. He just calmly dogpaddles. A cat onna otherhan‘, heh!! he’ll displace more water ‘n the Titanic did! Now, a fish, he’s a differ’nt varmint altagether! He’ll fight ya to get back inta th’ water!
         Yeah, I reckon I am stallin’ a might.
         Ok, then. I’ll tell ya ‘bout m’ grandpappy. Y’see he had this pet bull. Raised it from a kitten he did! Unless I’m mistaken. Mighta been the mountain lion he raised from a kitten. Anyway, this ol’ bull was sweeter ‘n I could even guess! I never did try to find out. Guess I mighta licked his face or sumpin’ like m’ ol’ Blue Swede
hound dog, Hipster, used ta do, but well...
         Grandpappy had this pet bull he called Shawn. I think he got th’ name from th’ connection ‘tween bulls an’ fertilizer and the name was jus’ a natural.
         Grandpappy’d been born ‘n’ raised on a pickle farm in Minnesota. Raised pickles fer nigh onta nine months afore tryin’ to buy some sour cream cows. Po’r ol’ grandpappy! If only he’d known ta feed the pickles ta normal cows (if there is sech a thin’)!
         I been thinkin’ o’ abbreviatin’ grandpappy ta save paper and ink and time, but I jus’ don’t think I’ll get enny extra GPs for abbreviatin’ grandpappy, “GP.” So, I’ll just plow on an’ hope you readers don’t hit a stump.
         After grandpappy made ‘is first billion dollars farmin‘, he figured he’d quit his Fantasy Farm Game website an’ sell it out ta some o’ them new-fangled corn farmers. Y’know th’ sort. Puts corn seed in th’ ground. Sets up irrigation, an’ all that nonsense. Them folk needs websites ta stay in touch with corn buyers and corny writers.
         Now, ol’ grandpap had been livin’ in a fine apartment in an upbeat, upscale, up yours neighborhood of Manhattan along with his bull, Shawn. Seemta ‘ve been happy there, what I could tell.
         Over time, though, other folk in their apartment buildin’ moved out. Eventually, th’ folks downstairs stopped poundin’ on th’ floor. It started gettin’ too quiet aroun’ there.
         Then, the landlord hired an off-duty garbage man ta stop by an’ have a bull session with grandpap. Seems as how th landlord was concerned about ‘im, th’ garbage man said. Thought his mental health might be compromised if ‘e stayed in that city apartment much longer. The sitchation was weighin’ on the landlord’s mind. Said as how even he was gettin’ depressed by grandpappy and Shawn livin’in that apartment. Said too that ‘e figgered they’d be happier in th’ country and even if they wouldn’t be, he would be happier if they lived in th’ country.
         It all got grandpappy ta thinkin’. Now, ol’ grandpap he didn’t like ta think a whole lot, but I reckon that’s ‘cause he weren’t very good at it. After all, y’know, he quit school when he ‘as just a zygote. (Actually, that’s when his ol’ man dropped outta school.) Only math he ever learnt was how ta count ta blue.
         In th’ end, grandpappy decided ta folla his heart. He reckoned the coronary he had that kept him from movin’ for nine more months ‘as a sign that city life just wan’t right for him and Shawn. So, grandpappy moved ‘em both to th’ country, right after the apartment super suffered a dreadful accident. Seems as how ‘e fell off a pier and drowned. He mighta been ok if he hadn’t been walkin’ ‘long th’ beach collectin’ interstin’ rocks and puttin’ ‘em in ‘is pockets.
         The move meant big changes fer grandpappy and Shawn both. Grandpappy wouldn’t be able ta take the “L” out of Lover Avenue ennymore ta visit ‘is exgirlfriend. All that was over now.
         Shawn would no longer have ‘is cozy pet bed in one o’ th’ two bedrooms. Now, when ‘e lost ‘is dentures, grandpappy wouldn’t be able ta count on Shawn ta help doggedly sniff ‘em out.
         There was ladies livin’ on the farms either side o’ grandpappy an’ Shawn’s spread. Shawn would now be too busy happily chasing squirrels and burying bones in the ladies’ backyards to run an’ fetch for ol‘ grandpap.
         After a pillow fight with a neighbor th’ very first week in his new country home, grandpappy was feeling a little down in the mouth. So, he hitched Shawn up with ‘is lead an’ took ta walkin’ down the dusty country road, resolved to grouse ta the super. I ‘member grandpappy tellin’ me it looked like the place hadn’t been dusted since Coolidge ‘as president.
         When they hit town, grandpappy decided to catch a taxi for a ride to find a good Czechoslovakian cafe. He and Shawn waited at least a hour in front o’ th’ taxi stand. Grandpappy told me about it bunches o’ times over th’ years, afore I threatened t’ super-glue ‘is dentures up his colon. I couldnta really done it, though. Grandpappy only had a semi-colon. Period. Took a six-pounder at th’ Battle For Boothia Peninsula durin’ th’ war ‘tween th’ states. Docs had to amputate half ‘is colon an’ both ‘is ovaries. Leas’ that’s what he allas gave out about his days in th’ air force. I jus’ know that fer th’ rest of his life, ‘is monthly cycle never ran ag’in an’ ‘e walked bow-leggit with bit of a limp.
         S’ ennyways. Him and Shawn waited at the taxi stand fer more’n and hour. From that day ‘til ‘is dyin’ one, he never took a CPA taxi ennywhere!
         Finally, him an’ Shawn walked over t' a little diner at some five and dime dollar-type store. ‘Fore they went inside th’ diner, ‘e curbed Shawn. Well, ‘e curbed ‘im best ‘e could. Y’see, they wa’n’t no curbs in th’ little country town o’ Auchincloss. Didn’t need none. Ya could walk across it in ‘bout ten minutes ev’n if ya ‘s drunk. Th’ waitress ‘as a big, ol’ friendly gal. She smiled an’ asked m’grandpappy if him ’n’ Shawn were new hires at the Merry Mooey Dairy Farm just outside o’ town.
         “I heered they just got a new stud,” she said.
         “I’m flattered,” grandpappy told ’er, “but nah, I’m already retired.”
         “Well, ya certainly ‘ave gotta lotta bull there, sir! I don’t think even Mayor Maynot Runnagin has ‘at much bull. What can I get for ya?”
         “Ohh, let’s see. Ya got a green salad?” grandpappy asked.
         “Yessir. The bologna salad was made more than two weeks ago.”
         “Heey, that sounds good! I’ll have a bologna salad sandwich and a cold glass of walnut juice.”
         “What can I get for your pet bull, sir?” the waitress asked.
         “Well, ol’ Shawn ‘ere usually likes a good Beef Wellington, and...”
         “Oh, I’m sorry, sir. We’re outta boots completely. The poulterer don’t come here ‘til tomorrow.”
         “That’s ok,” said grandpappy. “Just bring Shawn ‘ere a pork ear and a pint of lager.”
         He paused just fer a moment, but as she started to walk away, he changed his mind.
         “I tell ya what,” he said. “Change mine to a slice o’ shoe-fly pie, a small bowl o’ apple pandowdy a la mode, a chocolit malt, and a medium vial of insulin.”
         “Very good choice, sir,” the waitress said brightly. “Our cobbler just made th’ pie fresh this mornin’.”
         By th’ time grandpap ‘ad done with ‘is meal, he ‘as in much better spirits an’ definitely ‘appy e’d found this place, and
‘appier still ‘e changed ‘is mind ‘bout the bologna salad sandwich!
         Over th’ Weeks that followed grandpappy, grandpap followed th’ local news. ‘E quickly learned Weeks was the butler of Elias T. Everen, th’ stuck up heir ta th’ Wiggins Toupe Adhesive fortune. ‘E also found out th’ waitress’ name ‘as Linda Hande ’n’ she volunteers at th’ Point Lesh Mission fer Folk Recoverin’ From Society and Sobriety.
         In jus’ a short bit, grandpappy an’ Linda was a’ datin’. Grandpappy had taken ta th’ country life with all th’ gusto of a guppy toward fish flakes!
         Whattabout Shawn though? Was ‘e able t’ adapt as easy?
         Yes and no. He loved th’ country life! In th’ city, he’d got used ta bein’ walked and usin’ fire plugs fer ‘is body functions. Out here, ‘e could scatter his crap as wide an’ free as if he’d been elected! Out here, ‘e could around stark naked! Grandpappy liked the country life for the same reasons.
         Shawn found a friend in Linda. She ‘as possessed by th’ spirit of a cow what died in Indiana, where sech kind of kine are scared. Shady business, too. She ‘as sittin’ in a tree readin’ Animal Farm an’ someone hacked th’ tree ta death out from under her.
         Th’ top branch of a ol’ Magnolia tree ain’t really a naturally tenable position for a 1800 pound heifer, so when she fell, she fell hard!
         Th’ coppers figgered it was murder. Had a’ ironclad case, too, it seems, but th’ brass hushed th’ whole thing up. Shawn was pretty mooed by th’ cow spirit’s story, and they stayed friends fer years.
         Fact is, only thing Shawn didn’t like ‘bout th’ country ‘as th’ nights. He’d lie on ‘is bed at night ‘n’ try to write poetry with crayons. I’m sorry t’ say ‘e used some awfully colourful language at times!
         Somethin’ kept him spooked though. ‘E tol’ grandpappy he saw shaddas out ‘is bedroom winda, an' heard strange an’ fright’nin’ cries at night. ‘E ‘ppears to’ve got used to ‘em though. He knew ‘e had to else grandpappy woulda moved ‘em all right back to the city.          Shawn loved fertilizing their farmspread a lot! When grandpappy and Linda both came down with fecal incontinence, they all lived crappily ever after!
© Copyright 2022 Shawn C. Bailey, humble poet (humblepoet at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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