Cloris confronts Abner.
Cloris picked up the egg basket from the counter in the kitchen and went out to collect eggs from the henhouse before starting breakfast. It was a beautiful day with a slight breeze. She could hear Abner whistling tunelessly in the barn and it made her smile.
The minute she entered the henhouse, Cloris saw signs of slaughter. Every hen had been killed by having its head removed.
“Foxes again, Abner will have to set traps,” she murmured. She quickly gathered the unbroken eggs so as not to lose them as well, and backed out.
Leaving the eggs in the kitchen, Cloris picked up several full baby bottles.
“Those poor orphaned and rejected calves and kids will be bawling for breakfast by now,” she said as she headed for the shed where they were kept.
As she came to the door, she was puzzled to hear no bleating from the babies. As she entered, she saw why. Cloris checked them to see if any of them had survived.
“Don’t tell me we got wolves or mountain lions too!” she exclaimed.
As she left, she saw something familiar in the straw. Her horror grew. Using her apron hem, she picked it up.
Leaving the shed, she cupped her hands over her mouth and hollered for her husband.
He poked his head out of the barn, then came ambling toward her.
“What’s up Cloris, honey?” were his first words.
She held the blood-covered object she’d found on the shed floor out to him.
“So that’s where I left it!”
“You owe me an explanation.” she cried, then stopped.
Her husband took the large clasp knife out of her hand. As he did so, his face developed a mad, maniacal look. He started toward her menacingly.
“Practice, my dear! Simply practice.”