It was a quiet and peaceful day on the Rype-!
“Take that back you shaggy-haired hill-billygoat!”
“Make me, you mu-u-u-ud colored walkin’ bag of wool!”
…why do I even bother?
This self-same sentiment was running through Paprika’s head as she ambled over to the central courtyard of the Farm Market, where all the hubbub was originating from. Specifically, she sidled up to Drake the du-er, that is to say, Drake the mallard. “Dare I ask what brought this on?”
“Ah, hello my dear!” Drake perked up eagerly before gesturing his wing forwards with a pained grimace. “Well, as you can plainly see, our two contenders this time around happen to be none other than our very own Gomez the goat and Hershey the sheep.”
Indeed, it was as the waterfowl said: in the driveway of the market, the two ungulates were indeed the ones squaring off, quite literally butting heads as they glared into one another’s eyes.
“Curly-horned cud-muncher!” Hershey growled through his grit molars.
“Discount-sized flu-u-u-uff-brain!” Gomez snorted, pawing his hoof through the dirt irritably.
Paprika gave the pair a notably disinterested onceover before glancing at the other bird. “Dare I ask what has them riled up?”
“Eh…” Drake scratched the underside of his bill with his feathers. “I got here a bit late, but the gist I got is they’re having a difference of culinary opinions. You know those new products that Farmer Seb just let out?”
“Grumpy Goat Grub and Smiling Sheep Coffee?” Paprika asked slowly in confirmation, already not liking where this was going.
“That’s the one. I’m not quite clear on the details, but from what I gather?” Drake waved his wing at the pair with a weary sigh. “One of them likes one of the products and hates the other, and vice-versa. And of course, rather than settling this whole disagreement like adults…”
“Po-o-o-ompous cotton ball!”
Paprika let out a sharp cluck as the pair started to well and truly build some steam. “Well, if they’re not willing to end things properly, then I suppose I’ll just have to do it for them. Pardon me for a moment.” And with that, she started to stride forwards with confidence.
“Show them the cut of your pluck, fair lady!” Drake cheered her on eagerly.
Acting fast, Paprika darted between the two just as they were backing up in order to take a charge at one another…
And halted them dead in their tracks with an imperious squawk, her wings raised intently.
“Hmph!” Paprika ruffled her feathers primly as she regarded the two mammals with disdain. “That’s better. Now, before you two do anything stupid, we’re going to actually talk first, like adults. Understand?”
Gomez and Hershey both exchanged dark glares for a moment, but they eventually relented with defeated sighs. “Fiiiine…”
“Perfect,” Paprika nodded in satisfaction. “Now then, Gomez, you’ll go first and explain to Hershey why you like the Goat Grub so much, and Hershey-!”
“Wha-a-a-at!?” Gomez interrupted Paprika with a startled bleat, staring at her incredulously. “Are you nu-u-u-uts?! I ha-a-a-ate that grub crud, and he’s an i-i-i-idjit for likin’ it!”
Paprika boggled at the goat in confusion, trying to make sense of what she was hearing. “…eh?”
“And you’re just as much an idjit for liking that sheep coffee, or ‘mud’ as I call it!” Hershey shot back acridly, trotting up to the goat and meeting his forehead halfway with a snort. “I’ve said it once and I’ll say it a thousand times more: the Grumpy Goat Grub is better!”
“No-o-o-o, the Smiling Sheep Coffee-ee-ee-ee is better!” Gomez retorted without hesitation.
Paprika stared blankly at the exchange blankly for a minute before slowly turning around and starting to trot off.
Drake was swift to catch up to her with a concerned look. “You’re not going to stop them?”
Paprika slowly shook her head. “I’ve learned an important lesson today, duck.”
“To… not take try and guess a person’s opinion based solely upon face value?”
“That… and that sometimes, you just need to let idiots wear themselves out. It saves brain cells.”
“…a very fair point.”
by Baxter Balick, Rype & Readi Contributing Writer, Flagler Sophomore College Student