It was a bright and sunny day at the Rype & Readi Farm Market. The air was crisp and… delightful…
All right, so it was very rapidly getting to be freezing, as it did every year around this time.
Still, not all were quite as affected by the change in temperature as others. Some, like the animals on the Farm Market, were snug and warm in their comfortable fur and feathers.
Regretfully, snug as the animals were, the temperature meant there weren’t as many people around to interact with them, which resulted in the animals getting quite bored indeed.
One such bored animal was the young lamb Caramel, who had thus far been whiling away her time by counting ants.
Considering how the cold temperature meant there were less ants about, it was slow going.
It was also understandable why when Gomez came up to her, Caramel was more interested than cautious.
“Hey Caramel, wanna try something fu-u-u-un?” the goat asked casually.
“What… kind of fun?” Caramel replied tentatively. Bored as she might have been she wasn’t entirely without caution.
“I ju-u-u-ust found out tha-a-a-at the Market’s selling apple ci-i-i-ider now,” Gomez explained eagerly. “A-a-a-and that stuff is supposed to be alcoholic! Wanna try and get dru-u-u-unk?”
“Uhhh…” Caramel’s ears folded back against her head. “That sounds… like a really bad idea maybe?”
“If we did it a-a-a-alone or somewhere e-e-e-else, yeah,” Gomez conceded with a shrug. “But he-e-e-ere, we’d be safe! C’mo-o-o-on, I just wanna know what it’s li-i-i-ike is all!”
The young lamb bit her lip as she glanced away, weighing her options very… very… it was mentioned earlier that she was bored, right? “Oh what the heck, I’m in!” she nodded in agreement.
“The-e-e-en come on, let’s go-o-o-o!” Gomez waved his hoof eagerly, and so led his partner in crime into the market-proper, so that they could start their fun.
Five minutes later, there was no fun to be had as the pair trotted their way up to a bush with no small amount of panic as they danced from hoof to hoof, a dance that many a young child knew.
“Hurry hurry hurryyyy!!!” Caramel wailed.
“I’m mo-o-o-oving, I’m moving!” Gomez bemoaned as he dashed, eyes dead set on the bush…
Before the two mammals were halted by Paprika stepping in front of them, wings crossed and talons tapping in the dirt.
“I don’t even know where to start on where you went wrong here,” she stated flatly.
“Ooooh, then let me say it!” Caramel whined plaintively, her dancing increasing uncomfortably. “First, unfermented cider doesn’t have any alcohol, so it won’t make you drunk it’ll only make you want to use the bathroom, especially when you drink three bottles each! Second, it’s a really stupid and bad idea to try and drink alcohol while you’re underage! And third, it’s not right to drink Market merchandise without paying for it, so we’re both in trouble and grounded?”
“Yes, yes, and yes, except I know that Gomez talked you into it, so he’s grounded but you’re getting a slap on the hoof,” Paprika nodded in confirmation.
“Fi-i-i-ine, whatever, I’ll do-o-o-o the time, now can we go-o-o-o already!?” Gomez demanded.
Paprika nodded and stepped aside, waving her wing invitingly. “All yours.”
Once the quadrupeds rushed past her, Paprika trotted off with a contented grin. “Ahhh, it never gets any better than when they discipline themselves.”
And that, as they say, was that.
by Baxter Balick, Rype & Readi contributing author and Flagler College sophomore