It was a rough and rowdy day at the Rype & Readi Farm Market.
Sure, it was also bright and sunny, but that was in regard to the weather.
Aaanyways… to explain the ‘rough and rowdy’ bit, that would be on account of the current type of customers patroning the Market.
The holiday season had just started, and with it, the last school semester had ended. This meant that all the little boys and girls who would have been in class were now free to spend time with their parents, and thus visit the Market with them! Which was all well and good… except that these were little boys and girls.
Ergo, where their treatment of the animals was concerned, things had a tendency of getting…
…out of hand.
Case in point, Coffee was grumbling mutinously as she trotted into one of the back stalls of the Market, rubbing her hoof on her side. “One of those little rugrats stuck gum in my wool!” She bit out irately. “I swear, if I get my hooves on them-!”
“I know, dear, I know,” Paprika clucked placatingly as she trotted up to the sheep, waving her wing in a calming gesture. “But at the same time, you know it, too: five words, dear, think about those five little words.”
Coffee ground her teeth mutinously for a second, but ultimately she bowed her head with a sigh. “You’re right, you’re right…” she relented, presenting her side for easier access. “Just… get it out fast, alright!”
“Of course, of course,” Paprika nodded, moving to start brushing the gelatinous mass out-
When she was interrupted by a certain white-feathered fowl stumbling into the stall, his wings flapping furiously.
“Syrup in my wings! Syrup in my wings!” Ducky quacked furiously. “I’m gonna peck those little-!”
“Ducky! Five words, as you’ll recall!” Paprika chided him firmly.
The duck’s beak promptly clamped shut with an inarticulate grumble. “Grmrmr… just… just get it out, alright?”
Paprika was about to placate him, but she was forced to instead press her wingtips to her forehead with a groan when Gomez trotted into the stall with a twitching eye and a balloon tied off to one of his horns.
“Five words, Gomez,” she preemptively reminded him.
“I know, I kno-o-o-ow,” the large mammal ground his hoof into his temple with a groan. “Just… hu-u-u-urry up, okay? Gotta keep some wa-a-a-arm bodies out there.”
And indeed, Paprika did just that, helping the animals to sort out their issues before they headed back out to face the unruly horde that awaited them.
She worked without complaint and they walked out without regrets, each and every single time, all thanks to five words. Five simple words that kept running through their heads and kept them going, no matter what.
Five words that made just about any task, no matter how ignoble or how embarrassing, completely worthwhile:
“Do it for the kids.”
by Baxter Balick, Rype & Readi contributing author & Flagler College sophomore