Down by the Spring Under the Old Oak Tree

- Chapter One -

Every morning and every evening the goats gather down at the spring.

As they drink their fill and nibble on the leaves and grass that grow so luxuriantly there, they listen to the grapevines that grow there too.

Some of the vines bear red grapes, and some bear blue grapes, and others bear green grapes.

The green grape vines are the youngest and bask in the sunlight that shines on their leaves as the wind rustles through them.

But the red grape vines are old and so twisted into knots that no sunlight or wind can penetrate.

The blue grape vines, though also old and with some twisted and tightly knotted patches, have liberal new vigorous growth spreading into the sunlight and welcoming the wind.

The goats greatly prefer the tantalizingly tart and sensuously sweet fruit which grows along the length and breadth of the blue grape vines and the green grape vines.

But oddly enough, even though the red grape vines are firmly rooted in the very finest soil near the spring, they only bear fruit at the very tips of their vines where only a few can reach them.

- Chapter Two -

Since it was a hot summer day, the goats gathered in the shade of the old oak tree which grew at the edge of the spring, because the water was cooler there.

"What do you think about these Fark Yüz goats that we've been hearing a lot about recently on the grapevines?" Old Silas asked to get the conversation started.

"One thing that caught my long ears," Old Silas said, "is this one group of Fark Yüz who only bleat what the lead Fark Yüz bleats."

As the other goats listened Old Silas continued, "If the lead Fark Yüz bleats 'meh meh meeeh' all the Fark Yüz in this group also bleat 'meh meh meeeh.' And if the lead Fark Yüz bleats 'meeeeh meeeeeeeh meeeeeeeeeeeeh' they all also bleat 'meeeeh meeeeeeeh meeeeeeeeeeeeh.'"

"No, ... really?!?" Daisy exclaimed, "The Fark Yüz in this group never develop their own tones, their own rhythms, their own songs?!?"

"Nope," Silas replied, "They just bleat whatever the lead Fark Yüz bleats, and they do it over, and over, and over again."

"Oh, how boring that must be," Daisy opined.

"And Fark Yüz always want to spread out into other flocks' pastures," Blossom said, "They constantly bleat and bleat about how special their pasture is but they just can't keep their eyes off the pastures next door."

"For years and years Fark Yüz have been spreading into their neighboring flocks' pastures," Blossom added, "pushing and squeezing the flocks in those pastures into more and more crowded smaller and smaller pastures."

"Speaking of that," Violet said, joining the conversation, "there's another group of Fark Yüz, and they even have a special name. They're called the Fark Yüz Droppers, or the FYD for short."

"You've heard the saying 'He thinks his shit don't stink,' haven't you? Well, the FYD's droppings really stink," Violet went on, "That's why they always leave their droppings in their neighboring flocks' pastures, especially in the smallest most crowded ones."

"And the stench is so vile it kills a lot of baby goats, and young goats, and mommy goats too," Sandy added sadly, "and a lot of Fark Yüz just don't care."

"Now some Fark Yüz love to try to convince everyone that the FYD is just being helpful," Bertie explained, "They say 'The FYD are just very carefully fertilizing the pastures,' but everyone knows it's just a whole bunch of really stinky goat shit."

"You'd think that," Old Silas replied, "but according to the grapevines there are some big flocks west of here who just eat it up."

- To be continued ... -


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