Friday, March 12, 2010

I Have a Price

OK, guys, help me out here. I have been feeling a little insecure lately. For one thing, it's raining, which means that my FarmWife time is limited to my receipt of three meals per day and a brief trough check. I miss the leisurely sunny afternoons of mingling with her and her larvae, and without a snug little barn there's no likelihood of a dry hangout for the four of us anytime soon. My shed simply isn't big enough for that kind of social get-together, and a quick ear scratch from a dripping wet FarmWife can't substitute for a nice long visit in the sunshine.

The bigger problem, though, is this: FarmWife, until this week, had always called me priceless. She had said, out loud to her friends and out loud to me, that I was the sort of mule that no money could buy, that she would give her right arm before selling me, and that there could never be a dollar amount on my head. Then, just Wednesday, I heard her tell someone that I was worth my weight in gold. At the current exchange rate, and assuming I weigh in at about 900 pounds (sucking in my gut), this puts my dollar value at about 14 and a half million bucks.

14.5 million is not nothing, and while I realize that this is pretty valuable for a mule, I still think it wasn't fair for FarmWife to settle on a figure for which she would sell me. Knowing me, and the extreme public reverence for my celebrity status, she may well get an offer that tops this.

I hope you know, dear readers, that I will not go without a fight! Give her twenty million. Give her thirty—I will not be sold. I will pull a Lassie on you, wealthy purchaser, and I will go home again. You have been warned.

Now that I think about it, this could end up being not such a bad thing after all. Imagine this: A rainy afternoon. Wealthy Purchaser shows up at Bent Barrow Farm with a suitcase containing 14.5 million dollars. FarmWife accepts, and I, Fenway Bartholomule, am bid a tearful farewell. After a comfortable ride in an air-conditioned trailer, I descend to a green lawn of sprawling immensity. I am tucked into bed with a new $600 custom halter, a monogrammed Rambo blanket, and a supper of imported carrot cupcakes.

Leaving a precious row of hoofprints behind in the wet cement of the Wealthy Purchaser's new patio (for he, or she, must somehow be repaid, and surely this token will do), I leave as quickly as I arrived. Sneaking out in the depths of the night, I, Fenway Bartholomule, return to Bent Barrow Farm under cover of darkness.

To quote Eric Knight, "Lifting [my] head again, as the desire for [my] true home woke in [me, I] scented the breeze as if asking for directions. Then, without hesitation, [I] struck down the road to the south. [My] senses were now aware of a great satisfaction, for there was peace inside [my] being. [I] was going home. [I] was happy."

And what do we have now? We have me, FarmWife, a new Rambo rug, a custom halter, and 14 and a half million dollars. And we have Bent Barrow Farm, my humble home home, and perhaps some plans for a snug little barn.


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