It's raining. Again. For the sixth day in a row. Yet another day when I can't let my livestock out to graze.
Bleh. I don't feel like doing anything. Looking out of the window at that gloomy grey sky, I wonder, what's the point? I just want to go back to bed and see if tomorrow will be any better.
Am I being a wuss? Because it's only six in the morning and I'm fed up of the day already?
I'm just depressed and this bad weather isn't making me feel any better. Usually I like it when it rains. Watering my seeds takes a lot of time, and I usually enjoy the extra time to visit my friends, or go fishing or berry picking. But today, I just don't have the energy.
I turned on the radio, thinking that maybe a song that I like with help me feel energised. On the radio was an easy listening love song. The girl singing sounded love so happy and sweet, so devoted to her lover...that it made me angry.
To be honest, I'm lovesick.
Over twenty days ago, Alice left Sugar Village to report back to Funland Headquarters. But I'm starting to think that maybe I'll never see her again.
I remember those days when we were enemies. Those were good times.
I'd drop by her office to say hello and she'd welcome me a "What do you want?!". I'd have such fun giving outrageous answers to that question. Like this one time I answered "My face on the one dollar bill!"
"Why the hell would you want your face on the money?"
"Because...why not? I don't need a reason to want my face on the money, do I?"
"Oh, and I suppose that's why you keep pestering me everyday? Because you don't need a reason?"
Even I'm not sure why I kept visiting her everyday. Maybe it was because she smelled nice. Whatever perfume she used, it was a nice clean smell. Maybe it was her outfit. Or perhaps the areas of her body that said outfit didn't cover up. Nice legs, flat stomach, a cleavage that never fails to make my head droop.
Maybe I just felt better knowing that I wasn't the only outsider. Being the new guy, it took a while for people to warm up to me. People like Dia and Gwen were pretty dismissive when I first moved in. They made me feel as though I had somehow offended them just by saying hello. Was it my hat? Are they mad about seeing TOY in big red letters when I go somewhere? Is TOY an obscure swearword that's very offensive to people from Leaf Valley?
At least Alice had a understandable reason to be mad at me. I was after all the one who kept foiling her dark and evil plans. I humiliated her company's robot horse at the last horse race and lay on top of her after I knocked out of the way of that falling Terminator tree.
Not that that last one wasn't a lot of fun for me though. Yeah, I guess there is a reason the girls around here see me as a pervert.
But as attractive as Alice is, it's not just lust. I mean, those earrings are pretty gaudy after all. Even before I fished her out of the lake, she still had a couple of redeeming(or at least admirable) qualities. She became chief executive officer of a large corporation at a young age, so she's obviously intelligent. Even though the fact that she sometimes throws fits, like a bratty teenage girl would imply otherwise. Yeah, her social skills suck, but she is a good business woman. When she's not leading robot terrorist attacks, she never leaves her office, except for the occasional break, really late at night. So I'm assuming that she's a diligently hard worker. She has a soft spot for Charles and Renton, despite all of her cliché "Surrounded by idiots" rants, so she is capable of caring about others.
I remember, after all the drama at the lake she seemed to drop the cartoonish nemesis thing and opened up to me. She started telling me personal stories about herself, about her parents, her childhood... Her parents never spent much time with her because they were always too busy. Yeah, it does sound kind of cliché, but I can relate. My dad doesn't even write to me unless he wants me to lend him money or something. Now you know my excuse for going around bugging people all the time.
One conversation we had was that time she asked me why my parents named me Toy. It's actually a nickname made up of my initials. My real name is Tony Owen Yeoman.
I remember that smile she gave. It wasn't that smug Kenneth Williams smirk, with the flared nostrils that she usually had when it looked like she was going to win. It actually quite a sweet smile.
"I think I like Toy better." she said, blushing a little. It was a smile that could easily make a guy melt.
I spent the summer visiting Alice, Charles and Renton in the church everyday. I'd always pick up some bread from Roland's store to make them sandwiches.
Then on the fifth day of Fall, she came to my house. She told me that she'd fallen in love with the town and wanted to help me save it. She said that she'd have words with the higher ups and convince them to stop the construction. I was so excited. We finally saw eye to eye on the matter.
It's eight o'clock now and I still don't feel any better. The sky is still grey, the rain is still coming. There isn't even one bright spot of happiness. Even the Harvest Goddess doesn't want anything to do with me when it's raining. Considering that the deity that I worship has outright abandoned me, I think my attitude is justified.
But I know I have to go out there sometime. When you're a farmer, there's never a day when there's nothing to do. So I finished my coffee, put on my heavy rain coat and went out the door into the unwelcoming weather.
"Hey you!" came a voice that for some reason made me think of Bluto from Popeye, or Peg-leg Pete from the Mickey Mouse cartoons. I turned to see Bob. He was standing with Bubbles, one of my cows, breathing heavily with the viens in his forhead throbbing as if he had just overdosed on Gamma radiation.
"Didn't you notice your cow is sick again?!"
Well, considering that I've only just started today's work, my answer was of course "No. I've only just started today's work."
"Gah! You big idiot! You won't be popular if you let your animal's die! I've given her some medicine, but this is the last time! This happened because you don't take care of your cows!"
I don't take care of my cows?
I don't take care of my cows?
That's it. I'm going to pulverise this guy.
"Let me just ask you something Bob. That one cow you have; how much milk does it give you?"
His mouth moved to answer, most likely to tell me not to change the subject, so I answered the question for him.
"One bottle. You know how much milk one of my cows gives every day? Gallons. And not just any milk either. I've won awards for the quality of milk Blossom produces! You know, that special gold label, that they only give to milk produced by the best raised cattle in the country? I take damn good care of my livestock and I won't be told otherwise by some meat head who's one and only cow can't even produce enough milk for a lousy bowl of cereal!"
He spluttered in fury. His hands coiled into fists and he sized up to me.
"If you were anyone else I'd...!"
Without thinking, I pulled out my hammer and banged it into the side of the house. Bob jumped back.
"Get off my land." I growled "Before I throw you off."
Our eyes locked. I was blocking out all rational thought. It was a battle of wills.
Bob gave a sigh and turned around, walking back to his own farm.
Blossom was trembling in the corner. I must have frightened her when I threatened Bob with the hammer.
I wrapped her in a blanket and cuddled her. If she's just gotten over an illness, then she needs a little TLC right now. I took out some reigns and led her back to the barn. I dried her off and gave her a good brushing. Honestly, that Bob is such a muscle brain. He's mad about my cow getting sick, so he tries to make me feel guilty by bringing the poor thing outside in the pouring rain. I guess he can add professional hypocrite to his resume if the town is demolished and he needs to find another job.
After I made sure sure Blossom was okay, I decided to start milking the other cows Bubbles and Buttercup. I started to feel a sweat coming on. It does get a little stuffy in the barn, with all this hay around. My cows really need to get some fresh air. After I packaged the milk up for delivery I gave all the cattle a good brushing, then went to tend to my horse, Tornado. Then I went to the chicken coop to crate up the eggs. Then it was time for feeding. I was about to grab a bail of hay from the hopper when an idea hit me.
My livestock must be miserable being cooped up for six days in a row, so maybe I'll give them a little treat. I headed back to the house and got out my mineral enriched alfalfa spouts. The best animal feed you could ask for. It has all the nutrients needed for cows to produce that special award winning gold label milk that I was bragging about earlier. Yes, you do need to love your animals and take good care of them, but sometimes the power of love can benefit from the power of science. I usually try to ration this feed, but I think the animals need a little cheering up. They deserve a little treat after being cooped up in this stuffy barn for days in a row.
Once all the work was done I checked my mail box. I pulled a couple of letters out, went back inside for a hot drink and listened to the rattle of the rain against the window. Alone with my thoughts once again.
I thought back to my argument with Bob and how I threatened to cave his skull in with a hammer. I just don't know what came over me. I mean, he was just trying to help the cow, wasn't he? Although bringing poor Blossom out in the rain, was pretty reckless of him. I guess he was just being emotional rather than logical. Not too different from me. I actually drew a weapon on him, just because he criticized me about the way I look after my cows.
I guess bad weather can bring out the worst in people.
It certainly blew me missing Alice out of proportion. Following that, I was late for work, my prize cow got sick and I've alienated one of my best friends.
Then again, I do have fresh milk and eggs in the fridge. Maybe I'll bake a cake today. Yeah. I think I will. I'll take it round to Starling ranch and apologise to Bob when it's done.
You know, now that Blossom's alright and I've decided to make peace with Bob, I actually feel...well...better.
Maybe I just needed a counter-worry to take my mind off the problem with Alice.
Maybe it's because the thought of her surrounded by rich, urbane guys in fancy three piece suits bothers me. Like she might not come back if there's a better offer back in the city. She has been gone for several days afteral.
I flipped through my letters. Bill, bill, bill. Wait a minute. This one is from Funland. Part of me felt it was going to be an eviction notice, but the other part had a good feeling about it and couldn't wait to rip the envelope open. Much to my surprise, it was written by hand. I was expecting it to be a computer print out. Then something occurred to me.
I looked at the bottom of the paper. I was right! It was from her!
I just thought I'd drop you a line to let you know how I'm doing. The negotiations are going pretty slowly. Seriously, the higher ups can be so pig-headed! It makes me wonder how any of those numskulls even found a job in the first place! Anyway, I'll keep pushing the issue until they give in. Hopefully it won't take too much longer. I've been suffering from a bad case of the blues lately and I really want to get back to Leaf Valley. I miss (at this point there's a word scribbled out, but I can't make out what it is) Sugar Village.
And just like that, all the depression just evaporated. She hasn't forgotten about that day. I sat there re-reading the letter several times. I was just happy that she hadn't forgotten me.
Maybe I should write back? She said in her letter that she had a touch of the blues. Her letter cheered me up, so maybe she'll appreciate a letter in return.
Yeah! I'll start writing once I stick the cake in the oven! It doesn't have to be anything fancy, I don't have to write a whole love poem or anything. Just a quick note to ask how she's doing and let her know that I miss her.
Okay! So, I'll bake the cake, write the letter, deliver the cake to Bob, deliver my produce to Roland's store, post the letter... well, I'd better get a move on!
Like I said earlier, even when it's raining, farmers never have days when there's nothing to do!