2. Praise A Fair Day At Night

Edward ran to the pen and looked over the fence. There was Cantata behind a goat house on the ground quietly straining and complaining. From behind there protruded a wet, slightly metallic blue globe surrounded with blood. Edward turned and ran back towards Barbara, hoping that nobody noticed that he checked on the goat first. The Romanians were helping her up. Spilled cups of the afternoon’s coffee were scattered about. “Are you alright?” asked Edward. Barbara was taking some steps now. Her right leg seemed a little stiff. “I’m fine,” she said sharply as if she had lost patience for civility with an annoying in-law. “Goddamm it!” she said “Look at this suit! It’s ruined!”

It was true. Barbara’s olive green skirt and white top was streaked with wet, black mud. Her pantyhose were tattered.

Ryan and Olga now arrived having run from the house after hearing the commotion from the kitchen. “What happened?” they shouted. They each grabbed a hold of Barbara and along with Sula, they helped her back to the house in a cacophony of concern. With Barbara being tended to, Meila and Maria looked around and then started to gather the coffee cups.

“Thank you,” said Edward. “I ca can bring those in. Just set them here.” The women set the coffee cups on a stoop by the barn door. They looked at each other then at Edward and smiled awkwardly. Corrie couldn’t think of anything to say and so after a moment he said, “She’s having babies.”

The woman looked confused and spoke to each other in Romanian. Maria turned to Edward and inquired if that expression meant to say that she is upset.

“What?” asked Edward

“Barbara,” said Maria. “Is she upset?”

“No,” said Edward. “Cantata.”

“Who?” asked Maria

“The goat,” answered Edward.

“She is upset?” asked Maria.

“What?” asked Edward. “No, she is having a baby goat.”

“Oh,” chuckled Maria and translated to Meila. The women were smiling and seemed pleased. “Can we to see?” asked Maria. “Oh yes, certainly,” said Edward relieved at their response to the event.

Ryan came back down to the doe pen followed by Sula. The Romanians smiled at him and back at the goat as Cantata began a new series of contractions. “What’s going on?” he asked laying his eyes on Cantata.