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Lester’s Farm

There were four buildings on the relatively small farm.  The first building looked as if it had tried to be a building, except it looked as if it had been constructed by a leper with one arm and cataracts the size of jelly beans.  The nails were sticking out even where the unfinished wood hadn’t rotted. It leaned both in on itself as if it was about to implode and backwards threatening to fall.

The rest of the buildings seemed to have been made by more experienced hands.  There was a competently crafted barn that was constructed with good finished wood and dedication.  There was a native draft horse and a cow inside a stall being cared for by a brownfured Moreau.  Beryl couldn’t tell what species, could have been a lapine or feline, but they weren’t a cow.

Looking around Beryl noticed that there were several other Moreau and farm animals that were getting the day started, but there were no humans.  Beryl asked if there were any humans on the farm, but the bovine didn’t reply.  Of course they couldn’t have, they didn’t speak English.

The thought occured that they could point to themselves and say their name was Beryl to try to get the cow’s own, but it was too late by the time they reached the largest building, a wooden home that was not quite a mansion due to its simplicity. The cow opened the door and took their hat off, and then gestured for Beryl to do the same.  Beryl did after a moment and was led inside after putting up their hat on a peg and wiping their paws on the mat.  

The interior was moderately decorated and seemed to have been crafted delicately if not grandly.  The cat was led towards the living room where an elderly human man was laying down while a blonde rabbit fed them apple sauce.  

The old man had long gray hair and an unkempt beard that stretched down nearly to his chest. He looked as if he hadn’t stood up for years, from the way his muscles looked to have atrophied.  His beard stretched down nearly to his chest and seemed oddly stained and there could have even been a little candy stuck in it.

The cow spoke in german and the bunny looked up at them both, surprised, and was about to nod when the older man screamed and pointed at Beryl.  The cat stepped back confused as did everyone else, just as the cow brought down the gun and trained it on the cat again.

“KATZE!”  The man cried jubiantly and then began to exclaim in German.  The three looked at each other and talked laughed amongst themselves while Beryl kept a nervous eye on the exit.  

Finally they seemed to realize that their guest was nervous and couldn’t understand them, and the old man beckoned for them to join them, adding, “Come here kitty!  No one’s gonna hurt ya.”  The bunny added, “Yes.  You are safe here.”

Beryl was very happy that the two of them spoke English.  They still looked back at the door a few times as they made their way forward.  “Thank you.” 

The man smiled happily as he gestured towards his chest weakly, “My name is Lester and this is me farm.  I built the old home with me own hands back down that way,” He smiled proudly.  “Beautiful wasn’t it?  Me finest work that was.”  

Beryl didn’t need the warning glare from the lapine to tell them not to crush the elderly mans heart.  “It really shows, sir.”

“I built this entire farm on a dream I had as a young man.  I was going to create a farm to live the rest of my life on and raise me animals and live the rest of me life with the woman of me dreams.”  Lester explained slowly,  “It wasn’t easy at first.  I didn’t know how to grow anythin.  I tried to grow meat trees, planting little bits of bacon in the ground and watering them in the hopes I could get a bacon tree.  I almost starved to death.”

Beryl couldn’t tell if the man was joking so they tried very hard to repress their laughter.

“If it wasn’t for a group of cows who had been on the run I would have.  They found me eating my own toe nails.” Beryl was fighting both laughter and disgust at the image the man was painting, but they didn’t succeed.  Fortunately the old man continued without dwelling on that, “If anyone else had found me they’d have locked me in an asylum!  But these poor things nursed me back to health.  They needed a place to stay and I needed the help to get me farm started.  The rest has just slowly come together, and me plan is almost completed.”

“Ah.” Beryl felt relieved by the man’s tale and waited only a moment to be sure they could speak clearly before sharing as well,  “Well, I am hoping to find my family somewhere in the Black Forest.  I’m not sure exactly where they may be, but I am hoping they are there.”

“The Forest?” Lester asked, looking horrified. “Oh, ya don’t want to go there!  Bad luck!  People go missing all the time, and even then the Doberman would tear you apart long before ya got there!” Lester waved his hand dismissively before Beryl could ask about the Doberman. “Naw, you should stay here.  We got us plenty of mice ya can catch, and we can keep ya safe here.”

“Thank you for the offer, but I have to keep moving.”  Beryl replied.  “I’ve put this off long enough.”

“Well, if ya have ta go see family, I understand.” Lester said with a sigh, but he came back strong with, “But ya can come back after that.”

“I may stop by on my way back,” The cat replied, “But I’ve already got a home in New Babbage to return to after this.”

“You’re from New Babbage?” Lester exclaimed excitedly. “Wonderful!  Someone can finally use that Babbage-Bed I bought a few years ago!”

Beryl blinked and wondered curiously what a Babbage Bed was, and then shook their head again, “I’ll stay the night if you will have me, but…I’ve already got a home to go back to.”

“But…but…but me plan.” The old man whined pitifully.  “Getting a cat has always been part of me plan.  I planned it.” Lester kept repeating himself.  He was starting to get excited and the bunny was trying to soothe them in German, but the old man wasn’t listening as he rambled, “My plan had a farm, my wife, and I was going to get a sheep and a cow, and I was going to breed horses!”

Beryl stared for a moment in silence, and then remembering the bacon asked, “With a sheep and a cow?”

“No with horses and horses!” Lester said, just a bit too defensively. “I’ve done all that, but I never got the cat!  I’ve got to get a cat!  It’s the only way my dream can be complete before I die…”

Beryl didn’t want to distress the man any further, it was obvious that he was no longer well in his mind, if he had ever been.  They thought for a few moments, with the angry looks of both the bunny and the cow on them.  They obviously wished the feline had never come now.  

Beryl had a sudden thought, and what may be the only solution to this problem.  “Well, I can’t be your cat.  I already have an owner, but I’ll mention this to my family.  They are all cats as well.”

“Really?”  Lester asked, a kind of hope filling his eyes which did look as if they had cataracts in them now that Beryl looked.  “That would be wonderful.  If it’s at all possible, I was always going to name the cat Arnold if it was a boy.”

Beryl stared at the old man uncomfortably, their tail frozen in mid swing, “What would you have named it if it was a girl?”  

“I never thought about it,” Lester said and then after a moment added, “But I suppose I’d have named it Frankenstien.”

Chuckling in relief Beryl asked them where they could find this Babbabe-Bed the old man had bought.

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