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Step outside. Cold breath of air hits cheek, glides over nose, and stings your eyes. Like a Grange Fair morning. Frost on grass, covering bird feeders. Satisfying crunch of sunflower shells underneath boots. Steep hill, quick climb. Little thunder of rabbit feet on wire floor. Zip of Ziplock bag and the thud of apple quarters meeting cage. Soft munch-munch-munch of rabbit teeth meeting carrots. Loud sniff-sniff-sniff of fresh water in dish.

Gentle nicker from inside barn. Click of opening latch, loud nicker now. “Mornin’ Bill.” Jingle-jangle of brass bell on purple goat collar. Rustle of straw underneath cloven hooves. Clomp of boots on wooden barn walls, little trip going in. Goat goes out, you go in. Pick up red water bucket and throw outside. The tink of ice and water bucket is empty. Exit barn. Grab heavy water pitcher, scoot bucket to block in seconds and pour water inside. Go back to barn, duck in.

Clank-clank of metal can, the sweet hop-like smell of goat feed. Rustle-rustle of grains on blue plastic scoop. Gentle pour, whoosh of feed hitting Vortex bowl. The same jingle-jangle of bell when goat hops in. Pick bowl up from under goat nose. Duck back out of barn, and stride to block. Set bowl on ground, and goat rushes in. Click-click of chain while you hoist it to yourself, hand over hand. Jingle of bell while you hook to goat collar. Stand up. Pat goat back.

Breathe in, breathe out.

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