Fall 1993 • Vol. XV No. 4 Fiction |

Bummers

It's the middle of February, twenty degrees Fahrenheit and some clean, wet snow is falling on the scuffed, stained snow of the sheep pasture. Ariella and Dirk Envers are supposed to be cleaning the sheep shed. None of their own ewes are due until March but Bonnie, their mother, is hoping to pick up a couple of bummers this month. She's a weaver and a vegetarian. When she culls their flock in the spring, though, she sends the unwanted ram lambs and the used-up ewes off to market. Ariella hates her calling it market when it means to be killed. Hung up on a meat hook for the blood to all run out. That's where her last year's ram lamb Mocha went. Also, Ariella hates her name, she plans to change it to Anne as in Anne of Green Gables when she comes of age. Of age in this state (Massachusetts) is eighteen, light years away, as far as Ariella is concerned. She will be twelve next week. Dirk, who is eight and small for his age and legally blind besides, is chipping away at the f

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