Welcome to the Call Me MAYbe Flash Fiction Challenge!!
All stories begin with "The phone rang" and are no more than 1,000 words. **CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED!** For full contest rules and prize list, visit this link: http://mystiparker.blogspot.com/2013/04/next-month-call-me-maybe-flash-fiction.html
#24: The Phone Rang
Pie & Kandy Kay Scaramuzzo
The phone rang. At least, that is what the keeper said it was doing last time it made that awful racket. Actually, when it does that ringing thing, it sounds a lot like one of the hens we have here at the barn after has just laid an egg. Squawk, squawk, squawk, like anyone really cares that it has just littered our barn with more skunk food. Unfortunately, unlike the chicken that eventually stops, (sometimes with my help), this thing just keeps on squawking until it is answered.
For some reason, the keeper felt it was necessary to install that squawk box in our nice quiet barn. It seems to have something to do with the way humans communicate. Rather than trumpeting a nice loud neigh, they just knock the thing apart and make noises in it. The contraption itself is quite interesting, it fastens to the wall like one of our feeders and has its own lead rope connecting the two so the pieces won’t get separated or lost. I can’t believe something that is that complicated even has a place in my barn. At the moment, I am finding its usefulness factor a bit questionable.
The keeper and the little one have used it a couple of times I assume to talk to the sire or the vet. I think they even used it once to order feed. I remember that day quite well. It was the day the keeper switched us from the heavenly green alfalfa hay to the plain old bland coastal grass hay. I know, I know, the coastal is also green and it is healthy hay, but it is not the heavenly hay I love so much. I guess you could say I have become a bit addicted to the stuff. Some humans are addicted to their coffee, (you can smell it on them when they come out in the mornings). There is nothing better than fresh alfalfa in the mornings. Hmm, heaven, but I digress…
Oh my goodness, there’s that squawking noise again. Let me see what I can do about this. The chickens stop squawking if I nudge them a bit with my nose. Let me try this. There we go, it stopped. Oops, it looks like I broke it. It’s not squawking anymore, it’s just kind of hanging there by its twirly lead rope.
Wait! What is that I hear? Someone is talking. Who is that? It sounds really close. Well, what do you know? It’s no longer squawking, it is talking, and it is a talking squawk box. How about that? Let me get a little closer down by this thing and see what exactly is going on with it.
I know that voice! It’s the voice of the guy who delivers my hay. What is that he is asking? Do I want plain grass hay or my sweet alfalfa? He seems to think we have a bad connection. He is asking again, plain grass hay or sweet alfalfa?
Now horses, especially smart ones like me that have been around awhile can make a variety of sounds. One very handy sound we make sounds like a low guttural cough. If I time this just right, I can work this to my advantage. Here he goes again, grass hay or “cough, cough”, alfalfa? Yes! It is working. He has just put us down for alfalfa and he hopes we get over our cold soon. Wait, what is he asking now? Do I want two bales or two truckloads? Well, that is certainly a no brainer. Let me clear my throat so he will ask again. Okay, do I want two bales, or “cough, cough” two truckloads? Great! He caught it and has signed us up for two truckloads of alfalfa. He also thinks we need to see a doctor, our cold sounds really bad.
So I guess it was a good idea to put the squawk box in my nice quiet barn after all. The phone rang and made my day. Now I will go dream about the sweet alfalfa hay they will be delivering tomorrow and have a bit of giggle when people ask how the keeper’s cold is coming along.