Once Bitten, Twice Shy (Chapter Six, page 1 of 8)


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Carmen woke with a start. Had she been dreaming, or was Brutus barking? The throaty bark filled the air again and she rolled out of bed into the cold morning. Now what? She jerked jeans over her nightgown and waited until she reached the front door before tugging on her boots. The house groaned as a gust of wind bombarded it. She dived into her coat, snapping it as she opened the front door. The outline of the dairy was dim in the early dawn light, but the intermittent barking from Brutus was like a beacon. She sloshed through the slushy snow, splashing icy water on the legs of her jeans. A gust of wind tore the hood from her head and snatched at her hair. At least it wasn't a cold wind, and the snow was melting. As she vaulted over the fence, the cause of Brutus's excitement became obvious. The barn door was open and the goats were scattering, forcing the dog to race from one end of the lot to the other. His huge feet splashed through the wet snow, slinging it at the goats. The scene was total chaos, with goats dashing every which way in an attempt to avoid each spray of slushy snow.

"Brutus! Stop!"

The sharp command brought the dog up short. He tilted his huge head to the side and whined. He had no idea what he was doing wrong. As the airborne snow settled, so did the goats. The barn door was wide open, the latch torn loose - probably by the wind.

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