Young Family (Chapter 6, page 1 of 3)

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Chapter 6

Before she left the village, Samantha stopped in the kitchen to get some apples and biscuits. She drew herself a pitcher of water as well. She hoped it would be enough to get her to the mainland. If nothing else, maybe she could catch some fish along the way.

She walked down the path to the barns. Like the people in the village, the animals should be asleep by now. Yet when Samantha walked past the barns, she heard the animals making noises. Was there a fire? Or perhaps another animal like a fox or raccoon had snuck into the barn.

She threw open the door and then felt around for the lantern. By feeling around she found a box of matches on a shelf next to the lantern. She lit the lantern, the light casting a dim glow around the barn.

There didn't seem to be any sign of another animal. Perhaps it was hiding in one of the pens. Samantha set her pack on the ground and then took a pitchfork with her free hand. She went over to the sheep's pen and held up the lantern. The sheep squealed at her, the largest ram snapping at the air. "What's wrong?" Samantha asked. The sheep of course could not answer her.

She looked around the horse stalls next. They pawed at the ground and shook their heads as if an unfamiliar rider were on their backs. "Easy, guys. It's just me."

Not even Sarah was in good spirits. The cow loomed protectively next to her calf. "Hi," Samantha said. She set down the pitchfork to hold out her hand. "It's just me, Samantha. What's spooking you guys tonight?"

Sarah didn't come towards her. The cow pawed at the ground as the horses had done. Her tail whipped from one side to the other, swatting at imaginary flies. "I don't know what's got into you guys tonight, but I just wanted to say goodbye," she said. Maybe the animals could sense she was leaving. Maybe that had gotten them so riled up.

"I'm going miss you guys. Maybe when I find Mom and Dad they'll let me come back and bring you all home too." Did her parents own a farm? In a way she hoped so. She liked all the open space in Eternity, where she could run around and play, not that she ever got much time for that. None of the kids had much time to play like normal kids. Even the toddlers had to do chores much of the day. Samantha definitely wouldn't miss that.

"Well, goodbye I guess," she said. "You be good."

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