The Adventures of Rothus, page 1 [D-1]

Tarenvale, Karadrid Farm:

The roosters kind of woke me up today. I stayed up really really late last night running around outside, trying to avoid being seen by Father and Mother and was super tired when the roosters blared. Those stupid roosters don't have any chores all day, except eat. Why don't they do me a little favor and let those who work all day sleep in a little bit? I must have woken up a bunch of times this morning, each one not enough to get me out of bed. Yeah, what actually woke me up was Father. I tried to explain to him that I was deathly ill, so ill that I could barely speak, but he said, "If you're too sick to speak, why are you complaining so much?" Father thinks he's so smart, but I know when I am too sick to work.

He makes me go out and feed ALL the pigs! Can you imagine that? My friends don't have to feed pigs, why should I? When I finish my chore, I head toward town, but then Father calls me back to clean the troughs! Why can't Ziel clean the troughs? He's so proud of the farm. The worst part is, Father watching me almost all morning. The best part is, "almost". He gets distracted by something, probably Milo playing with something he isn't supposed to, and that's when I make my escape! I duck around a hay bale and hear him cry out my name. That's the best part because when he yells like that, I know he can't see me! So I waited a few moments and run off toward freedom.

I run past the Braumson's farm all the way to town, hoping Cynthia isn't looking my direction. I find Ma`ud wagging his two tails and looking right at me. Ma`ud's cool. He can run around wherever he wants because he is small and fast. If I were a fox, I'd never do chores! Ma`ud waits a bit and then wanders off, so I follow him. He always knows where he is going. He brings me straight to Lily and Evander. Evander has his shirt off and smells bad, Lily has her shirt on and smells good. Evander says that Billy, Jimmy & Timmy spilled something on him, and that Aeryn and him scared BJT to get back at them! I like it when people trick BJT.

Lily wants to go to the pond and skip rocks, which is a fantastic idea! Ma`ud runs off to fetch Aeryn. Evander keeps saying that he needs to stay at the forge and finish his work. I try to explain to him that work still gets done even when you're not there to do it. When I get back home tonight, all my chores will be finished! It's like Mother says, "good things come to those who wait." Evander is not convinced. I tell him that if we all help, the work will get done faster, so I grab some tools off the forge wall and practice swinging them. Evander's pa saw me and took the tools right out of my hand! How am I supposed to help without them?! I wasn't listening, but Aeryn said something really convincing to Mr. Smith, and suddenly, Evander is getting ready to come with us! Yeah!

Mrs. Smith is awesome because she gives us a basket full of food! We can stay out of town for days with this kind of haul. Never have to do chores again! Or maybe I could live with Evander and his parents. They never make me do chores.

At the pond I find some perfect rocks. One particular rock feels just right as I hold it in my hand. It is the right weight and size. I try throwing several different ways to see if I can get it to skip farther away. Then, I catch a huge fish with my hands! Lily pulls a fire out of her pocket somehow so that we can cook it, except that Ma`ud steals the fish and eats it all. I am really hungry, too. Ma`ud catches a second fish, but it wasn't as big and he let it escape, so we don't get to eat any. We feast instead on the food Mrs. Smith sent with us. She made little sandwiches that I love.

Lily starts a game of tag. We play for the whole afternoon. I suddenly realize that the sun is just above the trees. When did that happen? How long have we been here? Anyway, it is probably a good idea to get back into town before sunset, so we start walking back. I ask if I can eat supper with someone else because Father will not be happy that I have been out all day. I'd rather just stay in town for a while. Aeryn says I can eat with her and with her aunt and uncle. I like that idea much better!

And so we head off to town for some delicious food!

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