The Barn, Story 20: ZEBRA
The farmer stumbled into the barn, his old overalls covered in sweat and dirt from a long day’s work out in the fields. The fabric was worn thin in places, showing patches of Richard’s skin beneath. His work boots were caked in mud, leaving tracks behind him as he walked. His face, creased with lines from years spent under the sun, and his hair matted with sweat.
Richard carried a bucket of water, which sloshed over the sides as he approached the horses’ stalls. With a grunt, he set the bucket down and began to fill each of the troughs with water. The horses nickered appreciatively as they drank, their long necks stretching out to reach the water. The farmer wiped his brow with the back of his hand before moving on to the next.
“Well, what do you think? Richard asked his wife. “Each foal will net us almost thirty grand.”
Tina put her hands on her hips, “They are beautiful. I can’t believe you got your hands on two Zebras.” She walked into the room with a presence that demanded attention. Her expensive designer dress hugged every curve of her body, emphasizing her ample bosom and hourglass figure. The outfit was completed with a pair of stilettos that accentuated the length of her toned legs.
Tina’s jewelry glimmered under the dim lighting, drawing the eye to the expensive diamonds that adorned her neck, wrists, and fingers. Her hair was styled in loose waves that cascaded down her back, framing her sharp cheekbones and full lips.
As she moved towards him, the clinking of her bracelets and necklaces filled the room.
“Do you want to get closer?” Richard smiled and held his hand out. “They are quite friendly.”
“Please?” Richard stepped up to the zebra gate and placed his hand on the animal’s long, hairy snout. “I’ll call this one Ella, because she’s the female.”
“Can I name the other?” Tina asked meekly. She hated all of the animals her husband bought and bred, especially the horses, and these zebra looked quite similar besides the stripes.
“Only if you come over here and pet him.”
“Fine,” Tina replied. She carefully crossed the barn, making sure to not step in manure. Even just the smell of hay made her want to leave. “This is so gross, honey!”
“You’re almost here… and, there we go! See, that wasn’t so bad, was it?” Richard sighed. He found it shameful his wife didn’t share his admiration for the animals he tended.
Tina approached the zebra gate with a look of disgust on her face, the stench of the barn hitting her like a ton of bricks. She wrinkled her nose in distaste as she saw the animals up close for the first time. They were even more disgusting than Tina had imagined, with their matted coats and wild eyes. She couldn’t understand how Richard could find them beautiful or worth any amount of money.