Cricket Magazine

DIFFERENT

THIRTY WHITE-AND-BROWN SPOTTED goats churned in a knot just inside the gate of our front pasture. With large round bodies, small heads, and spiked horns, the does circled and bleated as if shouting to one another their concern over their new home. I hung on the top rail of the fence and wondered how long it would take them to notice the knee-high alfalfa grass that grew all around in a lush green carpet. First one, then another paused as if surprised to see it there. They dipped their heads, taking huge bites, soon forgetting they’d ever been afraid. This pasture’s normal occupants were great white woolly sheep. Dad sold off the last of our flock the fall before, and now in the warmth of spring, decided to replace the sheep with goats. As he’d explained it to Mom and me the week before, “Goats are a lot less work than sheep for almost the same money.”

Mr. Peterson, a rancher from the next town over, had just delivered our new

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