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Blossom, oh Blossom . . .

A continuing series in which I had the crazy idea of interviewing the animals in my novels. I certainly bit off more than I could chew!

Disclaimer: There are minor spoilers in these interviews, so if you had not read my books, you have been warned . . .

Penelope stomped through the animals liked Moses through the red sea. The critters pulled back in together and she was lost from my sight.

It was just as well.

Blossom, the red milking devon that belonged to Mary Langdon McKechnie in my first book, Keeping Secrets, eased forward. A crown of yellow sweet clover topped her head. White horns stuck out from either side of the greening wreath.

“Good morning, Blossom," I said. "I suppose it is your turn now."

“My turn. Hmmmph.” The cow's mouth ruffled. She lifted her chin and rolled her brown eyes downward. “I was the first to be introduced.”

“I know.”

“But not the first to be interviewed?”

I sighed. “I am sorry. Penelope was here first.”

“But she is not the first or the most important.”

My brows lifted upward.

“You said it yourself, my tragedy advanced the story.”

“It did.”

She gave a curt nod. “And now, the sweet clover calls me.” She sniffed the air. She twisted her head right.

I leaned sideways to avoid the horn.

She swung to the right.

I leaned again.

The horn knocked into the metal post of the porch awning.

“Please, do not go to the clover yet.” I reached for the horn and pushed it from the porch post. “It is, after all, National Pet Month and your turn to be interviewed.”

“But . . . but the sweet clover--”

“Gets you into a lot of trouble.”

She turned back to me. A frown dragged at her face. “And whose fault is that?”

Mine. But I had my reasons.

I spun back to the keyboard. I lifted my fingers upward and above the keys. “So, shall we begin?” I smiled. It was fake and large and hurt my jaw. “How did you come to live with Mary McKechnie?”

“I came to live with Mr. Langdon as a young cow. Later, after he died, I went to live with his daughter, Mistress Mary, and her girls.” She pressed her large brown nose forward. “I remember the day Penelope came. She was a loud, obnoxious goose. You should be careful of her tales.”

“I am well aware of Penelope’s stories.” I cleared my throat. “Now, Mary has a number of girls. Were you more partial to some than others?”

“I never liked Martha.”

“Uh . . . I asked if you had a favorite.”

“Martha set about my destruction.”

“Yes, I know your getting out of the fencing that day was Martha’s fault. After all, I wrote the story.”

“Martha is almost as much a troublemaker as that goose.” Blossom’s eyes narrowed. “And you put the sweet clover in the bog.”

I pulled my fingers back to my lap. This was not going as I had planned. “I needed a way to get Amon and Mary back together again. You know, boy meets girl. They like each other. Something pulls them apart. Something pulls them back together--”

“I know how it works.” The words ground hard and deep past Blossom’s throat. “Annie.”

“Annie what?”

“Annie was my favorite girl. Except for that one day . . .” Blossom’s head lifted upward. Her wide cow nostrils wiggled and shifted. “S-s-sweet, sweet clover . . ." She stepped back.

The animals shifted and parted behind her.

“No, Blossom." I reared upward. "We are not finished." I grabbed for the nearest horn.

My fingers grazed the tip. The horn slipped through my fingers. She sauntered between the other animals. Her nose lifted upward. She twisted her head left and right. “The sweet clover calls me,” she sang. “The sweet clover calls me.”

“Beware of the bogs,” I cried.

She froze.

A gasp swept through the crowd.

She twisted her head around. She pressed the words over her shoulder. "I am writing my own story now. And bogs." She grunted. "Bogs are not allowed."

She shook her head. The horns cantered from side to side. She scampered through the last of the crowd and was gone.

The animals shifted together.

And one animal came to stand before the others . . .

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