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Gloucester Visits a Friend


Gloucester the goat lives with his friends Harvard and Fitz and five Angora goats on a farm in Texas. They spend most of each day jumping and climbing and playing and eating out in the pasture.  But sometimes something is different.  This morning Mama Food let all the goats into the pen for breakfast as usual but when they were all finished eating and all the other animals had been fed she did something different.  She let most of the goats go back out into the pasture but she kept Gloucester in the pen.
Gloucester was a little bit worried.  He watched all his friends run out to check on the llamas' feed bins.  They did this every morning because sometimes there was a little bit of food left over that the llamas forgot to eat.  Well, he couldn't really remember the last time they found some food there but they always checked just to be sure.  Sometimes Mama Food did icky things to the goats, like squirting some yucky stuff down their backs or even worse, squirting some yucky stuff in their mouths.  They weren't horrible things, just sort of icky things.  But Mama Food always did that to all the goats so he decided it wasn't that.
Then Mama Food opened up the doors to the barn and Shakespeare came outside.  Shakespeare is a very old Angora goat.  He walks really slowly and he eats really slowly and he doesn't run or jump or climb with the other goats.  Mostly he just sits in the sun and wanders around slowly looking for the best weeds to eat.  As far as Gloucester knew, Shakespeare had always been here.  He was here when Gloucester came here and he would always be here.  But Gloucester hadn't seen Shakespeare in a very long time.  It had been weeks since Shakespeare had been out with the other goats and now Gloucester could see why.  Shakespeare was even slower than he used to be.
Gloucester went over and said hello to Shakespeare.  He wanted to play with Shakespeare.  Let's go climb the mountain!  Lets run back and forth through the gate!  Lets see who can jump higher!  But Shakespeare just ambled out to a nice sunny spot in the pen and laid down in the grass.  Hmmmmm thought Gloucester.  This is going to be a really boring day.
Gloucester ran over and the climbed the mountain.  He ran back and forth through the gate.  He jumped his very highest jump.  Nope.  It just wasn't very much fun to do all those things by yourself.  Gloucester ran over to the fence and looked up the pasture to find his friends.  He couldn't see them at all.  They were way up at the top and behind the shelter.  Yes, this would be a really boring day.
Then Gloucester found a nice sunny spot and laid down on the grass.  He nibbled on some grass - he really liked bushes more than grass but the grass was right here and it tasted pretty good.  He noticed that Shakespeare was watching him.  The longer Gloucester sat quietly in the sun the more things he heard.  He heard the wind in the trees.  He heard the llamas rolling in the sand pits.  He heard Shakespeare's breathing.  A couple of times he even heard his friends Harvard and Fitz running and laughing and climbing the big mountain.
So Shakespeare and Gloucester spent the entire day in the pens being quiet.  They ate the grass and looked for the best weeds.  They drank some water out of the water trough that was just the perfect height for them.  They laid in the sun and rested even when Gloucester didn't really need to rest.  And when the sun started to go down and it was getting late, Mama Food came and let Gloucester out into the pasture to run and find his friends.
Gloucester was happy to be out with his friends again but he had had a nice day.  So had Shakespeare.