Creatures of Habit
by Marian Allen
Young Holly Jahangiri jogged through the streets of Boonieburgh, waving at her friends, neighbors, and relatives as she ran. It was hard to believe she’d soon be going to Council City to begin her apprenticeship.
Apprentice Librarian Holly Jahangiri! The thrill of it made her shiver in spite of her exercise. She would have to get something to wear, she thought. Something lightweight to put around her neck to keep off the early morning chill. Maybe she’d pick up one of those feather boas so popular in the cities, according to the fashion sheets. What color? Orange, perhaps, so hovercar and pedicar drivers could see her. No, purple. Purple was her color.
She hoped she wouldn’t have to give up these early morning runs when she moved to the city. They’d become a habit she very much enjoyed.
She soon passed the town limits and jogged on along the road that, ultimately led to Council City. On either side of the road spread fenced pastures and the meadows of flowers that had originally given Meadow Of Flowers Province its name.
She turned right, onto Jahangiri Lane, the one-cart track that ended at her family compound.
Something was wrong. She couldn’t put her finger on it ….
Where are the pratties?
Farmer Anzac – whose elevated stud fees for his prize pratty earned him the nickname High-Ram – always turned his flock out of their barn at dawn, when the grass and flowers were dewiest. The curious beasts always trotted to the fence to watch her pass. They had been there on her way to Boonieburgh, but they were nowhere in sight now.
Uneasy, she vaulted the fence and crossed the star-flower meadow. As she neared the barn, she heard the baa-ing of the flock. And there they all were, milling about in the barnyard, all two dozen of them.
What handsome creatures they were! An Earthling tourist who had once passed through Boonieburgh because he had gotten lost had said, upon seeing one, “It’s a sheep the size of a llama!” Nobody knew what he was talking about, but they had thanked him and sent him on his way.
Holly passed among the flock, patting them and whispering calming words.
And there, on the ground in their midst, lay Farmer Anzac, unconscious!
Holly took his pulse. He was alive!
Quick as thought, she ordered one of the pratties – Hayzell, she thought – to kneel. She tugged Farmer Anzac onto the prattie’s back and mounted behind him.
“Hyah!” Holly pressed her heels into the prattie’s sides and it took off at a gallop. With a mighty bound, it cleared the fence.
In moments, Farmer Anzac lay in old Doc Martin’s office, weak but awake, and very grateful.
“From now on,” he said, “your ma can take stud off my rams any time she wants ta. It’s the least I can do. How’d you know I needed help, young lady?”
“Pratties are creatures of habit,” she said. “When they weren’t at the fence watching me pass, I knew something had broken their routine. I just thought I ought to see what it was.”
“Good thinking,” said High-Ram. “Maybe you missed your calling, being a Librarian. Maybe you oughta be a detective.”
Holly laughed. “I can’t imagine ever helping to solve a mystery. I’ll leave that sort of thing to books.”
A WRITING PROMPT FROM THE SPAM FILE: This is the place where I started out also it would have been a great start in your case as well. This is a good method of getting the slow loser of burning fat with a more effective rate throughout the day long. Make your morning or evening jog a are all creatures of habit.