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Meet the Folks - Ep. FO5 - … of Oak Springs - Goats, Dents and Kings
The baby goats were adorable
Goat photos make great prompts
This story was inspired by an ‘Image Prompt’ from our writer friend, Bill Holland, at his blog: Artistry with Words
You may recall an earlier goat herd image that Bill posted inspired my hub, “The Thurkill Dent Goat Herd:” http://homeplaceseries.hubpages.com/hub/The-Thurkill-Dent-Goat-Herd-A-Bill-Holland-Image-Prompt-Story
Again, this prompt also came at one of those “serendipity” moments that Bill mentioned in his post. I wanted to write a “Meet the Folks” hub before moving on to Episode 41 of “The Kings of Oak Springs.” But, my mind couldn’t settle on which story to write. Now, it appeared obvious, I was waiting for this prompt to appear.
So, let’s take a peek in at the Dent farm, on Saturday, the 31st of December of 1881. The three King men, Pa Karl, Keith, and Kent, have come across Patton Road to the Dent farm to see the two new kid goats proudly displayed by Thurkill, Donald (Donnie), and Peter. The King women (Ma Catherine, Kate, and Karla) were bringing the carriage over a little later, where the two families planned to have dinner together.
Goats don't like fences
2 new kids on the Dent farm
Thurkill: Well, gents, these are our two newest. They showed up a little early, this year, but they are doing fine and appear ready to eat about anything they see!
Karl: They do look healthy, Thurkill, and full of life. They certainly don’t appear to be any worse for the wear by arriving early.
Thurkill: Donnie (nearing 14-years-of-age) has been looking after them carefully, especially with school out and the weather being good. Peter (8-years-of-age) has been helping, as well. Say, Keith, how does it feel to be back on the farm for a bit?
Keith: I’m loving every moment. I wouldn’t trade my opportunity to study Civil Engineering at the University up in Columbia for anything, but a break can also be very refreshing. Thanks for inviting us over to see the kids while I’m still here. They are so cute.
Thurkill: Thank you for coming over. We enjoy showing them off! How soon do you go back?
Keith: I have to leave in just a couple of more days. Seeing these kids sure reminds me of the early days when you let a couple of the goats help Kent with the orchard. He had quite a time with them.
Kent (now nearly 15): I’ll certainly never forget that experience either. I had to learn very quickly that goats will eat everything in their reach. And, they’ll go through most fences, if you don’t plan for them carefully. Pa and I had to really hustle those first few days.
Karl: I remember well (chuckles all around).
Kent: But, once we understood what could and could not be done, we learned to use the goats to our best advantage. Look at the fine orchard we have today. It all started with those first two goats.
Donnie: I still have to be very careful working with the goats. They are very smart, and will fool you, if you leave something out, or something. They’ll chew and gnaw right through things, when you don’t think about it.
Peter: Last week I left a bucket with a rope handle where they could get to it. That bucket lost its handle very quickly. I learned my lesson. Won’t do that again!
The men walked back outside, where they could see part of the herd, grazing on the hillside.
Karl: We all appreciate your love of goats, Thurkill… and boys! They have been very useful to us, and to many others, throughout the valley.
Part of the Dent goat herd
Rachel rang out the news that dinner was ready
New Year’s Eve day dinner with neighbors
The dinner triangle rang out. The men start walking toward the house.
Rachel Dent (11 years-of-age): Ma says dinner to ready. Clean your selves up, and let’s eat.
Thurkill: Thanks, darlin’. You ring that triangle real well. Still hard to believe you are tall enough to reach it!
Peter, Rachel, Donnie, Kent and Karla were already at the ‘young ones’ table - no longer the ‘children’s table.’ The six at the main table were Karl and Catherine, Thurkill and Neva, along with Keith, and his sister, Kate.
Neva, looking at Kate: Kate, it is so hard to believe you are actually a senior in high school already.
Kate: Oh, yes, just the final semester to go. It is even harder for me to imagine.
Catherine: So, imagine what it is like for her mother, Neva. My little girl is all grown up.
Kate: Oh, Ma. You still sometimes treat me like a little girl. I am very pleased, however, to hear you say I’m ‘all grown up.’
Catherine: Well, you caught me on that one. Sometime all grown up, sometimes not so much! (Laughs all around the table)
Karl: I must admit being on the school board has now given me a new view on the school students. They each seem to grow so fast. I get to see them all grow up, and it seems more natural. We have some fine students… and well as some fine teachers.
Thurkill: I think, perhaps, those two go together, don’t they?
Karl: Yes, for sure, they do. We’ve been very fortunate to have very well trained and dedicated teachers. I get anxious with each new one, but they have each done well. Superintendant Chambers deserves a lot of credit for that, by the way.
Thurkill: We are lucky to have him. Do you suppose he will stay?
Karl: I hope so. He seems to really feel at home, and even possessive of what has been built here. I really expect him to stick with it. The school is really his family to him, I believe.
Catherine: I concur. He is much like a mother hen. He lets everyone do their jobs, but he is right there to help, and make suggestions, at both schools. We are very lucky to have him, no doubt.
Note from the author
This is the fifth episode of the short story (FOx) series, Meet the Folks | … of Oak Springs. Each episode will explore, at first hand, some folks who lived in Oak Springs c. 1880. The stories are set in the Ozarks Mountains setting of “The Homeplace Saga” series of family saga historical fiction. These episodes are around the 1880 time frame, following by a couple of years the 40 episodes of “The Kings of Oak Springs” stories. That series had followed the time period of the “American Centennial at the Homeplace: The Founding (1833-1876)” collection of short stories. Some of these earlier stories are published on The Homeplace Saga blog, found at the link, below. These FOx episodes provide depth and background stories for the entire "Saga" series.
The first 40 episodes of the King Family series have now been compiled into eBooks, titled: "The Kings of Oak Springs" Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. See the link, below, to get yours.
“The Homeplace Saga” historical fiction family saga stories are the creation of the author, William Leverne Smith, also known as “Dr. Bill.”
Learn more about "The Homeplace Saga" series of family saga, historical fiction stories
- "The Homeplace Saga" Blog
The home blog for "The Homeplace Saga" series of historical fiction family saga stories set in the southern Missouri Ozarks. All updates of the series are mentioned here, regardless of platform.
For the eBooks of "The Kings of Oak Springs,“ Vol. 1 and Vol. 2
- Dr. Bill Smith's Books and Publications Spotlight
Scroll down and right. Also available at Amazon.com