Morning came too quickly for the Beast. He enjoyed his hunt for the pequin. There was a distinct pleasure for battle that came quickly to him.
He was tired. He was tired most mornings.
The moon was bright the night before and snow had fallen. The crunch from traversing the snow excited Beast as he made his way to Northwich.
Shepherd’s Crook Man had hired Jeptha for intermittent work and was teaching him how to read and write.
Jeptha would be picking up study material from Shepherd’s Crook man today in addition to agreed upon chores.
The Shepherd’s wife would not tolerate missed lessons or mediocre penmanship. Shepherd’s Crook Man called it “correspondence school”.
The work was hard for Jeptha.
He could catch his dinner and was a fair hand at cooking it, but writing like a scrawny scribe hurt his fingers. The greatest difficulty was concentrating on such a small area with his mind.
As he approached, he saw Shepherd’s Crook Man using a broom to sweep the path to the stone building they used for a school. The building where services were conducted was immaculate. There was not a single speck of snow on the walkway.
The Shepherd’s Crook Man indeed paid attention to detail. The two structures he had been working on were indeed top notch.
There was a lot of work to be done before picking up the school work. There was firewood to be split, animals to be fed, and ice to break up so the sheep could drink. Grumpet the goose followed Jeptha and made a lot of noise as he began his chores.
Jeptha looked at his reflection in a water trough of he had scooped the thin film of ice from.
He could see that he indeed was not like others.
This bothered Jeptha and caused him to be sullen. Jeptha wanted to have a normal life, whatever that entailed.
Shepherd’s Crook Man approached with the broom in hand.“Hey there, Jeptha, will you finish the sweeping? “The Shepherd handed Jeptha the broom.”be sure to sweep thoroughly. It is important to sweat the small stuff.”
The Beast found humor in the Shepherd’s words about sweating the small things and correlated them with Pequin being spicy in taste. Pequin were not small, but they made you sweat when you ate them.
Pequin meat is spicy and makes your eyes and nose shed tears in their own manner. The heat from pequin meat makes you sweat if you are not used to it.
“PEQUIN MAKES BEAST SWEAT WHEN HE EATS THEM. HA HA!”
The laugh was fabricated as though it was practiced many times to thorough imperfection.Jeptha had tried his hand at humor.
Shepherd’s Crook Man smiled. “I hate pequin, Jeptha, take vengeance on them. They do not belong here. They torment my sheep.”
“I hate pequin, Jeptha, take vengeance on them. They do not belong here. They torment my sheep.”
“It is good to sweat the small things,” said the Shepherd’s Crook Man. ” Pequin are large to some, but they are small to you.”
Jeptha was confused and tried not to get angry. He mostly succeeded . “YES SHEPHERD’S CROOK MAN, ” he replied. Jeptha struggled to understand how pequin were large and small at the same time. The Man with the Shepherd’s Crook went on his way and Jeptha went back to work. It would be a long day of studying after the chores were completed.