Sunday morning arrived wet and soggy after a rainy night. August did her chore rotation like the day before and the day before that. With the pigs fed and the stalls mucked, she exited the hen house, a bucket half full of fresh eggs in one hand. She tromped through the sweet, pungent mud toward the house in a zigzag path so she could hit as many big puddles as she could. Just outside the pigpen, her rubber boot stuck in the mire. She pulled, but it stayed put. She stretched sideways and rested the bucket on a drier spot of ground, then grabbed the top of her boot and pulled. The mud resisted and pulled back. Her boot sprung free with a slurp of suction. It sent her off balance and she fell back, landing on her butt, the mud oozing through her jeans and sticking to her skin.
“Damn it!” She pounded her palms into the ground sending drops of manure tinged muck flying through the air, into her hair and onto her face.
She picked up a clump of mud and flung it towards the pigpen. “I hate this place.” The feeding swine squealed and herded away from their breakfast. “I hate my life.” She flung another handful toward the house but was too far away for it to make contact. It just landed in a nearby puddle.
A wet clump of earth hit her square on the arm. She turned to find her sisters, their hands full of mud ammunition.
“Don’t you dare.”
June giggled and April grinned. Then they pelted August with mud bombs.
“That’s it, you little brats.” August freed herself from the puddle and stood, mud clumps in both hands. She chased after her sisters and tossed mud at them, hitting each of them in the back, then scooped up more and hit them again. Within minutes, they were all covered in goo, their clothes soaked through and stained with filth. August grabbed June by the waist and fell into a puddle, pulling June down with her, then April piled on. The three of them lay in the mud laughing.
“Oh, your mother is going to kill you.” August’s father loomed over them, a half grin betraying his amusement. “You might want to take the hose to yourselves before you even think about going in the house.”
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