After the fall

“I loved that house,” said Jack, staring at the ruined roof. At his feet, animals milled around in unknowing condolence.

“It doesn’t matter,” his Mother told him. “We’re rich now.”


“Oh come on, we’re richer than that! We can afford a new house!” Jack picked up the goose that honked sadly past his boots. He let it flip-flap its sharp orange beak past his face, like a child giving an affectionate noserub. It crapped on his feet.

“But I want this house!” Jack wailed. The goose flapped and he let it go. It waddled away angrily and sat on what it had decided would make a nice nest, shivering itself into laying position.

“Well, all I wanted was the money for the cow, and look how that turned out!” Jack’s Mother called over her shoulder as she chased down an errant goat. Jack waited patiently by the goose, humming to himself. It had been an eventful sort of day. His hands were blistered and he feared his legs would never recover from the climb, but it was all worth it. Probably. He bit his lip nervously. The goose hooted and squawked, shifting uncomfortably on its nest.

“It’s fine, Jack,” his Mother said soothingly as she returned with the goat in tow. “We’re set now. Forget all the bad stuff. It’s behind you.”

The goose stood up, a fresh egg casting golden reflections where it caught the sun. Something huge stirred in the house.

“Oh no, it isn’t.”

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