Monday, November 12, 2007


Everyone said she was so strong, so courageous, for keeping the farm going after the untimely disappearance of her husband, Phil. He had gone into the woods to look for an escaped calf and had never returned. Only his jacket and one shoe had been found, stained with blood. Poor Jessica had bravely carried on without him. Oh, sure, there were rumors of a huge life insurance settlement, but gossip like that was bound to spread in such a small rural community, where everyone pretended to know everyone else's business. Not only had Jessica survived, but her Brown Swiss cattle had started winning prizes at every fair, growing sleek and healthy on what Jessica called "an extra-special diet with a secret ingredient." Was there a hint of slyness in Jessica's smile as she posed with her latest prize-winning calf? Only she knew what the secret ingredient was....and, some said, what had really happened to Phil.

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