Goats and Bugs

by Nick Brady

Chapter 14

Bobby woke up first, but when he got out of bed and started to get dressed, George rolled out behind him. They stumbled out to the kitchen door and looked out at a sea of white. "Hey! It snowed," George laughed. "Looks like we have a White Christmas."

"I can't remember when we had snow on Christmas," Bobby said. "We get our share of rain, but not that much snow. This is neat."

As they walked to the barn they could see that the snowfall was probably less than an inch, but it covered the bare ground and collected in the tree branches. Pepper was excited, ran in circles then rolled around on her back with obvious pleasure. "Look, she's making snow angels," Bobby laughed, "Enjoy yourself girl. It will be all gone by tomorrow."

Pepper chased the cows up from the pasture with more than the usual enthusiasm and the chores were done quickly. George milked two of the cows and found that he was getting better at it. They returned to the house in high spirits.

As soon as they had things put away, Bobby started on Christmas dinner. He prepared one of the old hens in lieu of the traditional turkey. He first baked a pan of cornbread, then made a stuffing and put the bird in the oven along with several sweet potatoes. George would make a salad. a generous side dish of home grown green beans and a can of cranberry sauce would suffice for their feast.

While dinner was cooking, they went to the little spruce tree in the living room. Santa had come during the night and there were several presents under the tree. Ely was sitting in the living room wearing a big smile. "Merry Christmas boys, Let's see what's under the tree."

The gifts were predictable. Bobby got new socks and underwear. Ely got a nice flannel shirt, and there was a package with George's name scribbled on the wrapping. He grinned and opened it to find socks, boxer briefs, and a set of long underwear. "You'll need those when it gets colder," Ely chuckled.

"Thank you, Santa," George said gratefully. "I'm sorry, but there isn't anything from me. I'm afraid I didn't have the money to buy anything for either of you."

"That's alright," Ely smiled. "If you will look under the tree again, I believe there is something else under there with your name on it."

George went to the little tree and sure enough, there was an envelope hidden in the branches. He took it out and saw that 'George' was written in a neat hand on the front. When he opened it he found five ten dollar bills inside. "What's this for?" George asked.

"It's your allowance," Ely smiled. "Not sufficient compensation for the work you have done, but when things pick up we'll do better by you."

"I don't deserve this," George said meekly. "Nothing I've done has helped the finances here. I've only done part of what Bobby could have done alone."

"Let me be the judge of that," Ely said. "Poor Bobby has worked hard with little help for a long time. We can see that you'll let us do a lot more than we could without you. I've talked to the bank in town about a loan to let us get more milk cows, and in the spring we'll get some more laying hens. Bobby's little goats might be the start of something to make the farm profitable. We'll need you to help us with all of this, George. Surely we can provide you with a little something to put in your pocket."

"Fifty dollars is only ten dollars a week," Bobby reminded him. "That's little enough unless you would prefer the beg system."

"No. I don't want to go back to that, but if I had this before Christmas, I could have bought a present for you guys."

"That's why we waited to give it to you," Ely smiled.

" I don't know what to say."

"Try, Thank you, Dad," Bobby suggested. "That works for me."

George looked at Ely and felt his eyes get wet. "May I really call you Dad? "Would you mind?"

"If I can call you son, then you can call me Dad," Ely smiled gently.

"Then, thank you, Dad. This is my best Christmas ever."

Ely cleared his throat and sniffed. "Well now. How is that roast hen coming along? We wouldn't want to burn our Christmas dinner."

"I'll check on it, Dad. But it may not be ready for a little while," Bobby said. "How about some snacks to keep us from starving in the meantime?"

"I can help with that," George said and went to the kitchen. Bobby followed him.

"You OK?" Bobby asked.

"I'm fine. But I'm so happy I feel like I'm going to cry," George sniffed.

"You know, don't you, that you just gave my father the best Christmas present he could ask for?"

"What's that?"

"He's always wanted another son," Bobby smiled.

They cut up some carrot and celery strips, poured ranch dressing in a little bowl and took it in to nibble on. They heard a scratching at the kitchen door and opened it to see Pepper looking hopeful.

"Come on in, girl. I think there's a present for you too," Bobby said and let her into the house. He took something from the refrigerator wrapped in brown paper and went into the living room. "Here you go, girl. We didn't forget you."

Pepper took her present in her mouth and quickly tore off the paper to find a ham bone inside. She wagged her tail and lay down under the kitchen table to gnaw on her treat. When all was in readiness, Ely was called in and they took their places around the kitchen table. The golden brown hen was at the center, the salad, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, and green beans were set beside it. The dressing was scooped into a serving bowl.

"I think it's all ready," Bobby declared. "Dad? Would you bless it for us?"

"I will," Ely said and held out his hands to the boys. They made a circle around the table and bowed their heads as Ely prayed. "Dear Lord, we thank you for the birth of your son. We thank you for the snow on this lovely Christmas day. We thank you for this nice dinner and we thank you that George is part of our family. Happy Birthday, Jesus. Amen."

They all said, "Amen," then Bobby said, "Let's eat." It was a fine Christmas dinner.

When they were all as stuffed as the hen, Ely went into the living room for a nap in his favorite chair. Bobby and George decided on a walk to settle their dinner. The snow was starting to melt, but still looked pretty. When they got to the barn, George climbed the ladder to the hayloft and Bobby followed.

"Did you decide you like my little hiding place?" Bobby asked.

"It's a little warmer up here, and I wanted to be alone with you," George said. They sat side by side with their backs to the bales of hay, and George took Bobby's hand and gave a long sigh.

"You OK?" Bobby asked.

"Yeah, I'm fine. This has been a great Christmas."

"All you got was socks, underwear and some long handles."

"I got a lot more than that. I got a brother and a father. That's quite a gift," George said quietly, then turned and put his arms around Bobby. "Can I hug you?"

Bobby lay back and pulled George close to him. "You can always hug me."

George tucked his face in the crook of Bobby's neck and began to cry softly. Bobby held him close and stroked his back. After a few minutes, George took a deep breath and pulled away to look Bobby in the eye. "I'm sorry. I'm just so full of emotion. I'm not sad, I'm happy. Maybe the happiest I've ever been. It's like I finally came home."

Bobby wiped the tears away with his hands. "I know. It's OK, George. This is a big deal for all of us. Its kind of like you got adopted, right?"

Their faces were close and George impulsively kissed Bobby on the lips. Bobby did not pull away, but returned the kiss with feeling. The affection turned into desire and they pressed themselves together in a passionate kiss. "Oh, Bobby. I want you," George ran his hand up under Bobby's shirt and touched his nipples. He pushed his hand down the front of Bobby's jeans and squeezed his cock, causing it to expand rapidly.

Bobby blew out his breath, leaned back and opened his pants to allow better access. "Damn, George. I think I want you too."

George had nothing else to say. He pushed Bobby's underwear down and pulled his cock free. Cupping the lose testicles in his hand he took the hard cock into his mouth and sucked on it. Bobby lay back, raised his hips, and pushed his jeans down to his ankles, moaning softly. He spread his legs wide, held George's head in his hands and humped himself into his face. George swallowed him eagerly.

George slid his hands under Bobby's hips and pulled him closer. His hands explored Bobby's muscular ass and pressed his fingers deep between his ass cheeks. Bobby did not resist as George took him deep in his throat and pushed his nose into Bobby's pubic hair. "Stop, or I'll cum in your mouth," Bobby warned.

George pulled back then lifted Bobby's knees up to give him access to his ass. He pulled Bobby's jeans over his feet, pushed his face into the crack, licked the pink hole with his tongue and sucked on it.

"Man! That feels good!" Bobby exclaimed at the new experience. He relaxed and let George try and stick his tongue inside the hole. George paused long enough to slide his middle finger inside Bobby's ass and twisted it gently, then replaced it with is tongue, and pushed his face into the wet crack, causing Bobby to shudder with pleasure.

George pulled off his pants and pressed his hard cock against Bobby's crack and slid it up and down. At this, Bobby stopped him. "I know what you want to do," he told George, "but I'm not ready for that."

"I am," George rolled over on his back and raised his knees. "Do it to me."

Bobby smiled and rearranged himself so that his face was at George's ass. Touching his tongue to George's asshole, he attempted to imitate what George had done to him. Soon George's crack was wet and throbbing. "Go ahead,"George gasped. "Stick it in me."

"Won't it hurt?" Bobby asked with concern.

"I don't know, but I want to find out what it's like." George encouraged him and reached down to pull at Bobby's foreskin until it was stretched tight over the hard cock.

Bobby was fully aroused and his inhibitions were overcome by passion. "Tell me if it hurts too bad and I'll stop," he whispered and pushed at George's wet hole with the head of his dick. George pulled his ass cheeks apart with his hands and let Bobby inside. It slid in with little resistance. Bobby paused, pulled out a little then pushed deeper, watching George's face for signs of pain.

George pulled at Bobby's hips, encouraging him to go deeper until his hips were pressed hard against George's ass. "You OK?" Bobby asked. George took a deep breath and nodded vigorously.

Bobby was amazed at the feeling. His cock was gripped tightly by a tube of hot, smooth, living flesh. He needed no encouragement to continue. He began to pull out and push in until he was pumping with a steady rhythm. The expression on George's face went from concern to a smile of pleasure. "Go slow, but it feels good. I think I like this," he sighed.

They continued like this for several minutes until it began to feel very natural to both of them. Soon Bobby closed his eyes and said breathlessly, "I need to stop. I'm about to shoot."

George gripped Bobby's ass with his hands and whispered. "Don't stop. Go ahead and shoot. I want to know what that's like, too." Bobby renewed his efforts and in a few moments he went rigid then shuddered as he emptied his balls inside George's rectum. He pushed as deep as he could and held still. George could feel Bobby's cock pulse and felt the sensation of warm sperm as it filled him inside. He could hear Bobby gasp next to his ear as his orgasm passed and he fell limp.

When Bobby opened his eyes, he saw a puddle of white on George's stomach. "That's not mine," he smiled. "I think you liked that."

George looked down and shook his head. "I guess I did. That was amazing. I didn't even touch myself."

Bobby leaned back and fell out of George with a plop. "That was a first. I guess I knew it was possible to do that, but I didn't expect it to feel so good."

They dressed and went about their chores.

Later that night after they crawled into bed, they discussed the adventure in the hayloft.

"I've thought about that for a long time," George confessed. "I had the internet at the apartment and there are a lot of porn sites where you can see people doing all kinds of stuff."

"Really?" This was news to Bobby. "You can see people having sex with each other? For real?"

"For real. They have videos of things I never thought about, and some things that I have." George was beyond downplaying his primary sexual interest. "There are a lot of gay videos of ,guys sucking each other and doing what we just did. They're pretty hot."

"Bobby grinned. "So you watch those and jerk off?"

George nodded. "Yeah, I do. I like that a lot, but it's not the same as really doing it."

"Doing it is better, right?"

"A lot better. It was a lot better than I thought it would be."

"Did it hurt?"

"It did at first, but when you went slow it started to feel good."

"What was it like? I mean how did it feel?"

"When you were licking my ass, that felt real nice. You know. I did it to you. When you put your dick up there and started to push it made me feel really excited. When it first went inside it did hurt, but you stopped and let me relax a little."

"Then it felt good?"

"It did. You pushed inside real slow until you were all the way in. That was weird, like I needed to shit or something. But when you started to pull out and go back in real slow it started to feel good," George smiled. "It's hard to describe. Maybe you should try it sometime."

Bobby smiled nervously, "I might sometime. It's hot hearing you talk about it."

George looked down at Bobby and saw that he was hard again. "Does this turn you on?"

"Yeah. I guess it does," Bobby covered himself with his hand. "I'm sorry. Maybe you've been thinking about this stuff for a long time, but it's new to me. I'm not sure how I feel about it."

George reached down and took Bobby's cock in his hand and toyed with the foreskin, then looked over his muscular body. "You're very beautiful, do you realize that?"

"You keep telling me that. I don't know. I guess I look alright.

George was thoughtful as they lay next to each other. "I've been wondering about something. When I first came here to say, your dad said he was proud to have me here, and he knew that you loved me too. Is that true? Do you love me?

Bobby chuckled. "Now why would you ask me that? It's easy to say something like that. People say it all the time and don't mean much by it.

"You told me that you and your dad never say you love each other even though I know you do, but isn't it different with us? I'd like to think I'm more than your adopted brother.

Bobby rubbed his hand across George's chest. "What would it mean if I said I love you? Would it make things any different between us?

"It would mean something to me.

"I could say that, but it kind of scares me.

"Why would it scare you?

Bobby sighed. "Once you say that, you can't unsay it. We're just kids. What do we know about stuff like that?

"I know how I feel. How do you feel?

"Oh, George. It'd be so easy to say I love you. I'd mean it too. But then what would we do? You would say you love me, and then what?"

"But I do love you, Bobby. More than anything.

"What we have now is good. Can't we just be friends? Can't we just enjoy what we have and be satisfied with that?

"Can't we love each other? Is that so bad?" George asked.

"I don't know. I never knew anybody like you before. I never felt this way before. It's confusing.

"Me either, but it feels right.

Bobby searched for a way to explain his hesitation. "Suppose I felt about some girl the way I feel about you. That's the way this sort of thing is supposed to work. If we were both fourteen, I would figure that maybe we were a little young to be falling in love. I'd be careful what I said to her because if I really liked her a lot, I wouldn't want to hurt her. You follow that?

"Yeah, I think I do," George smiled. "But what would you do if she told you she loved you and thought you were beautiful?"

Bobby smoothed George's hair with the palm of his hand and looked into his dark eyes. "Then if I felt about her the way I feel about you, I guess I'd tell her I loved her too."

"I love you, Bobby. Do you love me?"

Bobby but his lower lip. "I do, George. I do love you. I'm not sure what that means, but for what it's worth, I love you."

"How does it feel to say that?"

"Bobby shrugged and glanced away. "It feels right, I guess. It feels honest." Bobby passed his hand over George's stomach in a gentle way. "I love you, George," he almost whispered.

George relaxed and smiled. This was the best Christmas present ever. He took Bobby's hand and asked him another question.

"Last night we went to your church for a service. I told you that was new to me. The feeling I got was new, anyway. I don't know hardly anything about God and church and all that, but you said you believed. Am I right?" George was still trying to figure things out.

"I reckon that's true," Bobby nodded.

"I hear people, TV preachers, kids at school all say that what you and I have been doing is a big sin. That we'll go to hell for doing what we do. Is that a problem for you?"

Bobby slowly shook his head. "I know what you're talking about. I hear the same things. But I don't think so. I might go to hell for something, but not this."

"I really don't understand," George admitted.

"I just don't think it works that way. I use the internet at school and sometimes watch TV preachers. It's easy to find hard line bible-thumpers who will send you to hell for all kinds of things. They always quote the Old Testament. But when you look at what Jesus actually said in the New Testament, he said we were all supposed to love each other, but he never talked about who we were NOT supposed to love. I'm no expert, but I just don't think a guy will go to hell because he loves another guy."

George gave Bobby's hand a squeeze. "I hope you're right because I can't change the way I feel about you."

"Well," Bobby smiled, "If you go to hell for this I guess I'll see you there."

"If you're there it won't be that bad," George chuckled.

Bobby turned and snuggled up to George. "You're making me think about a lot of things."

"What do you think?"

"I think that if we don't shut up and go to sleep, the chickens will come and roost on us," Bobby sighed. "G'night."

There was a week without school between Christmas and New Year's Day. For Bobby and George, this meant they had the time to get caught up on some chores. They made a trip to the hardware store to get the materials needed to go around the barn and do a better job of patching the places that let in the coyotes. They sorted out the trash that had accumulated in and around the barn and cleaned out the goat pen and the laying cages. It was the time to put things in order.

Bobby and George worked well together. Bobby knew how to do most things. When he was unsure, Ely was there to coach him. George was there to provide a helping hand to both of them, and Pepper made a game out of everything. The time passed quickly and for George, it was a lot of fun.

On New Year's Eve George called his mother and wished her a Happy New year. She did sound happy, and went on at length about the new home in Kansas City. She did remember to ask how he liked living on the farm, but didn't ask for details. Farm chores didn't sound that interesting and it was not a long conversation.

"How's your mom?" Bobby asked.

"Fine," George shrugged. "The same."

School started back up and they fell into the routine. Things were going better with the extra hand, and moreover, Ely found that he enjoyed having George around. George was goofy in a positive way. He made Ely laugh and he needed to laugh more often.

It was obvious that there was the opportunity to expand their activity now that George was part of the family. The three of them spent time in the evenings debating various ways to improve their finances. Adding more milk cows seemed like a good idea. They already had a milking operation set up and with George, they should be able to milk more cows in roughly the same amount of time.

Adding more hens worked out the same way. There was enough room in the barn to add more nesting boxes and rather than buying chicks every spring, they would spare a couple of the roosters from the frying pan and raise their own. The increased number of eggs would be sold off to a distributor to go to local supermarkets rather than selling them directly. Except for a few loyal church customers, this would move the majority of the product more efficiently. The young roosters could be dressed out and sold to local markets as well. Again, George could make this possible, although he would have to overcome his squeamishness.

The goats could turn out to be a money maker. There was the question of how much demand existed for goat milk and meat. They decided that they needed to do some research in the art of cheese making. Although the chemistry of goat and cow milk was somewhat different, it might be possible to make cheese of both kinds to test demand.

In talking to some other farmers, Ely had become interested in the idea of the farmer's 'Piggy Bank'. It had been a long standing practice on some small farms to raise pork from 'Berkshires' which can be allowed to forage in the woods or alongside the cows. The sows are good mothers and the meat is darker and better marbled than most pork, making it exceptionally delicious. The typical litter size of eight piglets can be raised for meat or sold off for others to raise for themselves or for 4-H projects. Of course a pig or two might be butchered and kept in the freezer to provide food for Ely's table. Again, the challenge was to find a premium market for the high end meat, but that could be accomplished over time.

All these ideas looking interesting and plausible. As they sat around the kitchen table and discussed these possibilities, Ely became more and more animated. He was becoming optimistic about their future and was in better spirits than Bobby could remember.

Ely decided he would get a bank loan and increase the number of Holsteins, expecting that George could help milk them all. Since he would have a larger volume of milk, he talked to the Henry Johnston, the milk distributor, and discussed his plan. Henry suggested a source for some automated milking equipment and the possibility of a refrigerated storage tank inside the barn. He also suggested that with this equipment and some modifications to the barn, Ely could handle as many as thirty to thirty-five cows. As he explained, Ely was about to cross the tipping point where the use of automated equipment would be cost effective. This was an interesting idea.

The kitchen table became the family council. They decided that remodeling the barn was a good idea and agreed to support it. During now and the time that the new plan would go into effect, they would remodel the milking area to accommodate the new equipment for the expanded operation. Ely spent some time with Henry who gave him valuable advice on how to structure the remodeled area.

"Now, boys, it's going to take a lot of work to get ready for this," Ely told them. "We're going to have to make some changes to make this work. With so many cows to feed, I think I need to convert part of the land we use for soy-beans and corn to Alfalfa. The cows can graze on it and we can bale and store the rest to use during the winter. I think that will be cheaper than trying to buy that much hay. The goats can forage in there too. If we decide to get some pigs, we can see how they manage in the woods." Ely scratched his head. "I'm not sure how we're going to do all this, to tell the truth. I hope we're not getting in over our heads."

George hesitated then said softly, "Maybe we need to make a plan for how to get this done so we don't trip over ourselves."

"That's very true," Ely nodded his head. "That's the part that worries me. Everything needs to be ready at the right time. I'm not sure how to do it."

"I might be able to help with that. Maybe figure out what needs to happen in what order, and make a plan?" George said quietly.

"That would be helpful, George. Why don't you make a stab at that and we'll see how it goes," Ely said.

Bobby smiled but said nothing.

"I'll try," George said. "It's not like I'd be in charge or anything. I could try to sort things out a little."

"George is smart," Bobby assured Ely. "I bet he can do it."

"If you can make this go smoothly, you'll earn your keep for sure," Ely smiled. "You make a plan, and we can all do the work. Tell us what you need."

Now that George hand volunteered to do something he had never done before, his confidence faltered. Still, he liked a challenge and he liked learning new things. "I'll do my best, sir." he told Ely. "Bobby can help me."

"I can do that," Bobby agreed. "Where do we start?"

George took a deep breath. "I need to get my notebook and a pen. If you have a tape measure then let's go out to the barn."

Pepper greeted them, the goats bleated, and they stood in the center of the barn and looked around. "Do you have a layout of the barn? Like a floor plan or something?" George asked.

Bobby shrugged and looked blank.

"Then we'll make one," George said. He looked around and made a rough sketch of the interior of the barn, then handed the lose end of the tape measure to Bobby. "Let's start at the front door, OK?" Bobby pulled out the tape and they went around the perimeter of the barn. At each section, George wrote down the dimension in his note book, measured the width and height of each window and door, scribbling the numbers at the right places on his sketch. When they got back where they started, George measured the distance to each center support, then to the position of the laying boxes, the milking stalls, and the goat pen. A few more dimensions, and he stood to look around. "Is that it?"

Bobby looked up. "Do you need to measure the loft?"

George nodded. "We might as well get everything. Is it safe to go up there with you?"

Bobby laughed, "As long as we're on opposite ends of the tape."

The dimensions of the loft were measured along with the varying heights from floor to ceiling. George looked around and decided he was through. "If we missed anything, we can get it later. Let's go and I'll draw this up to scale."

They trooped into the bedroom and George looked at his notes. "I really need a bigger piece of paper to do this right. Do you have anything?"

"Not paper, but I know where a big sheet of cardboard is. Will that work?"

"Sure, and I need a long straightedge, like a yardstick."

Bobby got what they needed and they laid it out on the table in the bedroom. George sat down and went to work while Bobby sat cross legged on the bed watching. George was intent on his work. He carefully drew up the floor plan of the barn in pencil. When he was satisfied he would go over it in ink. Two hours later Bobby tapped him on the shoulder. "You ready to do the chores? I can do them if you're busy."

"What? Oh sure. I can finish this later."

George peaked over his shoulder. "That looks good. I didn't know you could do that kind of thing."

"I just drew it out," George shrugged. "Let's go back out to the barn,"

While they were milking the cows, George looked around again and smiled. "I need to talk to Mr. Thompson," he said. "This will be fun.

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