The hot oil was doing its job as it sizzled and browned the breadcrumb crust on the tomatoes. In the air was the thick smell of extravagance. She turned off the burner and used the shiny metal spatula to gently lift out three perfect and round fried green tomatoes. She set the tomatoes on one towel and looked around for another to wipe her hands. Satisfied that she had removed most of the grease she headed outside. The animals always ate before she did. It was just the way things were. She stepped from tile to tile as she made her way to the small barn with the rounded roof and the big red doors. She heard a 'baaa' and knew that she was expected. 'Don't worry Vanessa. I didn't forget about you.' She rubbed the goat's head and cooed, 'I could never forget about my girl.' She bent down and kissed the goat with the mostly brown coat except for a small patch of white on her chest. Hearing a rustling behind her she swung her head to see the same goat, but with the slight difference of having 11 small white spots on its backside. 'Good evening, Poison. I was wondering where you were.'
Poison was short for Poison Ivy and she was Vanessa's daughter. She had purchased Vanessa 5 years ago when she had moved to the mountain with the idea that she would have goats and harvest their milk. But the idea of breeding and then selling the kids was too much for her. So she had one season of milk and now she had two pet goats. For the most part they ate the plants around the house and helped her keep her land cleared. So all in all they weren't that much burden and they certainly brought her a whole lot of joy. Since they grazed all day long they really didn't need a dinner, but they were a family and family eats together. So she reached into the back bin and brought out two bunches of blackberry branches and placed them on the dirt before her brown haired beauties.
The sun had now set and the little bit of remaining light was dim. She headed further back into the building and opened the back door. She stepped out into a 20 ft by 20 ft pen. 'Time's up ladies. It's bed time.' The five chickens completely ignored her and continued to walk about the grass and peck the ground.
Wood, Green, Holly, Mills, and Lock all started toward her when they heard the shake of the feed as she lifted the bucket. She closed the door behind them after they all were inside and spread a few handfuls of pellets on the ground. 'There you go my dears. Enjoy.' She closed up the front doors and returned to the house.
It wasn't long before she had washed her hands, put together a quick, but lovely salad of greens from the garden and placed the golden, crispy tomatoes on top. She drizzled a bit of dressing in long thin lines around the plate and set it on the table. Pouring a glass of wine from the opened, half-empty bottle she finally sat down to eat. She bowed her head and looked at the food on the table. Her family was fed, her heart was full, and she had this bounty before her. She sighed in thanks, grabbed her fork, and dug in. Life was good today.