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A note from CJ Fielding

My Patreon stays ten chapters ahead of Royal Road.

https://www.patreon.com/user?u=37485682&fan_landing=true

You can find books 1-4 on kindle unlimited here

https://www.royalroad.com/amazon/B08BWQ1CLG

 

John was looking for Quincy because he had a new project for the boy.

Quincy was out and about with his huge flock of ducks, getting them fed. The great thing about ducks is that they will eat the bugs that infest a field and even fertilize it as they eat. But with so many fields, it was going to be a headache to find Quincy.

Over the spring, they managed to find over two hundred duck eggs for Quincy to hatch. John showed the boy how to keep the eggs warm with straw and heat sources. In this case, the heat source was getting a rock red hot and putting it in a water pot. The boy had to change it out every couple of hours. Fortunately for him, Ajei volunteered to help. Unfortunately, this put John in the position to make sure nothing untoward happened in the night. John was not ready for Quincy to be a dad.

After a few weeks, about a hundred of the eggs hatched, and they had ten different breeds of ducks. John had no idea which ducks were going to be the easiest to raise, what would taste the best, or what would produce the most eggs, so John made Quincy go with the shotgun approach. Raise as many as you can and figure out what works. Now that the ducks were maturing, Quincy had to take them further out every morning to feed them before bringing them back to the safety of the village.

After a half-hour of looking, John finally heard the thrum of a guitar and a pretty little voice singing. John shook his head; the best way to find his son and his girlfriend was by listening. The boy and girl were musicians through and through. John made his way over to the sound, and as he noticed the couple in the distance, he also saw all the little ducks waddling to the couple. John facepalmed. Ajei was a literal Disney princess. She sang, and the ducks came to her.

Then John thought about it and decided she was more like Shrek’s princess because Ajei had no problem with beheading one of those ducks, plucking its feathers, and cooking it, to John’s annoyance. He had to explain to her that they had to wait until after breeding season to butcher the ducks, and then only butcher the worst egg producers, then he also had to explain that ducks imprint the first person they see as their mother, so don’t butcher a duck in front of their siblings; otherwise, they will no longer trust their mother.

As John walked across the field, the two youths noticed him, and Quincy stopped playing, and Ajei stopped singing. They looked rather defensive. Quincy’s face said, “What did I do this time.” Ajei’s face said, “What are you going to nag Quincy about?” John had to admit they had good cause to be defensive, but he was unrepentive. Quincy could not take care of Ajei yet, but they were already talking about marriage, and John was fearful that she would be with child if he didn’t work the boy half to death.

John spoke first, “Quincy, I need you to come with me to feed the Bison.”

“But dad, I have to get the ducks back in their pen first.”

“Those ducks are as much Ajei’s as yours.” Then John looked at Ajei and asked, “Would you put the ducks back in their pen?”

“I would rather do it with Quincy.”

“You want to get married to Quincy as soon as possible, right?”

Ajei blushed and nodded. Quincy looked horrified and hopeful at the same time.

“Well, if the bison calves are weaned, then I have a new project that will help my son take care of you sooner. And the sooner he can take care of you, the sooner I will allow you two to get married.”

“What about the bride price? My dad will not consent to our marriage without a large payment.”

“If Quincy is man enough to get married, then he is man enough to earn whatever he needs for the bride price.” Both youths got a bitter look over their face with that statement, so John simply said, “But perhaps once the duck breeding takes off, your dad will accept a bunch of ducks as a bride price.”

Ajei shook her head and said, “No. My dad has his heart set on bison. The more he has, the more fields my brothers can work.”

“Well, maybe the project I have for Quincy can help with that.”

“Dad, what project do you have for me?” The hope in his voice was palatable. Unfortunately for him, he did not realize that his dad was giving him a long-term project because he thought the two of them were way too young to get married. John thought he could hold them off for at least a year; he was pushing for two though and wishing for three. He really suspected that he would have a grandchild come less than nine months after their wedding, though. The two kids just spent too much time together, and well John could not watch them all the time.

“Follow me and find out.”

Quincy gave a longing look to his betrothed and began following his dad. As they left, Ajei began singing a song about how she hates to see her love go and cant wait to see her love again. John rolled his eyes, Quincy dragged his feet, and the ducks waddled over to the singing voice.

John took Quincy to the barn, where several bison were waiting for their meal alongside their calves. John said, “Help me feed them.” And they began taking fodder and putting it in the animal's troughs. Several of the calves began eating the fodder alongside their mother.

John smiled, but Quincy was impatient and asked, “Okay, Dad, what's this thing that’s going to help me pay the bride price?”

“See how the calves are eating fodder next to their mother instead of sucking on her teat?”

“Yes.”

“Pretty soon, those mothers will go dry unless something gets their milk.”

Quincy was confused and asked, “What's that go to do with me?”

“You are going to milk the bison.”

“Why?”

“Because milk is awesome.”

“Then why haven’t you milked them before?”

“Because their teats are pretty small, and it's tedious, and I had a lot of other things to do. So since I never found time for it, and you need an income, you're going to do it. And by the way, you can keep the proceeds from the milk.”

Quincy smiled and said, “So I can keep the bison.”

“Oh no. If I let you keep the bison, you would just trade them for Ajei, and I think you need to earn the bride price yourself. But you can keep their milk which you can use to purchase bison.”

Quincy deflated, thought about it, and accepted his situation.

“Now, Quincy, I have not milked a bison before, so I will need you to comfort the bison and let me know if it sticks its tongue out. Until it gets used to being milked, it might be stressed about it.”

“Okay.”

And with those words, Quincy began comforting the bison as John put a bucket under it and began reaching down into its nether regions. As John began milking it, the bison’s tongue came out, and it began shaking its head.

“DAD, THE BISON IS REALLY UNHAPPY.”

John removed his hand and began petting it and saying, “Calm down, girl. Your baby has been sucking on your teat for the last couple of months, and this is not your first baby. Quincy, why don’t you sing a song while you pet it.”

Quincy began singing a song he entitled, “I wish you were here.”

John rolled his eyes and went down and started milking the bison once again. It didn’t take long for the bison to get used to it, and John said, “Quincy come over here and see what I am doing.”

“But I have to keep her calm.”

“It will be okay for a minute.”

Quincy gave an I don’t agree with you, “Okay,” and walked next to his dad.

“See how I am grabbing onto its teat? After I grab it then I pull down, let go, then grab it as close to the belly as I can, and then pull it down.”

Quincy nodded his head as he saw milk go from the teat into a bucket.

“Good, now you try while I comfort the bison.”

Quincy reached down and began milking the teat. After a couple of tries, he got it to start squirting milk. After a minute, it was empty, and he asked, “Dad, it's empty; what now?”

“Go to the next one.”

After a few minutes, the Bison was milked, and Quincy said, “That wasn’t so bad.”

John smiled and said, “Son, you have four more bison to milk. Once all the calves are weaned, you will have ten bison to milk every day.”

Quincy gave John a betrayed look. Then John helped him milk each one. John even confused Quincy once when he said, “Don’t worry, son, milk cows produce far more milk than these bison. It's going to take generations to breed bison to be the best milk producers they can be. You and Ajei can start the project for your kids.”

About an hour and a half later, Quincy finally finished milking the Bison and said, “What now?”

“Now you taste the milk. You did the work after all.”

Quincy grabbed a cup, dipped it into one of the buckets, and drank the richest drink he ever had, as his dad followed suit.

“WOW, that taste amazing. I am going to make a lot of nails selling this.”

“That is amazing. It's even better than raw cow milk, but we are not selling this to anyone. It will go bad long before then.”

“THEN WHY DID WE MILK IT?”

“Quincy, are you raising your voice at me?”

Quincy knew that tone of voice. That tone of voice said, give me a reason not to spank you. Even at twelve with a betrothed, John would still spank Quincy.

“I am just loudly confused, dad. I want to pay the bride price, and I did all this work, but if I am not going to get something for all this work, why do it?”

“Just watch your tone and attitude.”

“Yes, dad.”

“You now have to turn all this milk into butter. A few weeks ago, in preparation for this, I made you a churn.”

“Whats a churn?”

John went around to the other side of the barn and pulled out an oddly shaped cylinder with something sticking out of it, and put it in front of Quincy.

“The stick in the center goes up and down. But first, you need to pull it out.”

Quincy did as his dad said, and once the stick was out, he noticed it had a flat thing at the end that went all the way around to the edges of the cylinder. John then poured milk into the churn and said, “Put that thing back in.”

Quincy did as he said, and the flat end was flush to the inside of the churn, and John said, “Now began pumping.”

Quincy did not like where this was going, but he obeyed his father and began pumping. After half an hour of whining, complaining, dirty looks, and John actually pulling his belt off, Quincy had butter.

“Taste it.”

Quincy tasted the bison butter and smiled and said, “It's good.”

“Now we just have to add salt to it; then you can sell that. I promise you nobody will have sold anything like this before. Let me know if you need any help.”

“Dad, I got this.”

A week later, John went to check and make sure Quincy was still doing his work; instead of playing his guitar and instead of finding Quincy making butter, Ajei was there churning away.

“What are you doing here?”

“Quincy doesn’t have time to take care of the ducks, milk the bison, churn butter, do all his other chores, and sell the butter. So I told him I would churn the butter while he gets everything done.”

John shook his head. Quincy’s betrothed was the first milkmaid in north America. Then told the girl, “Don’t let your dad know that you are helping Quincy with the bride price.”

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A note from CJ Fielding

My Patreon stays ten chapters ahead of Royal Road.

https://www.patreon.com/user?u=37485682&fan_landing=true

You can find books 1-4 on kindle unlimited here

https://www.royalroad.com/amazon/B08BWQ1CLG


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CJ Fielding

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