In retrospect, the Gunderson’s corn field was probably not the best place to hide that ear of corn, Tim thought to himself as he trudged down the dirt road which divided the field in two. He could always go back to the farm, put a leash around Becky’s neck and drag her into the search. Becky was the Gunderson’s three legged goat, known throughout the community for her ability to sniff out missing objects.
If Tim went back to the farm and got caught throwing the collar around Becky, the Gunderson’s would become suspicious as to why he needed their goat so late in the day. While Becky’s tracking talent was well known, she was notorious for her drinking problem, and the Gunderson’s had already accumulated fines of over $325 in the last year alone, due to damages committed by Becky while under the influence.
Bored townies would occasionally knock on the Gunderson’s door, offering to take Becky for a “walk,” and would then claim ignorance the following day when presented with evidence of Becky’s drunken shenanigans.
There was also the task of providing Becky with a scent to follow. How on Earth was he going to recreate that scent? The corn wasn’t a problem – it was what was hidden inside the ear that was going to be tricky. The Sun was starting to go down, and the day seemed endless, there was no telling how long it would take Tim to find what he was looking for.
Tim looked at the rows of corn lining the dirt road, and knew that without Becky, the search would be fruitless. He turned and headed back to the farm. Mr. Gunderson’s truck was parked outside of the barn, and Tim could see Mrs. Gunderson standing at the kitchen sink washing the dinner dishes. He walked as quietly as he could into the barn. Becky was lying down in her pen eating a mixture of straw and the day’s leftovers. Tim slipped the collar around her neck and led her from the barn.
He could hear the sound of cars out on the main road, as he and Becky trod carefully toward town. Once on the main street, cars honked as they saw Becky walking along side of the road, her three legged gait recognizable to all.
When they reached the 7-eleven, Tim flicked the leash around a bicycle rack, went inside the store and made his purchase. The cashier, an older man named Andy, watched as Tim held the paper a few inches in front of Becky’s nose. Becky took a step toward the paper and followed Tim as he proceeded to lead her back the way they’d come.
Once they’d returned to the corn field, Tim came to a stop where he was certain that he’d hid the ear of corn. He took the lottery ticket away from Becky’s nose, slid it into his pocket and watched the goat go to work.