Farm Hand

Them goats. They got themselves into the house 'tother day. Them was just playing around, doin' them goat things they do, eatin, shittin, makin a gen'ral mess of things.
We usually keeps a tight ship here. My wife an I, we got the good blessin's of the Lord to have had a full house, and the even gooder blessin to have 'em kids leave the nest whence they were grown. So, whence they left we had to keep the farm run ourselves. The chil'ren were good fer hoing and plowin. My eldest son, he's the bright'un, he went off to college and got himself a good little girl. She's precious. A daughter, if'n you reckon what I mean.
My youngest jus' left a few month back. It were he who always left the gate open so them goats would get free.
I don't blame 'em. They smell somethin' nice comin' from our kitchen (my wife is the best damn cook in this here county), and they come waddlin' in. You see, them is silent. I call them, sometimes because my wife don't like to hear me say it, the Devil's Whisper. I didn't want them in the first place.
Well, they come waddlin' in, a dozen or so, and our kids, the twin girls, I 'ssume they start trying to get to the top of this grandfather clock we got in the front room. That thing is broke anyway, so when it come crashing down, I weren't too upset. I hear this scuttlin' and shufflin' of hooves, 'cause they been scared half to death. And I walk in there, and sure enough, a few of them is layin' on the ground, playin' dead.
Well, they get out, and I'm mad at my youngest boy for leavin' that gate open enough that they learned to do it themselves. And then I see this old piece of paper wadded up in among the rubble.
It were wadded up somethin' tight, like the owner had it in the palm of his hand for sometime, where it got all greasy and wet, so I was careful not to tear it when I opened it. There was my name at the top and at the bottom was the name of my great-grandpap, Elias Quimby Armstrong. He were my namesake and he died a coupla months after I were born. There were one paragraph in that note.
"Dear Baby Elias,
Next month will be your fortieth birthday. This note will more than likely have slipped out of the gears, if your grandfather, father, and you have keep up with the winding. You are my sole heir, because I know your father and grandfather will soon disappear. Please exploit.
Elias Q Armstrong."
"Honey?" I yelled into the kitchen. "What does 'exploit' mean?"


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