She gathered the goats, kids and all, with tears in her eyes. She had already doused the goat shed with gasoline. If the bank would insist on foreclosing on her family farm, well, she wasn’t going to be around to see it. And she wasn’t leaving her precious goats to the bank’s tender mercies.
She locked the shed door from the inside and pulled out her big knife. The goats would go quickly with their throats slit, the fire would take care of the rest, and everything would be okay again.
She grabbed the first goat. It looked at her trustingly as she laid the knife against its throat. She sobbed. She couldn’t do this, couldn’t sacrifice these innocent lives to her problems. It was all her fault, not being able to keep up the payments after Momma died. She laid the knife down and sobbed again, head in hands.
Then she lifted her head, dry-eyed, and picked up the knife again. This time she laid the cool steel against her own throat. She started to press down, but a hammering came at the door and she lifted the knife to hear what would happen next.
“Miss Sally, Miss Sally, I know you’re in there!” the deep male voice continued, “You can’t do this, Miss Sally.” The hammering stopped. She lifted the knife again.
She heard running feet and a heavy thud. Pause. Running feet. Thud. Running feet. Thud. And again. The door splintered. She stared in fascination. Another thud, and Joe came crashing through the broken door into the goat shed.
He shook his head and looked straight at her. He lifted the knife away from her and laid it on the windowsill. Then he lifted Sally to her feet and gathered her into his arms. He spoke into her hair. “Oh, honey, it’s gonna be alright. We’ll figure something out. We can save the farm. Why didn’t you tell me about the pending foreclosure?”
She pushed away from him and wrapped her arms around herself. “Because I can handle it myself. I’m gonna take myself and the goats into the world to come.” She sounded sulky.
“No, Miss Sally, that’s no solution. Let’s go back to the house and figure out something else. Let me see the books.” She allowed herself to be led out of the shed, towards the house. The goats followed, not liking the strange smell of their house. She looked back at the goats prancing straight-legged after her and Joe and smiled. Perhaps there was hope after all, she thought, as Joe led her into the house.