Cold Iron

by Andrew Plotkin

Isn’t it always like that? You spent a hot morning chivvying the plow and the Bishop up and down the north field. No satisfaction there – it’s just to turn in the clover. The view and the Bishop’s hind end never change – a mule’s ass no matter what you call the mule, and Reverd Pearson has lectured you enough about calling him “the Bishop,” but you figure he’s your mule so you can call him what you like – the mule, that is, not Reverd Pearson – anyway, a whole morning and now it’s time to chop the wood, and your good axe has gone missing.

Reverd Pearson would say you’re a careless lunkhead who’d lose his ear if it wasn’t nailed on. You figure he’s right, a man of the cloth, but that doesn’t mean piskeys didn’t steal the thing. You know about piskeys.

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