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Chapter 16 Title
Chapter 16 – page 8

G & J rode through Cool on Mober and Pepper amid all the stares, and Simeon in the taxi, until they came to a big barn. There were hitching posts out front to tie the critters to, which they did. Simeon got down and paid the beaver and told him to come back for them in a couple hours. Julio nudged G and told her to ask Simeon to ask the taxi driver about the oxen. "Oh, almost forgot. Brain ain’t what it use to be," said G. She asked Simeon and Simeon asked the ‘ole beaver and he said he would send some over tomorrow morning.

Mechanics taken care of, they sauntered on inside the towering building, about as tall as The Pink Bird. On the floor were small tree twigs, bark, moss and a pinch of mint all mixed together that gave the place a fresh smell. Stalls lined the outside edges of the barn all the way around. Some held lop-eared mules and thier babies and some had big oxen and baby oxen in them; sheep, pigs and every kind of critter was there for pulling carts. The Assjacks (as the 'mules' were called in Cool) were really cute and Julio wanted to take one home. He fell head over heels for an apricot and gray colored baby Assjack, with a warm fuzzy nose. He reminded us of a lop eared rabbit we use to have. Julio was giving it kisses. "I don’t know," said G, "there might be a limit on how many of us can get sucked into the well, Hoo." "What do you think Simeon? Que piensas?" "Pues, quien sabe. Si lo compras y no lo puedes llevar, se puede quedar con nosotros en el Pajaro Rosado." (Who knows? If you buy him and you can’t take him, he could stay with us on the Pink Bird.)

"Ai yai yai" said G. This was a big decision and another mouth to feed. "We better not get him Julio, koz Granma can’t buy enough hay for all the horses and an Assjack." "But he won’t eat much, and he can pack stuff around, or pull a cart and be useful." whined J. You know how grandkids are. Granmas are a suckers for them. "Well, ok, Hoo, but you have to help take care of him."

"Well, he could be company for Blackie and maybe he will be useful, or you may have to take him back to your house!" said G. "And you know your mom wouldn’t like that!"

So they bought the little Assjack who stood about 3 feet high at that time. (Seems they had already forgotten the lop-ears from yesterday that pulled them home in the cart, how they were twice the size of Mober!) But you had to admit, this little Assjack was the cutest little thing, with big eyes and long eyelashes, which he batted at the perfect moment to make everyone fall for him.

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