Fluff. For Sna. Watch out for the horrendous pun.

There are cows in the vegetable plot, horses in the road and a large black and white goose is making threatening motions in Obito's direction. When Yondaime appears in a flash of sulphurous smoke, two pairs of desperate eyes immediately turn to him in mingled horror and relief.



"Obito-kun, what have you done to upset that poor bird?"

"Sensei, I-"

The bird, seeing its victim's distraction, pounces on the opportunity to inflict terror and raises itself up, wings spread and beating furiously, a mass of hissing white feathers almost as big as the small child cowering in front of it. Rin, sat amidst a gaggle of chickens at the far side of the yard, leaps to her feet scattering poultry in all directions and with a cry of warning makes a feint at the goose's back.

Incensed by the new opponent, the large bird swings around and pedals furiously towards the small girl.

"Rin!" Obito's agonised cry is heartbreaking and it is all Yondaime can do to muffle his laughter. He watches, hand pressed firmly over his lips as his two students scramble to evade the beast's fowl fury. The goose roars its righteous indignation and launches itself in the air towards the hapless young girl. She turns, setting her arms into a defensive position, her face a mask of determination and acceptance as the huge bird bears down on her. Behind them, Obito is desperately charging forward to the rescue, but it is clear that he will never make it.

It is a tragic thing. Yondaime knows that he could step in, could sweep to his students' rescue with his trademark jutsu and save the day, but…this is their fight and they must learn to shoulder the burden of consequence. Fingertips wiping away an imaginary tear of poignancy, he has to clamp a hand over his lips to smother an explosion of laughter as Rin disappears beneath the beast's feet, yelping with dismay.

The goose, tiring of the noisy children and satisfied that it has asserted its dominance, continues its course towards the gate and freedom. In the middle of the yard, Obito falls awkwardly to his knees at Rin's side and, amidst much flapping, helps his team mate pull herself up out of the mud. The two children try futilely to scrape the mud off of her tunic until Rin hits him over the head and pushes his hands away. She glares at him tight-lipped and he returns the look with wide, hurt-filled eyes. Finally, exasperated, they both turn and look dejectedly at their sensei.

Yondaime raises his eyebrows at them sternly. "Rin! Report!"

She snaps to attention, the movement flicking mud across Obito's goggles. He frowns and squints, but in an obvious effort of will, resists the urge to clean them.

"The farmer told us to put the animals out to pasture this morning, sensei! At 0630 hours we were to take the cows down to the lower field and check the chickens. Eggs were to be collected and put in the basket in the barn. The horse was to be groomed and turned out into the upper field. The goose was to be…kept in the barn."

Yondaime waits. "And…?" he says finally.

Rin's face crumples into the expression that heralds the imminent arrival of tears.

Oh dear, I see.

"We were letting the cows out and Obito forgot to close the side gate-"

"It was Kakashi's fault! I told him not to open the barn yet!"

"-so they got into the vegetable field instead and then the goose knocked Kakashi over-"

"Yeah, he fell flat on his ass!"

"-and it wouldn't come back! I couldn't make it go back in the barn and it got into the chicken pen and they started panicking and then some of the cows were out in the lane so Kakashi tried to get them back but they charged and Obito jumped in the pond to get out of the way-"

Ah, so that's why the boy is so wet.

"If Kakashi hadn't scared them my way it would have been fine!"

"-and then the goose came back and started chasing me…and, oh sensei! Watch out!"

Yondaime ducks as the fence pole he is leaning on shudders and falls over, bringing with it an entire section of the fence. The cow that has brushed into it lifts its head and gives him a sleepy, unconcerned look. Yondaime gives it a polite nod and turns back to his students.

"Tell me now," he says mildly. "Where exactly is Kakashi-kun?"

The two children look at one another. "He went down to the bottom of the lane to make sure the bull wasn't in the big field in case the cows got down there. He was going to move it if it was."


"And then he was going to bring the other horse back," adds Obito.

"The other horse? Ah, the other horse. I see," says Yondaime. "And you guys were trying to…?"

"Put the goose back in the barn."

"Of course, put the goose back in the barn."

"It was chasing us!"

"Of course it was, how silly of me."

Yondaime scratches at his nose thoughtfully, gently pushing a curious chicken away from his trouser leg with one foot.

"And how long ago did Kakashi go down there-"


Ah. There he is.

The three nin turn to see Kakashi vault lightly over the fence, skipping over the muddy patches to come to a trembling halt in front of his Sensei, his eyes wide with poorly concealed alarm.

"Kakashi! Report!"

"Sensei, we have been clearing the animals from the yard and moving them to their appropriate pastures. I was evaluating the security of the lower field with regards to the suitability of the pasture for the herd and relocating the horse from the lane to temporary corralling in the big field. The horse was, er, spirited, sir and I had to move the bull out of the way first. It appears that the two do not get on too well and it took some effort to maintain control of the horse without it bolting. Especially because the gate sticks, sensei. But the horse is in the pasture now. Sir."

"And…the bull?"

Kakashi's eyes are wide and his breathing still has not slowed. If Yondaime didn't know better he would say the boy had been sprinting.

"The bull, Kakashi?"

"It's uhm, well, that's what I was going to sa-"

The cows in the vegetable plot let up a sudden chorus of noise and from the lane over the hedge comes the sound of a large, furiously snorting animal. Moving rather fast.

Ah. There it is.

The jounin nods at his team and gives them a cheerful smile.

"Well then, team. Carry on! Mission's not over yet!"

They stare at him in shocked amazement as he gives them a little wave and vanishes in a puff of sulphur.




On the roof of the barn, Yondaime sits back, feet swinging over the gutter, and pets the chicken in his arms fondly. In the yard below his team scramble in all directions as the bull careens through the gate and heads for the vegetable patch and his harem. He cannot help but laugh at their wild-eyed expressions and the look of hurt betrayal on their faces as they watched their Sensei vanish. Scratching the chicken's head with his fingertips, he shakes his head at the chaos. Still, they are young and these things are all a part of their training

Yondaime smiles. They'll learn to work as a team even if it kills them.