"Chickens...~!... Ooh, oh, Chickens... ~! I'm gonna buy you Sooooooon~~!" I cheerful sang out near the springs, picking up some mushrooms in the area to sell. (A little hint Takakura told me so I could make just a smidge more when selling.)

I sat with my legs tucked under while dusting the dirt off the heads of the mushrooms and loading them up in the front pocket of my rucksack. I wanted to hurry back so I could put them in the storage unit before noon, and then get back to the barn to continue my chores.

I held the bag in my hands while I walked down the path, whistling to the tune I was just singing to. Spring was in its high point, and the woods and fields had planty to offer. I had to jump on it if I was going to afford more live stock.

At the end of the path I stumbled over one of the boards used to mark the path, and fell, sending the mushrooms everywhere.

"Craptastic." I muttered, picking myself up.

"You ok?"

I looked up to see Galen, walking towards me, "Oh, yeah. Just alittle stumble." I sat up and started to pick up the fungus.

"Thats alot of mushrooms..." He used his cane to roll a few close to me, "It seems the farm really has fallen on hard times, if the owner has to live off the land as well."

"Well, actually, I'm just saving up to buy something. And these mushrooms just happen to sell for a nice price too." I shoved the last of the shrooms in my rucksack, "Its a good catch if you ask me."

"Catch? Hardly..." He poked my rucksack with his cane, "A real catch involves fish, missy. Fish is a real catch."

"Fish? Like with a rod? I can't get one of those yet. I'm trying to get chickens so I can make alittle more money."

"Fish would help." Galen shut his eyes, "I remember Bill using a rod alot, but the old thing broke a long time ago. He never got another one, he didn't need one."

"Well, fishing is kinda fun." I said, "I learned how to fish in aquatic science back in 11th grade. It was brilliancy!"

"Hmmm..." He narrowed his eyes and gave me a hard look, "I wonder..."

"...W-wonder what?"

"I have an old rod, but its still works just fine. And I don't like to see a farm go to such a state that only one girl is left to maintain it." (I couldn't tell if this was sexist or not, but he had a point.)

"Maybe you can take it off my hands..."

"S-sure!" I swung my bag over my shoulders, "I mean... If you really want to." I rubbed the back of my head.

"Its just taking up space anyway." He scratched the side of his nose, "You'll be doing me a favor."

I smiled brightly, "Then I would be glad to help."

/***************** ****************** *** ** * *

By the end of the day, I was happily exhausted.

I had practiced getting used to the feel of a rod again, after I had finished my chores. It was breathe taking being able to catch 3 fish on my first day. Galen was right, fish are a real catch! I put them all, along with the milk and mushrooms, into the food storage. Sooner or later, I would be able to sell some tomatoes too, and then eggs!

I hummed along with the crickets as I folded my laundry and dryed off from a quick shower, tomorrow held nothing but good feelings. I couldn't wait to collect my pay and put it towards the chicken fund.

Knock! Knock! Knock!

"Ash? I know its late and all, but I just got back, and there was a letter waiting for you at the post office." It was Takakura's voice.

"Oh, one second!" I changed into my oversized, green pajamas and opened the door, the brown towel still hanging off my head like it was thrown on, "A letter, you say?"

"Yeah, propably from your mom. I wanted to give it to ya before it got too late."

"Thanks Takakura, I've been waiting for this. Have a good night."

"You too."

I shut the door and leaned against it, tearing open the letter and reading.

Dear Ash,

I'm glad your having so much fun on the farm, I guess it was a good choice after all. It is still very cold here, like usual.

Bad news though, they are cutting down the tree outside the apartment. Your lucky you got the picture in time, it might be worth something one day of you keep it safe. Worth something here in Cement City anyway.

Chickens huh? I guess thats good, the chickens your dad had always attacked me.

Stay safe

- Mom

P.S.

Say hi to Griffin for me.

I rubbed the towel and smiled, "I'm so bombarding you with questions now."

Glancing over at Sparks, I saw that he had made a nest in the clean towels, "Thanks man, really helpful."

_Author's_Note_

AGGHHH! THERES NO CONFLICT AS OF YET!

Also, my computer that I am currently using as just suffered a severe virius. In which case I could have lost all of my chapters that I have been working on and my internet connection, which would have halted my updates for a very long time.

THANKFULLY, my dad saved all my files, my connection, and over all, my computer. Thanks to him, I can continue. *falls to the floor, teary eyed* OH LAWDS, THANK YA! THANK YA SO FRAKKIN' MUCHA!