Simple Matty is Given a Simple Task on a Sunny Morning, d1.2
‘Refill foot dips,’ said the manager
MATTY strolled the farm concourse in the midst of this task, or duty. He collected stray litter on the way, glanced about as he placed litter into a dustbin. Management were always on the look out for pioneers of hygiene, of this he was sure[;] And a big idiot grin wrapped his fat face. He continued the primary task, refilled every one of the farm’s footdips with fresh detergent. A footdip aside each shed, each gate, one cup of detergent mixed with many litres of water – foam on top, a scented bucket of suds, quite perfect in sunshine.
‘Those dirty boys,’ he said, ‘must keep their Wellingtons biohazardegradable, what [ever] would the animals think..? ’ he said.
Henry grunted from his shed.
Henry hog, the priceless squire to a million piglet dinners.
‘Morning Henry,’ said Mat whose ham baby sandwich waited in the restroom.
As if in consideration of the fact Henry now remained completely silent. Curious, Matty spun the combination to hog shed twenty-three, dipped his boots, hopped bales, rubbed his palm across the pig’s vast spine, prickly, delicious, one day.
‘You’re a good chap, Henry, a little rough around the edges, declining in many respects, yet…’
Henry guffawed in hog ways, and in rumination looked Matty in the eyes.
‘What are you saying, you boar?’
‘Just because the other boys are administering intra-viral antibiotic treatments…foot dips is an important …’
The boar turned, rooted in the far corner. Once again the pig thoroughly depressed Matty with sarcasm, his world weary ways, his liking for solitude and introspection.
‘You’re a fucking bitch, Henry, ‘ said Matty, ‘I haven’t had a decent conversation for forty-eight hours. Really you treat me like one of your… …I am not your concubine.’
Craig Manager tapped him gently on the shoulder.
‘Alright Mat, how fares the specimen? I heard raised voices, thought maybe you’d fallen over again…’
‘No, of course not, I was checking bovine septic levels.’ [said Matty]
‘Of course you were. Why don’t you run along, tend to those chickens of yours?’
‘But Craig, Craig…I thought maybe I’d be up to sheep spray today? I’ve been practising at home, look at my fist.’
He showed Craig the perfect oval spray painting on his hand.’
‘It won’t wash off, Matty.’
‘It’s worth it Craigy, if I can tend with the crew, lend a hand – team activities, all that jazz…’
‘You know what I said – bout you being annoying – to folk – get down that chicken wareshed, go see your ten thousand girls, eh…and he grinned cruelly..
Matty stepped into sunshine, Craig followed behind.
‘And no more naming of the birds, okay? There’s talk of you distressing boys during cull. You can’t be emotional in farming, it’s a practical application to profit…’
‘Yes, but Magda does no harm to no one.’
‘She’s a lame pullet, wry necked and featherless. Remove her from your locker, and…
Sat in the rest room Matty swallowed a corner of his sandwich. Yes true, he had granted a single chicken the freedom of his locker, the humanitarian space required for poultry to demonstrate her natural behaviours. He stood, unlocked his charge for her half hour association before the other boys arrived to drink their tea and their energy juices.
He closed the locker and Magda staggered on the table, almost nibbled at the crumbs spread across the table, sipped at her saucer of coffee.
‘Craig does have a point, Magda. Surely, you too have seen better days.’ All at once he swiped the pullet by her claws, turned her upside down, grabbed her neck.
‘Neeeer,’ she said, like a foreigner.
‘No,’ said Matty, and he unpoppered his boilersuit, shoved the chicken deep inside, rushed toward his vehicle. Grandma’s croft lay fourteen hours away in the Highlands. This would be a simple process, the purchase of two saver tickets and journey to organic heights. He keyed ignition, leaned over, strapped Magda into her chair, kissed her comb. She smiled gratefully, and upon the parasitic sore of her neck crawled a spider.
‘More and to be – merry,’ said Matty, his wheels skidded on the gravel drive …
Okay, travelling to La France tomorrow. Forecast rain and no surfing, but I have flippers, and the ocean there a massive power, and blue, our hut stood in woods – aside the 100 mile beach, German swingers everywhere in dunes; today later, I model new trunks, tomorrow Heathwick Airport, paperback, probably soldier book, something new written by Howard Marx, I dunno. Adios, said in Basque region, sometimes.