When Jake, a powerful young bull owned by a cantankerous farmer named Bingo Reilly, escapes his pen and runs loose through a quaint Vermont town, the ensuing furor starkly reveals the state’s parallel universes. Populating one are the yuppie city folk who moved to the state over the last few decades and now dominate it politically, and in the other are the people who have long lived there, some for many generations. The two universes get along well enough, mainly because they have little to do with one another; one prefers Mozart and golf, the other Emmylou Harris and Friday night Bingo. Nonetheless Jake’s dash for freedom raised consciousness on all sides, including Jake’s.
An Excerpt: Chapter One
Early Monday Morning
Jacob Mulligan’s Meticulous Rumpus the Third, commonly known as Jake, roused from a peaceful and stupid slumber to scratch. He moved his great body, three years old and near full grown, back and forth along the two-by–eight planks that formed the side of his pen, slowly moving along the length of the pen, drooping his broad snoot to meet the door boards at the end, following his usual routine, as regular as some old retired Brigadier General in a London club.
But something different! Bert Grantham, 16 years old and undone by an encounter that afternoon with the most beautiful creature in all of central Vermont – one Beatrice English, age 15, heiress to nothing at all, shapeless still, but endowed with a hypnotizing effect on poor Bert – had insufficiently latched the door to Jake’s pen, mooning as he was over the lost opportunity of the afternoon when he had said “hi” in a squeaky sort of way when he knew that it should have been basso profundo to impress his priceless gem.
Jake, anticipating his usual early morning nose scratch on the door boards, was initially disappointed when the door swung slowly open to his powerful nudge. He stood, a great menacing bull over five feet tall at the shoulder, wondering what it was all about, staring dully into the dark. He heard the brook across the road and it occurred to him to get a drink of water. He walked slowly out of the yard into the night, stopping to finally get his nose scratch on the front of the pickup truck, the thick ring in his nose making a slight scraping noise on the grill, then ambling on out of sight.