The trade

The next day Thomas got up bright and early. He put his little pink friend in a crate and left for the market. The little twisted tail was the only part that stuck out of the crate and during the entire route all he heard was his sweet singing ‘oink, oink’.

Once at the market he searched through all the paths but was unable to locate the merchant whom had sold him the pink animal. Also he noted that there were no other ‘oink oink’ sounds on the market, just the sounds that his friend Valentine made. But he did not think of giving up. He had to find the merchant that had sold him the pink animal. He searched and searched some more and at long last he found what he was looking for.

He approached the stall but he did not see any other pink animal. The merchant was now selling other animals. He had rabbits, quacking duck and big cows. ‘Great, cows!’. Thomas was happy that the merchant now sold cows, because it meant Miranda's plan, to trade Valentine for a cow, could now work.

Thomas started explaining why he could not keep the pink animal on his farm mainly because his wife would not accept it. It took him more then 10 minutes to explain that he had a difficult time parting from the animal, because they had developed a friendship but it was a difficult situation and the animal had to be returned.

The merchant listened with attention but at the end he had to disappoint Thomas and tell him he could not be of service. He did not have any more pink animals and he could not take Valentine back, because it would be very difficult to sell it again. To make things a bit better he did offer a big discount if Thomas would buy a cow. Thomas tried to convince the merchant again but without luck and he decided to buy a cow and take both the cow and Valentine, in his little crate, back home.

During the walk back home Thomas was very worried. During each step he tried to think of a solution for the situation with Valentine and his wife Miranda. After a while it occurred to him that the best thing would be to simply set his friend free. The took him out of the crate and told him to run and enjoy his freedom but Valentine did not move and kept close to Thomas.

Thomas walked on and increased his speed, to try and get away from his pink friend but it proved impossible. Valentine was running on his short little legs to not lose his master. At last Thomas could no longer bear to leave the little animal behind and did not see any other option than taking his friend Valentine back home with him.

As soon as Thomas arrived at the farm he quickly built a shed of wood on a remote area of the farm. Of course he made sure Miranda did not see him. He imagined that if Valentine could stay in the shed he would pass by every night with a big basket of fresh acorns to eat. In return Valentine needed to promise to never leave the shed. Thomas explained his plan and Valentine was very happy with the solution and accepted the terms.

Miranda did not know anything about the plan. She thought Thomas had exchanged the weird pink animal for a big milk cow but every night when Miranda went to bed Tomas sneaked out of the farm to collect the nicest acorns that had fallen from the trees and he brought these to his faithful friend Valentine.

Valentine was very happy in his shed, where he was playing all day long and eating his acorns. He was growing and growing and the shed seemed to become smaller all the time.

One day Valentine got up and approached the door of the shed which was a little bit open. Just in that moment a beam of sunshine hit his little leg and he noted a sensational warm itch that moved through his entire body.

The sun was wonderfully warm and he could not control himself and decided to hold his other leg in the sun as well. Then followed his snout and little by little he moved out into the open until his entire body was covered by sunshine and his feet were in the soft grass of the farm.

Oh, no! Miranda had seen through the window that a pink animal was walking about and she was screaming hysterically.

Thomas, who was working in the stables, heard Miranda's screams and started running towards to farm to see what was going on. He saw Valentine was outside, enjoying his freedom, lying in the warm sun and breathing the fresh air. When Thomas looked at the farm he saw the face of Miranda, red with rage and her jaw shaking with anger.

Thomas did not know what to do. In his heart he was happy for Valentine whom he could see enjoying his freedom. However, he was also sad because his wife was very angry about the presence of Valentine on the farm.

In the end it was impossible for Miranda to live on the same farm as Valentine and there was no other solution than to send him off the farm.