BLACK AND WHITE BLOOD

A farmer's wife's dog dies. Who else will die as a result of the pet's death?

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3. 3

 

 

Kruger’s sister-in-law lived with them. She was a widow. His brother had been killed when he was still a young man and she’d moved in with Kruger and his new wife.

 

Kruger found her in the middle of the milking shed one day. She was dressed in denim shorts bleached almost white with a ragged hem. Her blouse was not buttoned, but tied in a knot that showed her underwear. And she was wearing cheap canvas Dunlop tackies.

 

The milkers stopped smiling as soon has he came back to the shed. He told her to get out of the building. ‘The only females allowed in here are the cows,’ he said.

 

When she’d gone, he walked up and down the rows of heifers dodging the dung and piss and wagging his finger menacingly at the milkers. He shook his fist at some. They felt his ugly mood and concentrated on squeezing teats and expressing milk into silver pails.

 

*

 

Kruger didn’t really like his sister in law. She had the wrong attitude. He thought she was far too familiar with the servants. And the farm labourers. He told her to stop speaking to them when she walked around the farmyard.

 

‘You never know what they’re thinking. And you know by just looking at them that they have evil things on their minds. I don’t trust them. Any of them. Because they hate us. You can see that written all over their faces. So you don’t have to be Einstein to work that out.’

 

*

 

Kruger had once propositioned his sister in law.

It happened only once.

 

It was as if he couldn’t help himself. He didn’t like the woman, he didn’t respect her, but she had an effect on him. So he wanted to show off to her. His male prowess. He wanted to establish a relationship. Where he could show her what he was made of.

 

‘Shall we… Well… I was thinking… do you feel like…? Well… You know what I mean, don’t you? A bit of fun, perhaps. You can’t have had any for quite a while.’ He laughed. ‘I hope not anyway.’ He laughed again.

He stepped right up next to her. He could see the faint moustache on her lip and a few minute cracks where her makeup was leeching into the surrounding epidermis.

 

He put his hand around her waste. He pushed his pelvis up against hers so that there was no mistake about what he had in mind.

 

‘Fok, Jannie,’ she said as she pushed him away. ‘Your brother’s not dead a year and you try to sleep with me? No way man. What do you think I am?’

 

As the unexpected rebuttal sank in Kruger felt crushed. Demeaned and affronted. Humiliated, in fact.

 

‘You ungrateful bitch,’ he muttered as he left the room.

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