Who is impacted and what responses do owners emply? Writers explored the possibilities.
The following are based on the May 17, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about property values.
PART I (10-minute read)
Value in the Balance (from Rock Creek) by Charli Mills
“Property values go up the more improvements we make.” Cobb replaced his years of responsibility as a sheriff with a drive to improve every inch of Rock Creek Station.
Sarah unpacked the latest freight of sundries from St. Louis While Cobb sawed planks for the new schoolhouse. The wood gleamed gold like the barn, toll booth, toll bridge, post office, eastside station and horse stables. The store Sarah operated had gray wood, showing its age. Sarah calculated Cobbs improvements and noted that it added up to more debt that income.
“Those values had better go up soon,” she muttered.
Property Value by Deborah Lee
“But I don’t want to sell my house,” Michelle says.
“Property values are up,” Caroline presses. “Now’s your chance to make a killing.”
“Just move for no reason? I like my house.”
“Roll it into a bigger house, with land.” Duh, says Caroline’s tone.
“Uh-huh,” says Michelle, “with an even bigger mortgage, double the payment.”
“Not if you buy farther out, get ahead of the next gentrification rush.”
“Yeah, so then my commute is two hours one way instead of one. No thanks.”
“But property values–”
Michelle holds her hand up: stop. “There’s a big difference between value and worth.”
Rise and Fall by Sherri Matthews
“Can you believe it, she took the broiler pan from the oven?”
Joy smiled sweetly at her new neighbour. “I’m sure it was by accident, if she did.”
“Well, I’m not happy about it.” Phyllis Mather huffed.
That night, Joy emailed her best friend Shirley and told her everything Phyllis had said. “Accused you of taking the drapes too, of all the nerve.”
Shirley had bigger fish to fry with her divorce and didn’t care much, but she smiled when she read Joy’s further news that property values in her old neighbourhood had since slumped. Broiler pan my ass.
Property Values by Susan Sleggs
The elderly nosy sisters returned home to see a sold sign on the house next door.
“Damn, we missed seeing who bought it,” Ethel said.
To their dismay two noisy Harley’s arrived a few weeks later just before a moving van.
“Bikers! There goes the neighborhood. I wonder if they know their back yard connects to a cops. This could get interesting,” Maude said peeking out.
The next day the sisters watched the cop and his family walk in next door with a six-pack and a heavy picnic basket.
“Well there goes our fun. They already know each other.”
New Decking by Jacob Powell
We found a body in our back garden. Right where we wanted our new decking. What are the chances?
The estate agents obviously never said anything about it.
Of course the local media soon caught wind and documented the whole thing: forensic tents, police detectives, us.
Months later and they’re still camped outside our door every day.
We’re sick of the attention and want to move; start again somewhere else. But we can’t because the property is now worth pennies, and no one wants to live in a suspected “murder house.”
And we still haven’t got our new decking.
Moving Day by Teresa Grabs
Moving day is almost always noisy, but this time was exceptionally loud; even Taft heard the commotion three subdivisions over. The new neighbor is young and that always makes a difference.
“Son, we’re a quiet neighborhood,” Pershing told him, patting the young man on the shoulder.
“We have the best property values in town,” I added. “Quiet, peaceful, and away from the Blue Line.”
“Oh, lord knows, I feel for those by the Blue Line,” Pershing agreed, nodding. “Welcome to Arlington.”
“I could get used to it here,” the young man said, looking around. “Just thought I’d be older.”
Property Values by Frank Hubeny
Tim’s intuition played tricks on him. What he thought would turn a profit didn’t. What he gave up on suddenly succeeded.
He didn’t want the Langford place, but Jennifer loved its enchanted forest. So they bought it. They also bought the Stevens property. Its value rose, as did their taxes, but this year they sold it for a loss.
Jennifer walked with him through the Langford woods. She pointed out, “We could build a home near the fairies if we keep it small.”
Tim felt his intuition smile at Jennifer’s innocence. They built that home and kept it small.
Hen Pecked by Molly Stevens
Chester slammed his fist on the counter. “I need to talk to the town manager now.”
“What’s going on, Chester?”
“I’ve put up with that birdwatchin’, forest bathin’ woman next door and didn’t even complain when she was arrested for indecent exposure. But I’ve reached my limit.”
She’s set up a chicken coup, and I don’t like what this does to the valuation of my property. Plus I’ve got her free-range idiots chasin’ me around my yard, peckin’ at my legs.”
“Have you cleaned the tires and trash out from behind your shed?”
“Don’t change the subject.”
There Goes the Neighborhood by Jan Malique
You wouldn’t associate the words cheerful and vampires as bedfellows, in this case rather apt though. They were new to the neighbourhood, incomers from the Old Country. Things had moved on in the vampire world, the main covens had decided to rebrand themselves, present a positive image of the undead.
Their fellow vampire neighbours were rabidly snobbish and intolerant, considering these incomers as undesirables and blamed for the property values going down. It was a war of attrition alas. Despite this the incomers aimed to be the epitome of everything their neighbours considered “beyond the pale”. Vive la differénce!
Turrets by thedarknetizen
The castle stood tall, covered in thin layers of white snow. Lush green forests surrounded the secluded dwelling. It was perfect for my friends and me. The four of us could now live our dream. It was the right decision to buy this isolated castle, got it for cheap as well. The surroundings will need a lot of work, but we are up for it. We are willing to go to any lengths in order to achieve our dream.
Now, all we need to do is to find young witches and wizards who are eager to learn about magic.
Witches Next Door by Kerry E.B. Black
Poppa scowled at the moving van, inventorying items deposited next door. Movers left garden items – astrolabes, statuary, tools, and potted plants – along the fenceline. Poppa stomped out a cigarette. “Darnnit, there goes the neighborhood.”
Josey crinkled her forehead. “Why, Poppa?”
He pointed. “Spell books. Magic chests. At least four cats. Witches’re moving in.”
Two plump, frizzy-haired ladies smiled and waved.
Window View by Deborah Kiyono
Through the large window of her bedroom, she can see all the constructions of the city ending in a line of hills far enough to touch the sky. The sun comes by to greet her every morning with his gentle rays waking her up for another day of adventures.
Looking at the view, sitting at her desk, she flies away and explores many kingdoms, travels to unknown galaxies and meets other beings of different realms.
Grateful, she returns, blessing this most valuable item of her apartment for preventing her from feeling trapped in a cage, away from the world.
Property Values by Lady Lee Manila
The three little pigs were busy building their brick house.
Their neighbour, Little Bo Peep arrived and said angrily: “I’ve had enough of you! I don’t think you have building permission constructing your house.”
“You started attracting vermin (she meant the wolf) and my sheep started disappearing!”
“That’s why we’re building this house, because of the big bad wolf, who kept on huffing and puffing.”
“This is not the end of this. You pigs started moving to this area, and look what’s happening to our property prices- I bet they have gone down a lot.” And off she went.
Priced to Sell by Heather Gonzalez
“How did we manage to get such a good price for the house?” Mandy asked putting down a heavy box of dishes on their new kitchen counter.
“The realtor said the owners were motivated to sell.” Jackie replied opening a box.
Once the sisters had moved everything inside, they decided to call it a night. Mandy found that the silence made it hard to fall asleep. She tossed and turned until she heard the door open. When she felt the bed move, she rolled over to talk to her sister only to find an empty side of the bed.
Property Value by Jack Schuyler
The realtor walked them through the last room, and the couple looked shyly about with suppressed enthusiasm. The man smiled at his wife, exhaled and then turned to the realtor.
“It seems like a nice house—and we’d love to buy it—but why is it so cheap?”
“Well…the thing is—there’s really no other way to put it… The previous owner never left.”
“Cold feet about saying goodbye to the old residence, eh?”
“Well yes, but not in the way you might think.”
“In what way then? Belligerence? Legal trouble? An apartment above the garage?”
“He’s a ghost.”
Infinity by Deepa
I lay awake thinking about the crystal bell I had broken when I was eight.
At 78 you broke a porcelain plate and felt a burden of yourself.
I have replaced everything in the house except for the bell. I did not throw the broken pieces, but drilled holes and tied them from strings that hang like a tinkle now.
Mom, you made me promise not to cry when you go and I kept it. I leave the door open so that the tinkle can ring and make me feel you‘ve come back home.
Property Value by Robbie Cheadle
“But it’s a symbol of love,” he pleaded with her. “The roundness of the ring indicates infinity. It is endless and eternal, just like my love for you.”
“I am not wearing a ring,” she told him firmly. “That is a lovely romantic notion, but it makes me feel like a possession. I will not be someone’s property.”
He never managed to dissuade her from this determined view about rings. He bought her both and she kept them in the safe. Beautiful and expensive, their value could only increase. she would sell them if he ever cheated.
Plummeting Values by D. Avery
They sat together in their one bedroom apartment with their laptops, looking at real estate listings.
“There’s lots of listings that have everything we want, but are out of our price range.”
“Yeah… wait, look at this. It has a porch… big backyard…. family room… plenty of bedrooms and storage… and it’s less than our maximum.”
“Oh, it sure looks nice. That is the exact place I’ve imagined raising a family. Where is it?”
“Let’s see… located close to schools…”
“Stop. We can’t raise a family close to schools.”
“What, why not?”
“Why not?! Guns. Schools are dangerous places.”
Property Values by Sarah Whiley
Amy pressed the “Sold” banner across the For Sale sign. She thought about the commission she was making and smiled. She had really upsold this one, completely overstating the value. ‘Suckers’, she thought.
She put her hands on her hips, stood back and surveyed the property one more time. As she turned to leave, she noticed smoke billowing from the back of the house. An orange glow flickered.
‘Shoot!’ Amy cursed, frantically grabbing for her phone.
Although the fire department responded quickly, by the time they’d arrived, the house had gone up in smoke…and Amy’s commission along with it!
Always Up by Neel Anil Panicker
“And what’s the guarantee it’s going to go up?”
‘Damnt it!!! Rajesh always wondered whether his wife was a born fool or turned one after marriage.
Employing his best milk and honey voice he volleyed, “My dear wife, life you know comes with no guarantees. At least, that’s what I thought until you came into my life. You’ve managed to change all that. Look at you. You’ve been a revelation. Haven’t you been delivering on your promise of giving me everlasting bliss day in and day out. Likewise, take it from me, this property will give us the same.’
Part II (10-minute read)
Home Owner by R S Sambrooks
Suzanne types a letter ‘Dear Mr and Mrs Ross’; each word tapped bullets, then printed onto headed paper, signed by the boss and folded into a creamy thick envelope.
Mr Ross waited to open it that night when his wife came in from her shift at Belushi’s. No amount of tips could cover the mortgage, her tears flow whilst his don’t work anymore, the colostomy bag took those along with his job.
They take to the road without ringing the bank, tent carried on an old pram. Mrs Ross drops him at a hospital, makes the road her home.
Forty-Three into One Will Go by Di @ pensitivity101
It stood alone, neglected and run down for at least six years that I remember.
In order to avoid local taxes, the family had the roof removed then sold it for just under £1m.
Properties round it were a mix of apartments, terraces and semis, most privately owned before the Buy to Let craziness started. Nothing was valued at more than seventy grand.
They knocked it down and developed the site with a mix similar to that already in existence. The company made a killing, as forty three homes were erected on the plot previously occupied by one bungalow.
Flash Fiction by Penny Mason
In 1968 we purchased a cute, craftsman style cottage. We paid twenty thousand.
Two children celebrated birthdays and graduation parties under the softly sloping roof.
When they left us with an empty nest, a realtor said we could sell for $200,000, enough to finance a Florida retirement.
By the time we retired, the real estate bubble had burst, and the Crabtree family with their ten children and collection of motionless autos has moved in next door. Our property value plummeted to less than $100,000.
Perhaps one day the Crabtree residence will be condemned, condos constructed, our southern dream restored.
Baby Doll by kate@aroused
Melanie’s china doll had a hallmark on her neck. Which is how the antique dealer traced her manufacture to a Polish toy maker in Germany. The doll was well over a century old and in pristine condition.
People love dolls and this one was exceptional. Her baby sized paper mache body had dimples and details to delight. Yet her value was priceless as such a doll was exceedingly rare and the sentimental value to Melody and her family knew no comparison. Their attachment to and pride in this unique family heirloom tore at their hearts but funds were needed.
The Highest Bidder by Lisa Reynolds
Tina stood before the bidders. It was an auction for her hand in marriage. She wished she could run. Run anywhere and be free from this madness where twenty men were treating her like an object.
Soon her price was rising and she was sold to a man twice her age. He licked his lips like the pervert he was and Tina, head down, made her way towards him. Purchased. Violated. Another business deal for the auctioneer. A woman filled with greed.
No allies, Tina got into the man’s car knowing her future would be bleak.
Property, property, property.
The Lament of Kowloon by H.R.R. Gorman
I was born when they put rocks around me, shy and still despite my welcoming gates. More humans came with houses and wells, and I ensconced them in my earthen folds. Invaders stole my stone walls, but I supported the burdens of my precious humans. Thousands moved in, and my houses became towers and dark alleys.
With more bodies came squalor and chaos, and the outsiders failed to help my precious charges. I tried to support them, but my veins ran out of water and my body became overcrowded. Humans demolished my structures then abandoned me through forlorn gates.
Home is Where– by Wallie & Friend
The house behind them looked small. As they rounded the hill it vanished entirely from view as if it had never even been there.
“Will you miss it?”
Annie glanced at her companion sideways. “Why do robots always ask questions that are kind of obvious?”
The synthetic man met her glance without flinching. “I miss it,” he said. “Do you ever stop missing things that go away?”
Her face tightened. This time, she had no snarky reply. “No. I don’t suppose you do.”
“I’m glad you’re with me, Mabel.”
She tried to smile. “I’m glad you’re with me, too.”
Flash Fiction by Eric Pone
Eowyn stared at Windsor Castle and sighed. “Ono I need to dump this place. It is a huge drag on finances.”
Ono responded. “Let’s get a realtor!”
Betty Whitehurst sat across the desk from Eowyn in sheer shock. “You want to sell Windsor?”
Without a beat, Eowyn smiled. “I do. This place is too large, I can’t the income I need out of it. It has to go.”
Betty had the property appraised and the art and tapestries…the history. Sitting down again with Eowyn.
“It’s priceless. Don’t be a dumbass and sell!”
Ono, replied. “How much?”
Land Reform by Anne Goodwin
Kare kare the land owned the people, rooted to the soil by their ancestors’ bones.
Until the white men’s rifles commandeered the territory for their queen.
Even after independence, red-brick buildings squatted where thatched rondavels belonged. Even when war veterans forced the whites to flee, a fence barred the people from ancestral lands. Unless to labour for the government minister who now owns the property: a fat fellow with ebony skin in a white man’s clothes. Or so they say: those who sweat to feed his greed have never seen him. But neither had they seen the English queen.
Values of Stuff by Peregrine Arc
“And here is a Parisian armchair, part of our priceless Sun King collection,” the museum guide announced. “Louis the XIV, you know…”
I tapped one of my dozing students and gestured for our guide to continue.
“And over here are more…No cell phones, please!”
A student fumbled to silent her phone, paling as she read a text message.
“There’s another school shooting…” she explained breathlessly.
“I think,” another student spoke,“armchairs have more value than us nowadays…”
Not in My Backyard by Anne Goodwin
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve nothing against them myself. I’m thinking of the old folk, and the kiddies walking past to school. With that lot shambling and gurning, shouting obscenities or proclaiming themselves the second coming of Jesus Christ. It wouldn’t be nice, like Halloween without the dressing up, the apples and sweets.
Am I concerned about house prices? Not really, I wasn’t thinking of myself. But now you mention it, it does seem unfair. Of course, the poor souls have to go somewhere. But this is such a pleasant neighbourhood. Why do the authorities want to spoil it?
La Casa’s Lament by Aweni
They attribute my worth to irrelevancies.
Does it not suffice that I give shelter?
That I shield from harsh winds?
That my hearth warms?
They come in, asking, ‘how big is the garden?’
‘Are the kitchen tops marble?’ ‘How many rooms are there?’
I don’t mind that last question though. You see, humans are weird, they do need their space.
They ask, ‘what about the neighbours?’
What about them?! Not that I’m a fan.
So loud, abusive and those graffiti! Eeewwh!
I see, you cringe too. Yes, my neighbours do drag me down.
But that’s not the issue.
Investment by Hayley Hardman
It was unreal to think the manor house I was standing before was now our’s. Sadly, the place was a memory of it’s former self. Lucky, the walls and roof were all sound but there were broken windows and doors to replace then the rooms to strip and redecorate. There was no running water, working electricity or gas and it was uninhabitable.
We were going to change all that, make it into a fine home then perhaps a hotel and open gardens. It was a life’s investment but once done up the property value would soar into the millions.
[standoff] by Deb Whittam
“I’m not having it, it’s an affront to all that we hold dear.”
Looking up at the belligerent tone she noted the nods of agreement and with difficulty repressed a sigh. No one had said being a property developer would be easy.
“I’m sorry but I’m not sure I comprehend your objections,” She replied, as she considered the development they had tabled, “Properties like yours would become gold mines – house valuations would skyrocket.”
Looking up she caught the sly twinkle in his eye and her stomach contracted, she had swallowed his bait.
The troll stated with a smile.
Property Values by Norah Colvin
The letter lay unopened for weeks. She had no more interest in its contents than she had in the house. She’d finished with all that when she told them to sell. Why were they contacting her now?
When a second envelope arrived bearing the same logo she thought to bin them both, but hesitated, and opened the first.
A cheque? She squinted at the numbers, then held it to the light. She counted the zeros, again. Really? How could a property that held so little value for her hold so much for someone else?
The second letter explained — developers.
Property Value by Irene Waters
“Turn round. Go back. If we bought this place I’d never leave it. This road is terrifying.”
“No! We said we’re going and we’re going.”
Jemma, white with fright, surveyed the tree-dotted property complete with a platypus populated cooling creek. They shook hands with the owner who said, ” We’ve had so many calls from people saying they’re coming but you’re the first to show up.”
“We wouldn’t have shown up if I’d had my way,” Jemma said. After a cuppa they left. The property held no value for them yet a week later it sold to National Geographic Photographers.
Value of People or Property by Miriam Hurdle
“We got a good deal on our 10 acres, honey.”
“First time hearing of Sequim in Washington Peninsula.”
“Many retirees here.”
“See the logging. The previous owner made a fortune.”
“We need to dig a well and have electricity connected.”
“What was the noise last night?”
“Humm… a bear visitor.”
“Wait, we park next to a beehive.”
“Get in, I’ll move the camper… Isn’t this a peaceful place for retirement?”
“What? No way. Making new friends after retirement and the neighbor is 10 acres away?”
“What do you want to do?”
“Divide the land into 4 pieces and sell.”
My Mother’s Cottage by Luccia Gray
I wished I hadn’t inherited the beautiful, but run down cottage from my eccentric yet inspirational mother. I’d have preferred to hear her reading extracts from her bestselling novels, but she finally succumbed to a long illness and donated everything else to Cancer Relief.
It didn’t feel right to sell her home, but I couldn’t afford the maintenance, until I met Jason, who contacted me on Facebook. He was the first to offer to pay for spending a few hours in my mother’s study.
Now we’re married, the cottage is fully booked for years and the value has tripled.
This Old House by Chelsea Owens
Their school year had already begun when he looked around their 10-year-old house and said, “How about we move?”
His wife glanced up from grading homework, glasses perched down her nose. Eyebrows raised, lips pursed, she said, “Okay.”
And that was how they ended up in front of the 1917 farmhouse in a town of 257 people. Only the wind spoke, with an occasional canine interjection.
“It’s about half our current mortgage,” she noted, as they surveyed almost an acre of yard.
“It may need some work,” he observed, peeking around a musty, boarded-up section.
“It’s perfect,” they said, completely smitten.
Flash Fiction by Bladud Fleas
Smart Alec, so-called because his sleeper once cost a hundred bucks, his mattress an unfolded packing case from Bergdorf Goodman, his rain shelter another from Saks. He never panhandled below Fifth, and never slept east of 49th; if he could help it. If the cops moved him on, he’d keep walking the block, until the cops moved on, or got a call.
He said he knew Trump, knew the price of any building in NYC, but they say you’re just one step away from the streets and, once there, you’re a million miles away from where you were.
Rebrand the Swamp by Bill Engleson
“Let’s go for a spin,” he said. So, as a good and gullible friend, we headed up the valley in behind the old Mission. Three dirt roads later, he pulled off into the scrub.
“It’s over that hill.”
And it was.
Whatever he saw, I didn’t. “It’s a swamp, Charlie. A mosquito-invested puddle of muck and muskrats.”
“Infested, Henry. Infested. Smell that. It stinks of opportunity.”
“Oh, it stinks all right. Look, if I need to take a bath, I’ll jump in my tub.”
“Ground floor, Henry.”
“My loss, Charlie.”
Who could have predicted International Swamp Tours?
Up The River by Juliet Nubel
They had taken refuge upstairs when the river had come crashing angrily out of its bed and swept into their home.
It had ignored their screams, settling itself comfortably throughout the ground floor, drowning their precious belongings without a hint of regret. The watermark high on the walls still showed today in spite of their scrubbing.
The prospective buyers always noticed it, their eyes growing wide when they realised what it was. They then left, never to be heard from again.
They had been imprisoned that fateful day. They would now be prisoners forever in a beautiful, worthless home.
Property by Floridaborne
“Mrs. Miller,” the tax collector said, staring into the barrel of a .45. “You have ten days to pay your taxes or you will have to vacate.”
“My father owned this farm, his father and his grandfather. You have no right to extort money from our meager earnings or take our home if we don’t pay an income tax!”
“The 16th amendment…”
“My husband died in the great war! While he fought for our freedom you bottom feeding scum found ways to steal our property!” Fifty miles from town, she pulled the trigger.
His body fertilized her vegetable garden.
Back to the Country (Ownership) by Papershots
I’ve become the gardener at my own home (my family’s. I’ve left.) Kindly contributing to the communal sharing of hardships, I was mowing the lawns when more and more grass was being left behind. Rake it away, naturally. So I went out back where… I didn’t know where a rake could be. I vaguely remembered the rake; but that wasn’t enough. And one I found leaning against a wall in the toolshed, its keyless door shut by a big tree fork, the previous owner – great-grandfather! – must have had a story about this “bifurcation in the trunk of a tree.”
A Day in the Life of a Banker by Reena Saxena
My boss: How good is your best salesperson if he cannot add value to the book at the end of the financial year? Think about replacing him.
A loan applicant: My property offered as collateral is being undervalued. The adjoining plot has been sold at double the rate.
Me: The adjoining plot has been purchased by a businessman, who will multiply his investment 10X in two years. We will not always find a buyer like him. It is only the distress sale value of an asset that really matters. It’s about being as good as the last deal clinched.
The Original Black Marketeers by Anne Goodwin
Black lead didn’t burn like peat or coal, and their wives complained it marked their clothes. So the shepherds who discovered it didn’t protest when a wealthy lawyer acquired the title deeds for the mine. A century on, their descendants cursed them, now graphite cost more than gold. These men scavenged for scraps by moonlight, sold on to Flemish smugglers to carry by packhorse to the coast. If they believed they were only claiming their birthright, it was no defence in court. The original black marketeers, betrayed by the stains on their hands, flogged and transported for their crimes.
The light through the whole in the roof, due to the fire – was distressing. A few of the bushes were cordoned off so that when repairs were made that maybe the workers wouldn’t trample them. What are the property values along a busy
Just perhaps when the building gets fixed, or torn down and rebuilt all of those other little aged homes on the street will also do some sprucing up? After all, the farmland right
across the road has almost vanished, replaced by mini-mcmansions, and several storied Condos… and a nice park for all the neighborhood children.
Cultural Value by kate @ aroused
Traditional landowners clearly had a strong spiritual connection to the land, waterways, animals, plants, seasons and dreamtime. Nomadic they survived by respect and understanding for their environment and folklore. White invaders, colonisers, committed mass genocide while raping their land and women, with blatant disregard for seasons or songlines. They mowed down forests and the people, polluted everything obsessed with their own wealth! What value could you put on plundered life and land? Stolen generations continue to this day, overseen by those who use and abuse what chance to sustain their language, culture and pride. Denigrated in every way …
Them Foreigners! by Ritu Bhathal
“This neighbourhood is just going to pot!” Sue looked out of her front room window, staring at the new arrivals on the street. “Seriously, I mean, that is the fourth family of foreigners to move in here in the last few months!”
She turned towards her husband. “Jake, I do think we need to seriously consider our options, you know darling. Property prices are plummeting because of them. Have you seen the litter? And the cooking smells?”
Jake looked up from his accounts. “Really, Surinder? Have you looked in the mirror recently? And stop calling me Jake, it’s Jagjit!”
Flourishing by D. Avery
“Carrot Ranch, Pal, it’s pretty big.”
“Yep, gits bigger ever day, seems.”
“It’s set up good fer cattle an’ hosses, plenty a range.”
“Yep. Shorty knows how ta take care a such.”
“But they’s also wilderness fer forest bathing; big skies fer dreamin’; plenty a space and cover fer unicorns, longhorns, an’ all manner a birds. They’s even fishin’ holes an’ bat caves.”
“Yep. Shorty’s got quite a spread.”
“An’ she welcomes ever’one.”
“Ever’one what kin behave.”
“Big di-verse spread like this, must be pretty valuable.”
“Kid, this place is priceless.”
“I sure value it, Pal.”
“Me too, Kid.”
“Yep, I sure admire what Shorty’s done here. Got herself a fine spread.”
“Thing is Kid, land don’t really ever belong ta anyone.”
“You sayin’ this ain’t Shorty’s ranch?”
“I ain’t sayin’ that. But Shorty belongs ta the ranch as much as the ranch belongs ta Shorty. If ya live on a place ya got a responsibility to it, gotta take care of it if’n ya ‘xpect it ta take care a you.”
“Well, Shorty sure ‘nough takes care a the ranch an’ all the critters an’ folks that come through.”
“Yep. Shorty an’ the ranch are gonna flourish.”