Anya was not a good goatherd.
For the third time, she pulled Zvezda back to the barn by his horns. The stupid goat had broken his leg four days prior, and her grandfather wanted him to remain in the barn and rest for at least a week. But the goat had chewed off his cast and, apparently bored with the comfort of the barn, followed Anya out to the onion fields and climbed on the handcart she was loading onions into.
She slammed the barn doors shut, remaining to hold them closed as the goat thumped against them inside.
“Stay there!” Anya shouted.
Anya scowled. Her father would have used his magic to make the goat listen. But Papa was gone, fighting in Tartary, so Anya had to take his place with the goats. She didn’t have any magic, though, and they would scatter in every direction. Rounding them up took hours, so Anya was relieved of herding responsibilities. Dyedushka took them grazing instead, even though her grandfather had lost both his legs at the knee in a past war.
“If I catch you out of the barn again, I’ll break your other leg!” She wouldn’t really. Zvezda was her goat, and even though he was annoying, she still liked him. She had named him for the star-shaped black smudge on his white face, even though he was a boy and “Zvezda” was a girl’s name. He was a goat. He didn’t know he had a girl’s name.