Ch. 8: Clara & Evie visit Ralph at the Petting Zoo

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"Standring's Christmas Wish", Ch. 8: Clara & Evie visit Ralph at the Petting Zoo, December 30, 2018 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1200h)

(An original fan fiction holiday short story copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace 2018; All rights reserved); [(1) story cover, left]

[As is my custom, I will illustrate my story with myideal cast consisting of (and in order of appearance/mention in these chapters)of: asRalph John Standring, Hayley Atwell as Clara Saunders, and others as noted.]    

Authors story content and serializing scheduling note: My fan fiction short story here is based on the character of Ralph John Standring from the 2002 British mini-series "Sparkhouse"—with a new story arc. The tone of the chapters will be primarily PG to PG-13—for dramatic moments and/or romantic feelings. If you cannot or will not attend a movie with those ratings, then please do not read that chapter. This is my disclaimer.

And I will serialize this short story starting Christmas Day, December 25, 2018 with several initial chapter posts, and for a few days following after the Christmas Holiday this year. Please note that Chs. 2 – End will appear solely on my Wattpad site for ease of posting over the holidays. And I will write and serialize my story with daily chapters posts—a little challenge that I set for myself for fun—such as with my 2014 story, "A Magnificent Love", "A Christmas Carol Reimagined" in 2016, and others. And I hope that you enjoy Ralph Standring's holiday story this year.

"Standring's Christmas Wish", Ch. 8— Clara & Evie visit Ralph at the Petting Zoo

Ralph had returned to work tending the large and small animals at Camden Family Farms the day after Christmas, Boxing Day December 26th. And though Mr. Camden's children and grandchildren had pitched in by feeding the animals while Ralph took vacation time off the previous four days, there was a mountain of cleaning stalls and general tidying up for Ralph to do.

And Ralph was too busy, exhausted, and smelly to have dinner with Clara and Evie Wednesday, December 26th—him reluctantly calling her around 5pm to give her his apologies--so he appreciated the leftovers that she had sent him home with on Tuesday.

Ralph doesn't begrudge the extra work that he had to do with cleaning up the barn and animals, he just hopes that the animals didn't mind too much. Especially since Ralph has to get the older retired animals ready for today's Camden Family Farms after Christmas Petting Zoo that is open for two days on Thursday, December 27th and Friday December 28th.

Clara brings Evie to the Camden Farms Petting Zoo on the first afternoon of Thursday Dec. 27th. Clara is a bit cautious about letting her just one year old daughter Evie ride atop a pony—even with Clara holding on tight to her, with Ralph slowly leading the pony. But she is looking forward to Evie meeting the smaller and more tame animals like the rabbits and new barn kittens.

As Clara unbuckles an impatient Evie from her car seat, Ralph walks over to them in the parking area of the Camden Farms Petting Zoo.

Ralph: Smiling cheerfully and opening his arms wide—no sling in evidence today—Ralph welcomes them. "Clara! Evie! Ye came!"

Clara: Cuddling Evie, Clara smiles and gazes up at Ralph—paraphrasing his words to her, back to him. "Of course, I do what I say I will do." Ralph smiles.

Ralph: "Well, ye have chosen a good day to attend the Petting Zoo, with it being a bit warmer and all. Come into the barn and meet the small animals, first."

So Clara carries Evie in her arms and strolls next to Ralph as they walk into the cleanest barn that she has ever seen. There are fresh hay bales and clean straw strewn everywhere—and no poopy animal smells.

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