BEN GETS ON the phone immediately and rings his brother who farms two hours’ drive away. It’s raining! he yells. Really raining. It’s raining! What’s it like at your place? Nothing here, replies his brother in a subdued tone. Ben then rings his neighbour whose three thousand acres share a boundary with his three thousand acres. How’s it comin’ down at your place? he asks. It’s not, replies the neighbour…I can see the black clouds in the distance, about over your place I reckon, but nothing here at my house yet. Not even sure that it will rain here…not much of a breeze but what there is, is blowin’ away from my place.
Ben hangs up and rings his neighbour on the other side, whose property doesn’t actually adjoin his – there is a large granite nature reserve between them – but is the next on down the road. Not a drop, mate, and it doesn’t look like it’s coming our way. And I’m starin’ at the wall barometer, and nothin’s changed. Same as yesterday, the day before, last month. There’s bitterness on the other end of the phone, and Ben doesn’t know what to say, so he just hangs up and walks back to the window to watch the rain bucket down.
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