Yesterday I posted on Facebook, in appreciation of the friendship shown there, and here in the Coffee Clutch we'd have a fun contest for an idea for a story. I asked folks to share their ideas, and to vote for the one they liked best. We had over 20 suggestions, lots of fun, and votes. Every idea was terrific, and I could have never made a choice. We even ended by having a tiebreaker! … My promise was I'd write the story and post it here today. So Melanie Foster-Bowles, here is our story, based on your idea "horse story with no riding."
She knew she was not supposed to be out here. Not alone anyway. But how long did anyone think they could keep her from coming back? The grass was damp, chilled her bare feet. If they knew she'd come barefoot to the back pasture, well they'd have something to say about that too. It's not like they had been apart all these months, but in the barn with father and sister worrying about every step, every move was not the same as being with him alone. The accident wasn't his fault. The trail had simply given way. She shuddered when she thought of the long fall.
|Kessy Saturday & me writing a story|
It was early. The sun had just begun to peek above the horizon forcing its way through the clouds. But it had been necessary to sneak out early, before father headed for the barn. He'd been so worried, so, she smiled when she finished the thought, bothersome with his loving attendances to her every need.
Nodding, smiling as if to reassure herself, she said out loud, "I told myself, today would be the day." She missed their time together. The quiet moments just being horse and person enjoying each other's company. He had always been her teacher. Her best friend. Her strength. All along he'd carried her. Even from the beginning, way back when she first started riding and father had worried that her condition made riding too dangerous. She laughed, "We showed them all, didn't we, Magic?" She'd named him that the first day. His heart was like magic to her. His strength made her feel strong. Strong enough to run with the wind, although even before the fall, running was not something she did well. "But together we can fly!" Became her chant.
She'd heard him calling for her those first weeks while she lay in the bed too broken to even be wheeled to the barn. Tears filled her eyes when she remembered his nicker the first day father pushed her chair to the barn.
The visits had not been frequent enough, not for him, and not for her. How was she supposed to heal, get strong, cooped up in a stuffy old house far from her strength. She'd begged for more visits, but it had been a very cold and damp spring and the doctor had expressed great concern. So visits to the barn had been limited to only the few sunny days. Not nearly enough, scarcely a day a week, then only short visits.
He would be just over the rise, in the hollow they loved so much, among the tall trees. Their very own playground. Her walker was difficult to maneuver in the long grass. She looked over her shoulder, back to the house. Seeing no one, and feeling brave, stronger than she had in months, she positioned the walker off to her side, took a shaky step. All on her own. Needles shot through her back, but she stood. She couldn't resist. She cupped her hands to her face, and with all her strength screamed, "Magic."
She lost her balance, tumbled into the wet grass, but managed another call on her way down. Then a giggle. "Oops." She'd tipped her walker over. Getting up would be a struggle without her walker. She lay on her back, searching the sky for a little light, but the clouds were thick. "Don't you rain on me." She pointed a threatening finger to the gray sky.
She managed to roll onto her stomach and prop herself up on her elbows. "Magic, I could use a little help here, before father finds me." Her voice broke off in a giggle. "He's gonna have a lot to say about this." It hadn't seemed this cold when she left the house, but she was cold now. Maybe this hadn't been such a great idea. Her legs had pins and needles, even her hands ached. "Come on body, deal with it," she ordered. She'd had a lifetime of ordering her body to obey her commands.
So absorbed was she in barking commands to her body, she didn't notice Magic until he nickered. He stopped just ten feet away, eyes and ears glued on her. His eyes so big, his ears tilted so forward, she had to laugh. "Come here you big beautiful boy … I could use a hand. Or neck."
Magic lowered his head to her. She grabbed his mane, and clucked. He backed one step, a game they had often played, helping her to stand. One arm draped over his lowered neck, slowly, step by step they started for the barn. Her plan had been for a little playtime in the hollow, or at least a longer visit, but a slow walk together would not only have to do, it would do wonderfully. She could see lights on in the house. "Uh oh," she told Magic. "You might need to help explain this to father."
Gitty Up ~ Dutch Henry