A Horse in the Barn

That first night in the barn with my new mare, hundreds of thoughts ran through my mind. I couldn’t sleep. Mom had come to check on me with a hot cup of tea; it was soothing on those hot summer nights.

“Just go to sleep. This will help,” she said. I slept next to the stall.

Babe, as I called the new addition to our family, ate all her hay and drank all her water. I was so thankful that she did, knowing what she’d gone through. The smell of bacon and eggs and hot oatmeal was coming from the house. I got up, rubbed my eyes, ambled up to the house, and sat down. My mom gave me a big hug.

“How was your night Mathew? Did you sleep well?” Mom asked. “As much as I could,” I answered. “But really, I was worried about Babe.”

“Babe?” asked Mom.

“Yep Mom, I decided to name her Babe.”

“You think that fits her huh?” She asked.

“Yep.” I paused. “I sure wish Steve wasn’t going off to college because I have no idea what to do now. We got her home, and at least we have some hay. We need to go to the feed store today and get supplies and maybe some advice,” I said.

After a good meal and some hot chocolate, we were off to do the chores.

“You really think we can leave her alone?” asked Mom.

“Mom, it’s okay,” I answered. “She’ll be fine.”

On the way back to return the trailer, we stopped at the feed store. Henry Miller, the store’s proprietor, saw us coming up and said, “Word’s gotten around that you got a really nice mare from that auction yesterday.”

“Yes, we did,” said Mom,” but it’s going to be interesting. You know anybody that can help us with this horse?”

“I do know someone,” said Mr. Miller. “In fact, he lives right across the street from you. Want to check him out?”

“Anything can help right now. Thanks, Henry,” Mom answered.

The community of Alfalfa was about ten square miles with an old Grange Hall, a place for families to meet for political and agricultural activities, and a general store with the only gas pump for twenty-five miles. There are a lot of hard-working people in this area, and because they grow a lot of hay, there are always trucks coming and going. Across the way from my house lived one of those truckers that Henry had mentioned. We would stop and wave while we were moving in. He had a big Freightliner semi-truck parked in his driveway, a neat little farmhouse with a barn and fenced pasture. While this trucker was home, he would be outside tinkering with his truck. There was really no sign of life other than his presence. Is this the person Henry was talking about? Surely didn’t look like it.

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