Chapter Seven

Chapter Seven

A Chapter by Elizabeth Reed

I was so nervous as Beck entered the barn and made his way to Kujo. What a horrible first day it would be if my help got trampled by an angry stallion.
I stood outside the barn as Beck grabbed a rope and tied it into a lasso. He explained to me that he had to lasso him before he could lead him out, because Kujo wouldn't let him get close enough to put a lead on him.
He told me to go the paddock and wait there. He wanted me a safe distance away. Reluctantly, I left him and went to the paddock, sitting on top of the fence, waiting. After a few seconds I saw Beck walking slowly out of the barn with a calm Kujo in tow. I held my breath as he moved smoothly and carefuly to a paddock away from the one I was at. The horse laid his ears back and put up a slight protest, but only for a second. Beck stopped as he did it, then urged the horse forward, letting him into the paddock and quickly closing the door. Kujo went a little crazy in the paddock, running around all crazy, but he didn't try to escape or anything. Beck walked back to me with a confident smile and I couldn't help but smile back.

"Okay, I'll admit, I was kinda nervous." I said. Beck laughed a little.
"Why?" he asked.
"Because, I didn't want him to like- kill you." I jumped from the fence and the two of us walked to the barn.
"You have to take some risks sometimes when you work with animals." he explained. "When you get more experienced you'll take some too."
I sighed.
"Well, I take risks on my skateboard and snowboard." I replied. He smiled at me.
"You skate?" he asked.
I scoffed a little. "Do you?"
Beck shrugged as he handed me a shovel.
"A little." he answered. "It's hard to find places around here. And a lot of the older people in town don't like it. They don't mind me breaking a stallion, but skateboarding is too dangerous."
I laughed and entered one of the empty stalls, beginning to scrape everything into a pile.
"I've been told what I do is dangerous, but I never really cared what anyone else said." I explained. "Ever since I was like seven I've just done what I want."
"Is that when you died your hair blue?" he asked from the next stall over. I smiled.
"No, I dyed it when I was ten. My mom said no when I was seven and I asked and asked and eventually when I turned ten I just bought the dye myself and dyed my hair."
"You knew how to dye your hair when you were ten?" he asked with a laugh.
"I didn't say it came out good." I replied, laughing too. "It came out pretty bad, but I loved it so much that Mom decided I could keep it, so she helped me fix it."
"Nice mom."
I scoffed. "Yeah, sure... If you think sending your daughter off to live with her aunt and uncle in Tennessee away from all her friends is nice."
"Ooh, someone has family issues."
"Oh, shut up."
"Hey, I got issues too."
"Oh, please. What's your issue, don't know what kinda honey to get from the farmers market?" I teased with a fake southern accent. Beck laughed.
"Yeah, yeah, that's all us country folk ever think about." he replied.

I scooped a big pile of dirty shavings into my shovel and dumped it into the wheel barrow, going back for another scoop. I continued like this for about ten minutes, until my stall done, then I took about another 20 minutes doing another two and ten minutes helping Beck with the last one. Beck filled all the water buckets while I put two flakes of hay (Beck told me they were called flakes) in each stall, after we put out fresh shavings, then we gave them their oats. Beck told me to bring Trixie out to herd the sheep while he started cleaning some of the horses. He told me the commands used to make her do her work, then I walked out to the field and called to her. Eager to do her job, she ran up to me with a wagging tail. I looked nervously from the nervous sheep and swallowed. I could barely remember any of the commands and what they did and I didn't know what to do. Thankfully, seconds later Uncle Chris came out.

"Thought I would help you out." he said with a smile. "Since you don't really know what you're doing." I shook my head.

"I really don't." I anwered, smiling back. Uncle Chris stood next to me and Trixie walked to his side.
"Alright, now tell her to 'Come By." he instructed. "Come by means to go left around the flock." I nodded.
"Trixie," I said, her ears perking up at the sound of her name. "Come by." As soon as the words left my mouth she trotted around the left of the sheep, scaring them away from her. The sheep were pressed as close together as possible, trying to get away from the panting dog coming at them.
"Good, now tell her 'Away'." he said. "The sheep are getting out of line on the right, Away means 'go right'." I glanced at Uncle Chris then looked back to Trixie.
"Away." I called out to her, and she turned right away, moving them to the right. Uncle Chris told me all the commands, making Trixie herd the sheep perfectly into their paddock. The commands I remember are,

Come by- Go left
Away- Go right
Lie down- If they get too excited you can tell them to lie down and they do it instantly
Walk on- Go straight

Uncle Chris told me I could work more with her as much as I wanted.
"Thanks for showing that me..." I paused. "Sir..."
Uncle Chris smiled and said your welcome before taking the dog back inside to feed her while I went to check on Beck. I was already really tired and it was only 3:30, but I tried not to show it.

"How'd she do?" Beck asked.
"Good." I answered. "It's hard work though, I don't think she'll be able to do it for long."
Beck smiled and nodded. He had such a pleasent smile. I stared for a second, smiling myself.
Cody, what are you doing?! You've only known him for a couple hours! Snap out of it!
I took a deep breath and shook my head a little. "So, um, what next?"
"Next, you learn how to ride." he answered, walking back into the small room where he got the leads from earlier. I froze.
"Um, what?" I asked.
"The horses need to be exercised. We can only do a couple a day, so it will be easier with you." he continued. "Duke and Riley need it most right now, so you take Duke."
He walked out of the room with two saddles and two bridles on his arms. I shoved my hands in the pockets of my jeans and slowly walked to Beck as he set the tack down and brought out Riley. He must have brought the two in when I was herding the sheep. He lead the horse to the front of the barn where he took two hooks attached to either side and clipped it to his halter. He scratched Riley's neck while I looked on nervously. He picked up one of the saddles and started tacking up the horse.
I wouldn't ever actually tell him, but I was nervous. I'd never really been around horses before, and I was afraid of falling off. And even though Beck was really cute, and sweet and looked strong, if I was falling off a horse and he was on his horse, he couldn't catch me.

Beck asked me to hold Riley while he tacked Duke. I gently pet the white horse's shoulder. They really were gentle creatures, when they wanted to be. Riley's white mane swished as he bobbed his head. Beck finished tacking Duke and walked him out to me, handing me a helmet. I laughed and refused.
"I have never worn a helmet in my entire life and I don't intend to start now." I said.
"You've never worn one?" he questioned. I shook my head.
"Not once. Never even tried one on. It's a record I'm trying to keep." I smiled and Beck smiled back.
"This isn't a skateboard," Beck said. "It's a horse. A tall animal that, if provoked, can buck and rear up. If you fall off, you could die."
"Die." I stated, know he was exaggerating.
"Chances are slim, but if you fall on your head, it's a possibility. Please wear one?" he insisted. Smiling, I rolled my eyes and slipped a foot into one of Duke's stirrups, lifting myself up.
"Lead the way, cheif." I said. Beck kind of groaned and tossed the helmet away before lifting himself onto Riley. "No helmet for you?"
"I'm experienced." he replied. "And besides, I wouldn't want to make you feel awkward." He grinned and I rolled my eyes again. "Just push on his sides to make him go. Follow me." Riley started off and I gently squeezed Duke's sides and... nothing happened. I frowned and tried again. Nothing.
"Um, he wont go." I called. Beck stopped and turned with a grin.
"Push harder."
"I don't want him to like take off running!"
Beck laughed. "He wont! Just do it." I sighed and squeezed harder, finally getting him to go. He followed Riley closely as we walked down the dirt road.
"Where are we going?" I asked.
"You'll see."

XxXxXxXxXxXxXxXxXxXxXxXxX

Beck led me down the dirt road for a few minutes, before heading down a path tucked away in the woods. It was narrow, so Duke had to follow directly behind Riley. The trees over us created like a canopy, letting only a few streams of warm sun through. I looked up and smiled. We didn't get stuff like that where I lived. We had woods, but they weren't pretty. Here there were lots of flowers and trees and bushes, butterflies and bumblebees were everywhere, as well as dragonflies and squirrels and chipmunks.
I could feel each step Duke took, making his imprint on the earth. Beck seemed so at peace, very relaxed. I had never really stopped to appreciate nature before. I always loved animals and a nice flower, but all I did at home was skateboard and play video games. Me and Fiona were never really into nature walks. And my town wasn't very pretty. Some people had small gardens or bushes in their yards, but it wasn't real nature. It was bought and planted, it didn't grow naturaly. But here, here was different. Everything grew together. There was no order, no color coordination, everything just grew where ever it wanted. Trees intertwined, some grew tall and some fell over before their time. The warm breeze felt amazing. A breeze is different on a tranquil animal in a peaceful spot than on a racing skateboard down a halfpipe.
I felt weird being all 'at one with nature', because that's not me. But, something about it was just breath taking.
I took in a deep breath of the fresh Spring (though it felt like summer) air and grinned.

"How'ya holding up back there?" Beck called. I closed my eyes, still smiling.

"Amazing." I answered. "This is so beautiful. We don't have places like this in my town." I could here Beck's smile in his voice.
"Just wait until we get there." he said. Now I was getting excited. I knew that if just the walk to whatever "there" is was this pretty, that "there" must be absolutely amazing. Not only that, but my legs were starting to hurt from the saddle and the movement of Duke. The bushes and flowers grew fewer and fewer until there was an opening at the end of the path. I saw lots of sunlight as we got closer and closer and then my eyes widened.


© 2012 Elizabeth Reed


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Elizabeth Reed
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Added on September 21, 2012
Last Updated on September 27, 2012
Tags: Teen, Teenager, Angst, Farm, Horse, Horses, Barn, School, Love, Romance, Trouble


Author

Elizabeth Reed
Elizabeth Reed

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I absolutely love to write, but I'm not very confident in myself. I would love honest feedback. Negative or not. If you'd like to see pictures of my characters, go to my photos. The letter(s) at th.. more..

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