NOTE: this is an ongoing series with characters that were established in the “Unintended Summer Writing Project” that I started nearly a year ago and finished a couple of months ago. This is a new writing project with those same characters who are now in their mid to late 30s with children of their own.
The two in this excerpt are sisters; Miri was an infant in the first writing project, and now is about to turn 16. Jaime is her younger sister, who was briefly mentioned in the epilogue of the first writing project. She is 12. They have two younger siblings: Zach, who’s ten; and Rachel, who is eight.
This takes place on a ranch in Wyoming where Miri and Jaime’s family is hiding out with a friend of their mother’s (their father died before the prologue of this current project). Jaime has become obsessed with a herd of wild horses, and was caught by her sister neglecting her farm chores; specifically, cleaning out the pen of the resident bull, named Sarge.
Jaime had seen the herd of wild horses several weeks before early in the mornings when she was out doing her farm chores.
She was captivated by the beauty of the way they moved as one unit, as opposed to being individual creatures. However, she noticed that one of the mares was noticibly pregnant, and in her reading up on the subject of equine reproduction, knew that she would be giving birth around Christmas.
“You’re totally engrossed in that herd of wild horses, aren’t you, sis?” asked Miri one morning when she noticed her sister staring off into the distance when she should have been mucking out Sarge’s pen.
“Jack doesn’t have horses here, Miri,” Jaime said as she watched the horses graze. “What if one or two of them come this way? I wonder if we could take them in until spring?”
“You read too many romanticized books about animals, Jaime,” Miri said; “You think you’re going to find the next Misty of Chincoteague out here in the plains of Wyoming in the middle of winter?”
“I liked that book, thank you very much, sister,” Jaime said, still watching the herd in the distance.
“Look, Jaime, I’m not making fun of you,” Miri said; “I know you love animals. That’s why I think you should go to vet school. You’d be good at it. But taking in a wild horse is not the way to go. Besides, I think Jack said they’re government property, or at the very least under control of BIA.”
“I know, but I can dream about having a horse one day, right?” asked Jaime.
“Of course you can, sis,” Miri said. “And maybe you will have one sooner than you think. But just like the other animals, taking care of a horse is a lot of hard work. You’d be cleaning out a horse’s stall just like you’re supposed to be cleaning out Sarge’s pen. You think he’s going to stand out there in the cold indefinitely?”
“I forgot all about poor Sarge!” Jaime said; “I better get busy with this so he doesn’t have to stand out there much longer.”
Miri just shook her head and went to check on Zach, who was milking the cows; and Rachel, who was gathering the eggs from the henhouse.
Soon, Jaime was done with Sarge’s stall and she went out into the field to lead the bull back inside the heated barn.
“I’m sorry you had to stand out there in the cold all that time,” Jaime said to Sarge; “I just got all caught up in the horses out there.”
Sarge only gave a low, friendly moo in response.
“Now, Sarge,” Jaime said as she secured the pen behind the bull; “Try not to mess things up before I leave. After I go inside you can shit up a storm for all I care. It’s Saturday and tomorrow, your stall will be cleaned by Rachel, and I know you like her a lot!”
“Mooooo…” said Sarge, and Jaime laughed.
“Be a good boy and…” Jaime sniffed the air, then made a face. “You just couldn’t wait, could you?”
Sarge snorted and mooed. Jaime got the feeling that Sarge was quite pleased with himself.
I’m Stef, and this is where it’s @ !~