Tale of a Horseman's Daughter-Part One

Fiction By Erin // 5/21/2009

Tale of a Horseman’s Daughter

When I was little, my daddy always told me about them Great Cowboys who’d saddle up and ride when hail was stormin’, or when there was nothin’ but humid heat outside.
“They’re the ones who invented the horse,” he’d tell me. “They were the first ones to tame the mustang. It was Jack Ross who noticed the usefulness of ‘em.”
As Daddy would weave the tale, I’d sit on his knee and stare at his weather-worn face. He was tan as beef jerky, and there was lines and creases all over his forehead and around his mouth. I loved how the crow’s feet around his eyes would wrinkle when he smiled at me.
Then he’d hush his voice down to barely a whisper, then tell me in my ear, “Then, Harmony, Jack got on that little mare and whispered somethin’ into her ear. No one knows what it was, but the mare pricked her ears and danced with willingness. Jack clapped his heels to her sides gently, and then went off into a run. More than a run, all the tale tellers say. They’ll tell ya it’s a speed unnamed by man.”
That would always get a shiver down my spine, and I’d hope that someday, I’d get to ride a little grey mare just like Jack Ross, the greatest cowboy of all.
Daddy would always finish the tale with a smile and a pat on my back. “That’s the tale of Jack Ross and the other Great Cowboys, Harmony,” he’d say.
I’d always climb off his lap and smile back up at him. Then I’d ask if there was any more, even though I knew better.
He’d be standin’ by then, but he’d crouch down in front of me and tip his hat. “That’s all there is to tell,” then he’d walk away, usually to go outside and catch Bluey, his horse.
Now, I suppose I know a bit better than I did when I was five. Bein’ twelve and all, I guess you have to learn these things eventually. But I do have a tale of my own to tell, and I hope you’ll listen.

It was midday on a Sunday afternoon and I was layin’ out in the grass, hummin’ my favorite song and half listenin’ to Dory and Lu graze. I tried to stare at the sun, which I know you’re not supposed to do, but I still often try anyway. I haven’t gone blind yet, so I guess those are all fables.
Then I heard hoofbeats.
I shot up, not wishin’ to stomped into the dust, and turned around behind be. Lu was trottin’ up to my daddy, who was ridin’ Bluey. Dory wasn’t too far behind. I started to smile and walk up to him, but even from a distance I could tell he was tense. I stopped in my tracks and watched by the little hill.
Bluey started skittering to the side, and at last I noticed that Daddy lead---or more so was trying to contain---a beautiful little grey horse. There was lariat around its neck, and it was thrashing and pawing and rearing.
Bluey, being the reliable ranch horse that he is, just threw his head up and stepped away from the wild thing’s hooves. I guess Daddy didn’t notice me, because he let go of the rope.
Though I was scared it would trample me, it was a glorious sight to see. Its legs were caked in dirt and its body was dusty, not to mention the dried sweat on its neck. All the same, it was magnificent.
Next thing I knew, the horse was comin’ towards me, and I was bein’ scooped off my feet by a strong arm.
“Get on!” Daddy said. I scrambled my way up onto Bluey’s speckled rump and wrapped my arms around his waist. I pressed my cheek against his back and watched as the horse galloped right over where I had been standin’. I shuddered to think that could’ve been me.
“Who is that horse?” I asked as Daddy clucked Bluey forward.
“She’s a little mustang I found,” said Daddy shortly.
“Found?”
I felt Daddy nod, but his back was still straight as an iron rod. “What’s wrong?” I asked.
“Nothin’, Harmony,” he said snappishly. I was surprised. Daddy never snapped at me, and usually wasn’t this stiff unless he was lookin’ at the bills.
I decided to keep quiet for the rest of the ride to the gate, simply wonderin’ why Daddy was in such a rough mood.
I slid off of Bluey’s rump and opened the gate for him and Daddy to get through, keepin’ watch for the mustang.
She came runnin’ as Daddy hurried past me through the gate, and I was barely able to close it as she blew past. I could smell horse sweat in the air and could hear the sound of hoofbeats replayin’ over and over. I smiled and watch her run. Then she stopped at the other end of the 8 acre pasture and looked around.
I couldn’t help but pity her; she looked so unhappy and scared. “C’mon, Harmony. Why don’t you go get Jazz and tack him up, go for a ride,” Daddy said stiffly.
“Really?” I asked excitedly. Jazz had just turned three and was just startin’ to be rode. Daddy’s face loosened a little as he smiled down at me.
“Really, hon. I’ll show you what to do with him,” he said. He turned Bluey around and I followed him to the 3 acre pasture up by the dirt road.
“You know what he looks like, go get ‘im,” said Daddy.
I walked up to the gate and unhooked Jazz’s halter from the bars. I slung it over my shoulder and slipped through the bars, so I wouldn’t have to open the gate.
I saw a shrimpy little bay horse out there, still sheddin’ all that extra hair off, with a white stripe down his nose and three white socks. “C’mere, Jazzy-poo!” I called to him.
Jazz raised his head and looked at me, then went back to grazin’. I walked up to him and lifted his head. Jazz sighed as I buckled the halter behind his ears and led him out.
“Just dust ‘im off and throw Oldie on ‘im,” Daddy told me. Oldie was the old saddle we used on green horses. It was lighter than the others, for less strain on their backs.
“’Kay, Daddy,” I said. Butterflies gathered in my stomach. I had never ridden any horses besides Bluey and Dory. And they were both dead broke. I took a deep breath but couldn’t suppress my excited smile.

In about ten minutes I was sittin’ on Jazz in the middle of the Front Pasture. I had just mounted and was gettin’ myself adjusted while Jazz fell asleep. Daddy came ridin’ up. “What should I do with him?” I asked.
“Ride ‘im,” Daddy said, nodding towards Jazz. I raised my eyebrows. “Nothin’ special to do on him,” I confirmed. Daddy shook his head.
“I’ll be workin’ the cattle next door with Jer. I don’t think you have much to worry about with Jazzy here. He’s a good little horse,” he said.
The butterflies grew.
I swallowed and nodded. I trusted Daddy’s opinion, but I knew for a fact that two months ago Jazz threw off my friend Farley. He had a broken leg that was just gettin’ better.
I watched Daddy trot away on Bluey, to go help Farley’s father. I looked down at Jazz’s ears. They were flopped to the side, and there were still fuzzies stickin’ out.
After a while I gathered up my reins and clucked Jazz forward. Jazz raised his head and walked. I walked him for a while, then decided to trot. I circled around the big oak tree beside the round pin. Should I lope? I wondered to myself.
Finally, I smooched and laid my leg on Jazz’s side. Jazz kicked up his heels, which was no trouble for me to ride, but it nearly made me jump out of my skin.
Then Jazz was lopin’, I had to admit it was fun. He had a nice little rocking horse type lope, not like Bluey’s that was short and fast, and not like Dory’s that was slow-like a little half-lopin’ showy horse.
I smiled, then stopped and changed direction. Jazz turned fast like a cow horse. I laughed. I always loved it when Bluey would do that with me. Jazz went into a pounding trot, so I smooched to him to have him lope.
He bucked. Hard.
It felt like my heart was bein’ jerked forward and my head was bein’ jerked back. He did it again. My feet came out of the stirrups and I was thrown forward. I couldn’t do anythin’ but look at the ground in front of me. Not long before I landed, I had the sense to turn my body some, but my head still banged against hard, dry ground.
I heard hoofbeats. I saw dust. I felt nothin’ but my head pounding over and over. Then, I felt nothin’.

Comments

Good Job! I like it!

I really like it! It is very fun to read. I love horses so this was way cool!

~Lexus~

Lexus | Fri, 05/22/2009

Lexus

Thanks :) ~Erin~ "Okay, so

Thanks :)

~Erin~

"Okay, so I'm like the Jonas Brothers' older, evil stepbrother..." -Adam Lambert on Joe Jonas comment

"Perhaps he's that Neevil! Tally-ho! Tantivy! Cut him off! Round him up! Keep it up! Hurrah!" Talking Animals in Magician's Nephew

Erin | Sat, 05/23/2009

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

Ok, hold it!

Great story beginning, but...WHAT HAPPENED TO IRIELLA AND BAEDDEN (sp?)???? I will not be satified until I learn what happened to the poor peoples :):)
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"Yes, words are useless! Gobble-gobble-gobble-gobble-gobble! Too much of it, darling, too much! That is why I show you my work! That is why you are here!" --Edna Mode (the Incredibles)

Ariel | Sat, 05/23/2009

*****************************************
"To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it." -- Herman Melville

I'm writing the eighteenth

I'm writing the eighteenth chapter!! Calm down, calm down ;). I might not even continue this one.

~Erin~

"Okay, so I'm like the Jonas Brothers' older, evil stepbrother..." -Adam Lambert on Joe Jonas comment

"Perhaps he's that Neevil! Tally-ho! Tantivy! Cut him off! Round him up! Keep it up! Hurrah!" Talking Animals in Magician's Nephew

Erin | Sun, 05/24/2009

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

but you've gotta finish this

but you've gotta finish this one! I want to find out what happens to her!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I've never seen a purple cow,
I never hope to see one.
But I can tell you anyhow;
I'd rather see than be one.

Sarah | Mon, 05/25/2009

"Sometimes even to live is courage."
-Seneca

Blogging away!
busyscribbler.wordpress.com

Lol, we'll see.... ~Erin~

Lol, we'll see....

~Erin~

"Okay, so I'm like the Jonas Brothers' older, evil stepbrother..." -Adam Lambert on Joe Jonas comment

"Perhaps he's that Neevil! Tally-ho! Tantivy! Cut him off! Round him up! Keep it up! Hurrah!" Talking Animals in Magician's Nephew

Erin | Mon, 05/25/2009

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

I completely agree with

I completely agree with Sarah - you have to write more. Hey, have you ever read the Phantom Stallion series by Terri Farley? This reminded me of them a little bit. If you want to read them the first one is called The Wild One.

"It is man's inherent nature to scare himself silly for no good reason." - Calvin and Hobbes

Bridget | Sun, 06/14/2009

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question." - Harun Yahya

Oh..I've read that book,

Oh..I've read that book, Bridget. This story is a little bit (just a little bit, mind you) like that one. I haven't been able to get any of the other ones, the library doesn't have them :(
*****************************************
"To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it." -- Herman Melville

Ariel | Mon, 06/15/2009

*****************************************
"To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it." -- Herman Melville

I love those :-)

I love those :-)

Erin | Sat, 01/23/2010

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

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