The Present
Chapter 3

Copyright© 2018 by UtIdArWa

The next morning, we were awoken by what sounded like a freight train passing by. When I looked out the window, I could see that about 15 or 20 horses had just been herded into the corral to the side of the barn. Obviously, we had over slept. After getting dressed we stepped out and were greeted by Bruce and his eldest son Carl.

“Good Morning folks,” Bruce said, “I see you survived the night. Would you like a bit of the hair of the dog? And maybe a bit of breakfast?”

Suzy spoke up first, “Bruce, karma will get you about the booze. However, a piece of toast and tea will do me fine.”

“How about you Matt, I know that you’ve missed Agnes’s mealtime, But I’m sure Marsha’s got some leftover mush that the baby rejected?”

“Oh God,” I groaned, “A morning person. All I need is coffee, hot, black and a lot of it.”

“Carl, you’ve got your orders, move er out boy. And make it a pot of coffee. I’ll be joining Matt.” Turning to Suzy, he continued. “Well Suzy, there’s your next horse. Just tell me which one.”

Suzy climbed up on the top rail and sat down. she was watching the horse’s as they circled the corral. I could see the gears turning in her head. It was kind of fun to watch.

Lois, the female hand was herding the remuda around. Suzy called out and asked that a silver dappled pinto be brought around. I might have been mistaken, but it seemed like Bruce slightly shook his head.

The pinto was brought around. It was a beautiful horse. A definite show stopper. And it seemed to know it. almost striking a pose when she got close. I was surprised when Suzy said “Bruce, I thought I told you last night that I didn’t want any dandies. This little toy probably belongs to your daughter. Why don’t you cut out the fluff and show me the working stock?”

Laughing, Bruce told Lois to cut out the good stuff and let the rest back to graze.

Now we were left with 6 solid working plugs. Suzy called out, “Lois, that strawberry roan, Bring him around, please.”

Lois seemed to have some trouble getting control of the roan. It seemed like he knew what Lois wanted, and he didn’t like that idea. Eventually she got control of his hackamore and brought him over.

“Could you get a saddle and get a bridle on him. I’d like to see how he sits.”

“You sure about that lady? He’s just barely saddle broke. You sure you can handle him?”

There was something about her tone that got everybody’s attention. I could see that Bruce was about to say something, when I touched his arm and shook my head. I also knew that Suzy had heard what was said and the tone.

“That’s alright Lois, I’ll handle it.” She jumped off the rail and proceeded to saddle and bridle the roan. While she was doing this, she asked to clear the corral. That left her, the roan and Lois on her sorrel. Lois crowded the roan over to the fence. Bruce used the towel that was on the rail to blindfold the roan.

“Are you sure about this Suzy?” Bruce asked. “You don’t need to prove anything.”

Lois just couldn’t resist. “That’s right lady, we sure wouldn’t want you to get hurt or anything.”

With Bruce glaring at Lois, Suzy quietly said “Let him loose.”

The next 5 minutes or so were pure entertainment. That is if you are a rodeo fan. That roan whirled, bucked, straight legged, hunched, and then started all over again in reverse. For us on the sidelines it was over fast. I’m sure that Suzy lived several lifetimes in those 5 minutes. But after all was said and done, that roan stood there without a tremble, and Suzy was still on board.

Suzy looked over to Bruce and said, “Is it OK if I take a little joy ride?”

“Yes Ma’am, you take as much time as you want.”

Suzy walked the roan over to the gate and leaned over to open it. After leaving the corral, she turned in the saddle and said, “Be a dear, Lois, and close that for me.” Without waiting, she put her heel to him and they took off.

As Suzy was riding off, Bruce spoke up. “Lois, a word please.” Turning to me he said, “A minor personnel problem has come up Matt. If you would like, I’m sure that Marsha has something in the kitchen that you’ll enjoy.”

As I was heading towards the house, I looked over my shoulder and watched as Bruce led Lois over to the Tack shed.

After a hearty country breakfast, during which I learned of a new culinary delight. Marsha convinced me to try scrapple. I had heard of it, but never tried it. Marsha was from the northeast where it was considered a breakfast requirement.

I tried it, and I am now a fan. And don’t even think about asking me to describe it. I’m pretty sure it was pork, mostly, maybe. And a whole lot of other stuff that, individually would be disgusting, but together, fried and a poached egg on top, Oh God it was good. Marsha seemed pleased by my reaction.

I asked if Agnes knew about it. Marsha said that she had tried it and wasn’t really a fan. That got me to wondering if I could convince Mable to add it to her menu.

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