Excerpt from Tales of a Texas Boy
Crossin’ the Creek
On Monday, we put on our rain slickers and ran to the barn quick as we could to saddle the horses. Pa cut out oiled canvas to cover the saddles and most of the horse as well.
Brownie and Peaches saw us comin’ and they crowded back in the barn behind the cows tryin’ to pretend they wasn’t there. We dragged ‘em out by the halter since they were none too fond of goin’ out in the rain. Couldn’t say I blamed ‘em, as I wasn’t too fond of it myself.
Our school was more’n six miles away, so we got an early start every mornin’, along about five, so we could get there by seven. Usually, Sister and me would just let loose on the reins and let the horses go at their own pace. Brownie and Peaches knew the way, as they went to school just as often as we did. But, on days with the rain sheetin’ down, none of us was in a hurry to leave the barn. It took some effort, particularly with Peaches as she tended to hate gettin’ wet more than Brownie.
Off we went and the road, usually dusty, was now fetlock deep in mud. We’d have to go slow or the horses would slipslide off the road and into the ditch.
We had to cross a creek along the way. This creek was only a few inches deep most of the time and only five feet across, but after this rain, the water reached near to Peaches’ belly. She was one unhappy pony, I can tell you that.
We got to the creek and saw the brown water rushin’ along. It was up on the banks and a good fifteen feet across. I’d never seen it this high and I was gettin’ worried some.
We was already soakin’ wet, but it didn’t matter to Peaches. She took one look and you could almost hear her say, “I’m not goin’ across that!” She set her feet and didn’t take another step.
The plan was to tie a rope onto her bridle with the other end round my saddlehorn, so I could lead her across. But, she was havin’ none of it. She set back on her haunches just like a dog sittin’ down. It was actually pretty funny-lookin’, but I didn’t say so as Sister was gettin’ a mite agitated.
“We can just leave Peaches over at the Tate’s and we can double up on Brownie,” I suggested.
“No, I want her to do what she’s supposed to do,” Sister grumbled. Even with her squeaky little girl’s voice, she made it clear she wouldn’t brook no nonsense from Peaches.
“It’s up to you, Sister. I’ll pull her ahead, but you gotta show her who’s boss.”
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Tales of a Texas Boy is available in Large Print on Amazon. It's also in ebook format on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords. And if your father has vision issues beyond the help of large print (as my father did), the audio book is available at audible.com.