2016 05 06 19.42.46


United States

Howdy! I am a klutzy sophomore who laughs at herself! ;) I am a country girl at heart, and love writing, reading, drawing, being outside, being with little kids, and animals. My goal is to one day publish a book, and do something great!

Message to Readers

This is part two to Rodeo Star. Hope you enjoy!

Rodeo Star Part 2

May 8, 2016


    I stood shocked, staring at the tv screen in the small cafe. The camera crew replayed the event in slow motion, and again I saw the horse slip, and the rider get crushed by the massive creature. I mindlessly rubbed a rag against the counter top as I continued to stare at the screen. Putting myself in his shoes, I winced at the thought of such great pain.
    “Joy! Are you okay?”
    “Yes, sorry Mindy. I’ll get back to work.”
    “Well you were workin’, you had just been cleaning the same spot on the counter for at least five minutes now,” my employer laughed. I smiled in response and got back to refilling coffees around the small quaint cafe.
    I looked around watchin’ the customers stare at the screen with equal amazement to my own. The cafe was small, but cozy with sturdy and rustic lookin’ wooden walls. The decorations and decent lighting added to the classic western charm. Paintings of horses and riders hung everywhere, including my favorite painting of wild mustangs running in a forest with the sun setting behind them. I smiled as I walked around the counter to grab a piece of pie for a hungry customer.
    After work I climbed into my small beat up pick up truck and drove the short distance home. It was still early in the afternoon, so there would be lots to do when I got home. Mom greeted me at the door and Grandpa hobbled over to say hello.
    “Have you seen the news?” I asked my mom quickly rushing to the tv to see if the event was still on.
    “No, why dear?”
    “It’s incredible. I just can’t understand…” my mind wandered as the screen continued to show the barrel racing champion fall with his horse in the dust.
    “Joy, I’ve told you to keep your nose out of the rodeo. It’s a dangerous place.”
    “I’m not in the rodeo. I just watch the events, and I can’t understand how this happened. I’ve watched this guy before, and he’s always spot on. He and his horse. So how could they slip so easily?”
    “You shouldn’t be worrying about it, now come on over here and help me make lunch. Your brothers should be in soon.”
    I quietly submitted, and turned off the television with an air of disappointment. I began ambling into the kitchen when Grandpa coughed and beckoned me over. I rushed to his side making sure he was okay, but being stopped quickly when his finger went to his lips.
    “You know, I used to be in the rodeo. I was a great barrel racer, just like that young man. I know what you mean. It is rather odd that they should slip up so easily. But I can tell you one thing. The mind of the rider and the mind of the horse are one. They can each tell when the other’s upset. My guess is, one of them wasn’t havin’ a good day, and that caused a ruckus.” He nodded matter of factly as I gaped at him. Far off, my mother called my name. “Come sit with me on the porch this evenin’ and I’ll tell you more, alright?”
    I nodded numbly and headed into the kitchen.
The fresh air felt good on my scratchy face. The doc had managed to cut some corners, and get me out sooner than tomorrow. Despite my mother’s wishes, we were headed straight to Ajax’s stall to see how he was doin’. The vet had said that he was mighty anxious, when we had called, so we couldn’t waste any time. In the car I nervously fiddled with my hat and looked out the window, wonderin’ what on earth happened out there. It had to be my fault, because the day before, Ajax had been in the best condition he had been in quite a few years.
When we arrived, I had almost stood up, before Ma reprimanded me and wheeled around the wheelchair. I hassled her to go faster, but I was met with “David, don’t rush me. I’m not as young as I used to be, and I need you to stay safe.” I groaned and just accepted the fact that until my leg healed I would be completely dependent on the people around me.
I tried to remain calm when I came within sight of Ajax. He was beat up pretty bad, with his right front leg in a cast. His head tossed and his mane flew everywhere as he saw me arrive, and he tried to stand, but was shot down with pain. Pa helped me out of the wheelchair so that I could sit on the ground next to Ajax’s head. Ajax could be a really tough horse, but when he was scared, or hurt, he had puppy-like qualities, such as setting his head in your lap and letting you pet him. I loved these moments when I could sit there with him and comfort him. It was these moments that had brought me so much peace in the midst of a storm, both literally and metaphorically.
“How’s he doin’ doc?” I asked sadly. I almost didn’t want to hear it.
“He’s doin’ okay, to be honest. It’s a minor break, and he should be on his feet again soon. Probably within a week or two. How are you holdin’ up?”
“I’m doin’ pretty good for having just woken up a few hours ago.”
“The doctors let you off that easily, huh?”
“Well I wouldn’t leave them alone. Had to get back to my horse,” I patted Ajax’s neck and looked at Dr. Harp, who returned my gaze with a worried and stern glare.
“I know you care about this horse, but it ain’t gonna do either of you no good, if you can’t take care of yourself first.”
“I know doc, but honestly I’m fine. I feel much better since being outside.”
“I can’t argue with you there. Fresh air is a good medicine for almost anything. Well, I’ve got a few more horses to visit, so I’d better be on my way.”
I said a short farewell to my old friend, and continued to sit with Ajax. It would be a long time before either of us got back into the rodeo. I only hoped I wouldn’t have to retrain him.
    The night air was crisp, and the moon shone bright accompanied by a million glittering stars as I sat with Grandpa on the porch. Crickets chirped in the distance and bullfrogs were heard from the small pond in the backyard. I inhaled a deep sigh and took another sip of my jasmine tea.
    “So the connection between a horse and it’s rider is deep, huh?” I asked, curious and amazed.
    “Yes ma’am. My own horse and I had such a connection. When I was havin’ a bad day, Jackson didn’t perform too well. In fact he was extremely stubborn on those days, I suppose I was too, so you see the attitude of the rider can be reflected in the attitude of the horse.”
    “Wow. That’s incredible.I didn’t know that something could be so strong like that.”
    “It is pretty incredible.”
    I sat silently thinking for a moment before asking the question that had burned in the back of my mind for so long. “Grandpa, why doesn’t mom like the rodeo?”
    “Oh, I don’t know if I should go there.”
    “Why not?”
    “Joy, if your mother wants to talk about it, she can tell ya, but otherwise, it’s best to just keep your nose out of it. Maybe another day.”
    “Grandpa, I’m almost 18, I can handle whatever it is.”
    “I know you can, but it’s your mother I’m worried about. There’s a reason she hasn’t talked about it for so long.”
    “How long?”
    “Since right before you were born. She just kind of shut that part of her life out as if it never happened. I hurt all of us, but her most of all, and she’s never quite recovered from it.”
    I sighed and sat back in my chair. The more he tried not to tell, the more my curiosity burned inside of me. I resolved in my mind that tomorrow I would ask mom about it, and hopefully I’d get farther than I did tonight. With this promise in the back of my mind, I kissed Grandpa goodnight and went to bed.


See History
  • May 8, 2016 - 4:32pm (Now Viewing)

Login or Signup to provide a comment.