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“An injured horse you say?” Rodge, glad that he didn’t have to clean up the pile of dirt he had embarrassingly spilled just yet, caught up with them and started jogging in pace with father and daughter.
When they reached the horse, Jeronimo was sitting by the colt’s head, with his hand on his nose. He looked up, with a relieved expression on his face, satnding up and out of the way. Minnaela walked over and joined him as Rodge and Rem both knelt down to servey the damage.
“That’s a nasty little thing yeh got ther” Rodge said as he peeled back Jeronimo’s coat from the foal’s body. The foal’s entire flank was twitching with pained nerves and the colt himself kept bringing his head up with wild eyes, and then laying back down, at a loss for what to do.
“Rodge, d’you have a cart we could use?”
“Yes indeed I do! I get on that right away” Rodge stood quickly and ran down the path towards his lodgings where his unattended kids were probably starting another mess.
“La, I want you to run to the dairy house and see if they have any spare cloth bandages” Rem began dabbing at the large cut with the coat, now noticing whose it was.
“Jeronimo, my lad, it is my guess that my daughter has ruined your coat. We will repay you”
Jeronimo, not knowing how to answer, stood by the horse, and like the horse, at a loss for what to do. Finally, Rodge came rumbling up the path towards the little group with a cart almost too small for the horse to fit in comfortably. Rem, picking the horse up under his chest and tail, carried it carefully over to the cart, laying it down in the cart. Rodge turned around and, slowly, began rolling the cart down the path, heading for Minnaela’s home.
When they reached the barn, Rem quickly ran over to open a stall and ran back to carry poor injured thing into the stall. Yra, whose stall was next to the empty one, raised her head and swiveled her ears in the direction of the stall. Sticking her head into the other stall, Yra extended her head down as far as she could and snuffled around. Seeming pleased with the smell she found, Yra, in the midst of the humans cleaning the cut, let out a soft grunt. The colt’s ears swiveled and his eyes opened. He grunted softly in return, beginning to extend his nose towards Yra’s, but snapped his head back down in pain.
“La, we’ve got to get this fella to sleep, he’s moving too much” Rem placed his hand on the colt’s head, pushing it gently to the hay as he rubbed a wet cloth, that Rodge had retrieved, over the long cut. Then, standing up, he went to the utility corner of the barn, he grabbed a wooden box, which was equipt with oitments, pieces of cloth, and needles and thread. “Go get some fresh goat milk if you can”
Minnaela ran over and opened Nemmy and Ymmen’s stall, guiding Nemmy out, and putting her on the milking platform. She grabbed one of the many waterskins that lay next to the platform, ready to be filled with new milk. Usually, Minnaela would use a bucket first, and transfer the milk through a filter into the skins. However, seeing as it would take to long, Minnaela stuck the narrow opening of the waterskin underneath one of Nemmy’s utters and hoped for good aim. After about two minutes, Minnaela managed to get the small waterskin about halfway full before deciding that she shouldn’t waste anymore precious milk that was now dribbling across the platform. She ran over to the stall where her da was and handed him the waterskin. Rem took it from her, opening a small bottle of Ponderay, a concoction made by Jeronimo’s mother to ease pain. He poured a very slight amount in the milk and swished it around. Grasping the edge of his shirt in one hand, Rem soak it with the milk. He then extended the shirt towards the colt, holding it in front of his nose. The colt sniffed it, then attacked the cloth, sucking furiously.
“Whoooa,” Rem took the corner of his shirt away and handed the waterskin back to Minnaela, “Can you handle this?”
Minnaela grabbed the waterskin and dipped the corner of her shirt in the milk, holding it out to the milk ravenous colt, who began sucking furiously once more. “Yep”
After about five minutes of furious intake of the warm milk, the colt rested his head in the hay and was still, keeping his eyes fastened on Minnaela, not seeming to have tired at all.
“That will have to do” Rem sighed. Standing up, he went to the utility corner of the barn, he grabbed a wooden box, which was equipt with oitments, pieces of cloth, and needles and thread. Picking a needle small needle out of the bundle in the wooden box, and cutting a long piece of thread, Rem pushed the piece of string through the hole of the needle and began his work. The horse twitched and grunted, but didn’t jerk his body. This made Rem’s work a lot easier. At this time, Jeronimo came running into the barn with 6 large bandages held in his arms and a large piece of thick cloth.
“Got ‘em!” He gasped, as he set them down at Rem’s side.
“My goodness J’ro! It’s not like his head was cut off!” Minnaela was yet again tempted with the urge to punch Jeronimo on his arm, but refrained, remembering that she had made a promise.
“Sh, La” Rem, now intensely focused on his work, shushed Minnaela, not wanting any unneeded distractions or noises that would rise the calm colt out of his stupor.
Minnaela and Jeronimoi sat intently behind Rem, watching him stitch part of the cut to stop the bleeding. Finally, Rem tied his last knot, and held out his hand gesturing for a bandage. Jeronimo handed him a ball of bandage with shaking hands. Rem proceded to cut a long strip and place it over the cut, then used to rest of the bandage to wrap around the horses neck. Then, taking the large piece of thick cloth, he placed it over the part of the cut that he couldn’t wrap.
“That will have to do for now” Rem said, sitting back on his heals, cleaning up the needle with a fluid from the wooden box, and putting the box back where it belonged.
“Now what?” Minnaela asked.
“We wait”
“For what?”
“The morning”
Rem rubbed the colt’s nose softly, then stood up and brushed the hay off of his knees.
“Okie then! Rodge and I have some dirt t’shovel up. Jeronimo, I believe you have missed boys’ learnin’ school, and Minnaela you’re late for girls’. Get to it before I decide to punish ya now”
Jeronimo and Minnaela quickly made their way out of the barn and down the path towards the small, wooden building that represented the learning school that they were forced to attend nearly everyday. Jeronimo hung his head in embarrassment. He was going to have go to the girls’ school period. This wouldn’t be the first time either. Often times, Minnaela would drag Jeronimo off on some weird adventure, not thinking that Jeronimo may have had plans for himself, and coming back just in time for her class. He felt angry that he had allowed Minnaela to embarrass him all the time. Jeronimo was tired of bowing down to her, and do everything she said, and be afraid of her, and helping her get himself in trouble. He was going to stand up to her one of these days.
As they aproshed the school, Minnaela stopped before the large door and loked Jeronimo in the eye.
“J’ro,” she said, “I’m sorry that you missed boys period. It’s all my fault.”
Jeronimo was aghast. Minnaela. Sweet old oly-thinks-about-herself Minnaela was apologizing?
“And I’m sorry for all the other times I’ve gotten you in trouble, too” Then, saying nothing else, Minnaela awkwardly turned and went inside the shack-like building.
Suddenly, for Jeronimo, sitting in on the girls’ class didn’t seem so bad. Until they starting sewing. Then it seemed really bad.
*I might put a schoolhouse scene in here at some point when I'm revising, but I'm not quite sure yet*
As soon as the girls, and Jeronimo, had put away their sewing at the end of learning period, Minnaela and Jeronimo rushed out, racing each other for the barn. Rem and Rodge were still at the doorway of the house, sweeping and shoveling out the troublesome remnents of dirt. When they reached the stall, the white colt was still aying on the ground with his eyes wide open, sleepless. Yra had her head over the stall again, looking with curiosity. Minnaela couldn’t help but imagine Yra thinking, This strange white person has appeared out of nowehere. And now he’s receiving all the special treatment. What is this madness? But, Minnaela could see by the slow blinking of Yra’s eyes, and the snuffling and grunting that, already, she had taken a liking to the young colt.
“What should we call’im?” Jeronimo asked.
It was very good question. Minnaela didn’t even know what was going to happen to this horse after his cut healed, but she felt that the horse needed a good name anyway. Something that stood out, strong, big, and important.
“I’m not sure” Minnaela said, uncertain. “But it should be something amazing.”
“How about Alby?”
“What? No!” Minnaela set down next to the young thing and stroked his nose. “This fighter deserves more than some stupid ol’ nickname”
Jeronimo and Minnaela sat in a thoughtful silence. Neither of them knew of very many good names.
“What if we named him after King Filtrous?” Jeronimo offered.
“Nope,” Minnaela shook her head, “One Filtrous is enough bad luck for this kingdom, if you don’t mine me sayin’”
Since Minnaela lived alone with her da, she always heard the political rumblings and mumblings when taxes were raised, and she had formed a very narrow opinion on the King of Flatsig (since the name of Flatriousignious is so long, most citizens of the kingdom called it ‘Flatsig’). Minnaela tried to think of a word that described the colt, but couldn’t think of anything but colors.
“We could call’im Redvine” she finally said. “That’s kind of what his cut looked like.”
“Too… Fantastic” Jeronimo voted down the name, “Besides, the redness of the cut will be gone in a couple weeks anyway, and people would wonder why we called him that.”
“Good point, since he is so white”
“What if we called him white?”
“White?” Minnaela shook her head. “Now it’s not fantastic enough!”
Minnaela and Jeronimo again sat in a thoughtful silence. Them Minnaela sat straight up.
“You do have a point there, though” she said. “Did you ever learn the common colors in latin at learnin’ school?”
“Oh, well, we did. It was kind of stupid” Minnaela paused, trying to remember all the colors that they had memorized together. “Pompus was yellow. I remember that…”
“Pompus?” Jeronimo inquired. “What an odd name. No wonder we didn’t learn them!”
“Albus!” Minnaela blurted. “Albus is the latin word for the word ‘white’”
“Great!” Jeronimo said cheerfully. “Which means that I can still call him Alby!”
“Yeah, I guess” Minnaela smiled a little, then went back to stroking Alby’s nose.
Over the years, Albus “Alby” began to fit his ‘fantastic name’, as he grew to be the tallest, strongest, and most valiant horse that anyone in the village had ever seen. He never did have a red scar after his cut healed. In fact, the long, ugly cut was completely healed the next morning when Minnaela and Jeronimo met in the barn to check on the colt. Rem had no explanation for it. However, there was a most curious ointment that was left where the scar (and the stitches) had been. There was no evidence that anyone had been in the barn, or even touched the hay in the stall, except for a small, red maple leaf that had been found sticking out of the colt’s ear. Ever since the day of the Aby’s discoverance, Minnaela and Jeronimo became easier friends, and mutually got each other in trouble, and went on explorations throughout the forest, looking for any evidence that would explain Aby’s appearance in the tree. The only evidence they ever found was a small red maple leaf, stuck in the bark of the hollowed out tree where the white feather had been hidden. Neither Minnaela or Jeronimo had noticed it before. This made the mystery all the more strange. However, as years passed, and their love for Alby grew in their hearts, Minnaela, Jeronimo, and Rem all put thoughts of the red maple leaf in the back of their minds, until the year Minnaela was 17.
Enjoy. :)
You have no idea how much I would appreciate any comment, really. Even if you say you hate it. Constructive criticism is greatly appreciated.
I should also add that this is a very rough draft. There are holes in the plot, setting, and time of the story, as well as some key facts. But, It's NaNoWriMo! What can you do? I'll go through and edit the story at the end of November.
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Submitted on
November 11, 2013


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