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Life on the Farm

by Joe Writer Man

Chapter 18

Thomas continued, "Mom and Dad don't know much about Kevin's past life... you know... before he came here to be our little brother... Kevin used to have terrible nightmares... he'd scream... and nobody could calm him down no matter what we tried to do. We think that maybe a man terrorized him. The doctors said that he wasn't hurt 'that way'".

"Thank God." I whispered. I started to feel like I needed to shake, but instead of giving into it... Thomas seemed to know what I was up against - he put his hand on my shoulder and squeezed lightly.

"James, abuse is not always sexual..."

"I know. I know." I said as a huge lump of pancakes threatened to squeeze closed my throat.

I got up, walked to the hose connection, ran a cup of water and drank it down so that I didn't toss up breakfast. After feeling it pass, I walked back to Thomas and sat down. I asked, quietly, "Did he have any broken bones?"

"No. Mom and Dad think he was yelled at a lot."

"But, he'ssssss justtttt a little boyyyyyy." I whined, suddenly feeling very small in the world. I fought away the tears... this wasn't about me, it was about Kevin... I had to be strong for him. I had to be.

"That he is. That he is. That's all we know about his past. James, can you do something for me?"

"Absolutely." I replied.

He put his big hand on my shoulder. I put my arm on top of his massive forearm and waited for him to speak.

"James, I've had this same conversation with Eric and Luke so you shouldn't feel like I'm singling you out... when you get angry, and you will from time to time... it's just part of being human... take it away from Kevin. He adores the ground you walk on. He looks up to you more than he does Dad or me, and that is just fine. We don't feel bad about it... we're just glad he's made his peace with someone. So when you get angry or super frustrated, just go up to your room, or outside, or just away from him, as much as you can. Can you do that for us, for me?"

"Yeah, sure... I mean, I try not to get angry... when I get pissed, or something, I run. It's like it chases me around, or some such shit... I like it here, Thomas. I can run and run and run and run some more... and I don't get hit by cars and shit, and I get to come back home, knowing I won't be beaten or fucked up." Somberly, the moment quickly passing, I continued, "He chased me down, Thomas. That's why I ran. Nobody can ever catch me like that again, never, ever, ever, never – never ever!" I spat fighting down those memories of that son of a bitch who nearly took away my fucking life.

Thomas, much to my dismay, at first, pulled me into his massive chest, and just held me firmly until I could get hold of the runaway memories that come up every now and again.

I gave in to his brotherly ministrations, loosened my muscles, and willed myself to swallow and breathe normally again.

"Come on, we've got chores to do. Promise me something."


"If you get scared and need to run and run and run... just remember that this family will love you as you make your way home, again. So don't go too far or I'll have to go after you, hog tie you, and haul your skinny ass back."

"I'm more like Kevin... I tend to run and hide so that nobody can find me."

"I'll find you. I know where to look." Thomas said softly.

I looked into his eyes and saw that he was telling the truth. I had no doubt they he'd find me... probably I'd make sure that I wasn't too hard to find.

Just then, a one pissed off Eric came screaming and cussing into the barn about those stupid motherfucking cocksucking feathered fuckers. Seeing us sitting on the trough caught him off guard. He said angrily, decisively, "Well, they fucking are!"

He plopped down on the upside down horse can, then shoved me closer to Thomas so he could better sit.

His arms had been pecked like hell... they looked sore. His neck was pecked, too. The only part of his visible flesh that wasn't pecked was his face.

Thomas saw the bruises, too. He stood Eric up, unsnapped Eric's coveralls, and allowed them to drop to the floor. Eric didn't resist as his older brother turned him around to see everything up north of the border.

Meanwhile, I put my fingers in the waistband of his underwear and dropped them to join his coveralls.

Eric's butt, other than for the bruises resulting from the towel licking from Stacy, looked okay and free of peck marks. The front of his hips was another story – several peck marks were present, two of them precariously close to his early puberty low hanging balls. Those wounds looked very painful. Thankfully, no skin was broken.

Thomas mused, at seeing Eric's rising maleness, and then he belly laughed, and said, "Just don't fuck the chickens... choke the feller all you want."

"Fucking pervert." Eric bantered, and, at the same time, smacking Thomas' bullish neck.

Thomas laughed even harder, "Just remember that your room is next to mine..."

"Fuck you!" Eric spouted, trying so hard not to giggle.

Thomas shook his head, gathered back his breath and said assuredly, "That's not going to happen... come on we've got chores to do..." Then without warning grabbed Eric up, slung Eric's struggling body over his shoulder and walked to the other side of the barn. There, he dropped Eric to the floor, reached into a tool box, groped around in a bottom drawer, retrieving a pair of heavy long rubber gloves, and said, "Wear these. There's no sense in your getting hurt... one of these days, those fuckers will grab you and tear some skin loose. Try them out. See if they work. Okay, guys, we've gotta get busy... Dad may come out here and thrash my butt for keeping you from your chores..."

"Like that's ever going to happen..." Eric said, clearly amused.

The visual blew my mind. Like how in the hell would Dad ever make that happen... Thomas was just about Dad's size...

Thomas snorted, "Dad's got more experience, that's how, right Eric?"

"Whatever..." Eric responded knowingly while putting the gloves into his back pocket.

I grabbed hold of a big industrial sized brooms and began sweeping the floor. Thomas asked, "How's your hip? We've got some hard heavy work to do... and I don't want you hurting."

"Oh, it's okay... it's getting better day by day."

"You're sure?"


"Okay, we've got a couple of horses that are getting ready to give birth. I want you and Eric to drop off two bales of hay so that can build them a nest in separate stalls."

I stood the broom against the wall, looked toward Eric, and then we took off up the stairs to the loft.

Eric and I had often worked together doing heavy work, and we worked well together.

In short order, we'd push and pull those heavy bales of hay to the edge of the loft and give it a mighty shove with our feet until it went crashing to the ground, landing with a thud. Smart ass Thomas would then pick it up and carry one each one where he wanted it to be.

Meanwhile, Eric said, "Okay, we've got to move these bales around so they can dry out. The animals cannot eat them wet."

The hay in the loft had to be turned several times a week.

As we worked side by side, Eric explained that wet hay would become largely inedible and wasted, and would make the livestock sick, perhaps even resulting in their death from lethal molds and spores.

"BEES. HELPPPPPP! GET OFF ME YOU FUCKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Thomas screamed from down below.

Both Eric and I tore out for the edge of the loft. Thomas was swatting, flailing his arms and screaming hysterically.

Eric tore down the steep stairs, lost his footing three rungs from the bottom, sprawled to the ground, but quickly got up, and screamed to me, "He's allergic to those fuckers... go get Mom... HURRY! RUN!"

Stopping for only a moment, seeing Eric running the the spigot, I tore down the stairs, didn't fall, then took off toward the house. Halfway there, Dad was just coming out of an out-building. I yelled, not stopping, "Thomas is getting stung by bees..."

As I ran past him, he said, "Go get Mom and tell her to bring the medicine!"

I turned around just long enough to see Dad running like a mule toward the barn. At the same time, not paying attention, I tripped over something and fell to the ground. But, that didn't stop me. I got up and continued heading, at breakneck speed, to the house.

Luke exited from the goat pen, terror clearly in his eyes, and then he took off for the barn while I continued on.

Arriving at the house, I tore through the door and hollered to mom, standing in the kitchen working away over the stove and told her what was happening.

Her expression of happiness instantaneously turned to fear and terror.

She went to the refrigerator, reached in and fetched up two cardboard medicine boxes, handed them to me, and then we took off for the barn.

Not waiting for anything, on the way out of the house, she yelled for Stacy to watch after Kevin. I'd never seen Mom run. She grabbed hold of my wrist, and together we ran out of the house, down the path, then she took shortcuts through the garden and goat pen. Arriving at the barn a minute or two later, we found Thomas lying on the ground with Dad and Eric removing his shirt.

Quickly, Mom opened the box, retrieved syringes of medicine, knelt down, and injected Thomas with both of them. I reached inside the box, retrieved another one, and waited to see if she needed it, too.

Thomas did need another syringe of medicine, which I would later learn contained epinephrine and other medicinal components necessary to fight off allergic reactions.

Thomas was not responding to the treatments... his color was starting to turn dusky, his wheezing was becoming more pronounced. Dad said, "Eric, go call the sheriff. We need an ambulance. RUN!"

Eric tore out. I stood there watching and waiting. I gave Mom two more vials of the medicine. There was only one syringe left. As time went on, I became more and more scared, hoping against all hope that Thomas didn't die.

From somewhere, deep in my brain, I remembered that, sometimes, mud helps to extract the poisons of bee and snake wounds. Quickly, I laid, on the floor, the last vial of allergy medicine, took off for outside the barn after grabbing the hose. I found a mound of dirt and wet it down, and then scooped up handfuls of mud and took it into the barn, got on my hands and knees, looked carefully for bee stings, dobbed them with the rudimentary concoction... but there really weren't many visible.

I told Dad to help me roll Thomas over... at the same time, I unhooked the snaps on Thomas' coveralls, pulled them down as far as I could. It was then that several bees exited, madder than hell. Two of them stung my arms, but I didn't care, not then, anyway. It was then, too, that we saw all the bee stings, so I began liberally and methodically applying the mud to them.

When I ran out, Luke went and retrieved more mud.

Eric returned and said that the sheriff was on his way, code 3, but the ambulance was on a call clear across town and was unavailable.

One good thing... a really good thing... Thomas' color was beginning to return. Undeterred, Mom gave him the last injection. The empty boxes and used syringes laid next to Thomas... all we could do at that juncture was wait and see. Knowing there was nothing more we could do, Mom took our hands in hers, and then began praying to a God I didn't believe in, asking for healing.

I, to this day, don't know if the prayers helped or not, or if it was the medicine, or if it was a combination of everything... Thomas began coming to, coughing, sputtering, flailing his arms like he was scaring off, or attempting to scare off yet another bee attack, but there were no bees that we could see. As a first thought, I reached across Thomas, pulled out his underwear to see if any bees had made it inside, stinging my brother. There were none, thankfully.

Mom said, "He's still in shock... but he's coming back... Dear God help my boy. Don't take him away from us."

A few minutes later, we heard a car tearing down the path leading to the barn. It skidded to a stop just outside the barn door. Eric got up, went to the opening, and opened the door wide. The sheriff drove on inside the barn, parking not 3 feet away from Thomas and the rest of us.

Sandy got out, ran to Thomas, went to her knees and attended to her boyfriend while the sheriff brought blankets. Meanwhile, Thomas stopped thrashing his arms all around. He opened his eyes. You could just see the wonderment in his eyes and through his expression. He reached for Sandy, pulled her in, kissed her lips, and then began talking a mile a minute, not a single word was understandable.

Ahhh, we learned that Sandy has a sense of humor, too. She said, "So, what are you doing playing in the mud and muck without me, huh?"

I snickered, and then laughed out loud when Thomas shrugged his shoulders, then he looked all around for the culprit or culprits laughing at him.

I said not one word.

Nobody busted my anonymity, though, Luke, smiling, looked into my eyes and snickered knowingly. Thomas didn't miss the exchange. He looked at me, smiled, and permitted us to all help him up. He reached down, pulled his overalls back up and fastened them securely. He was wobbly on his feet, and then started giving Mom a hard time because she was opening the door to the sheriff's car and pointing for him to get inside.

With Dad by his side, and Luke, Eric and me holding onto an arm to help steady our oldest brother, Thomas complied without any further argument or delay, knowing that neither would work to get him out of going to the hospital to be checked out.

In the heat of the moment we failed to notice that Stacy was with us, quietly observing everything that was going on.

Mom, Dad, Sandy and Thoms took off in the sheriff's car, leaving us standing, sitting or kneeling, and not knowing what to say or do; we'd been scared shitless. Even Stacy was lost for words. Then her eyes popped wide open, and then she took off like a bat out of hell, running as fast as she could possibly go out of the barn.

Kevin? Where was Kevin?

Eric, Luke and I then tore out, following her to wherever she was going...

As we were passing the goat pen, Luke grabbed Eric's and my arms, and pulled us to a stop.

Kevin, naked as the day he'd been born, was sitting on the ground in the goat pen... with goats all around him, licking him and there, as if he were their very own. We all stood there just watching, unable to move, totally immersed in what was happening in front of us. Kevin, sensing movement, and people, looked up, saw us, and then he smiled great big... like nothing was the matter, like who are you looking at, and why are you looking at me like that?

A look of recognition crossed Stacy's face. She said, "Fuck me... you guys bring Kevin to the house... I was fixing... fuck, fuck, fuck..." And then she tore out toward the house, not stopping for anything or for anyone.

Innocently, Kevin, with his eyes wide open, said, innocently, "Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!"

For a moment, all we could do is look at him... he had a grin going from ear to ear on his little cherubic face... then... a snicker or two escaped us... and then stark reality came over us at the gravity of possibly Kevin passing that on – in the presence of Mom or Dad... they'd know we'd taught him those words...

Eric, Luke and I entered the corral. While Luke and Eric were pushing the goats away from Kevin, none of which were too happy to be pushed around like that, they finally relented enough so that I could reach down, pick up Kevin, pull him into my arms, which earned me kisses on my cheeks. I pulled him close, hugged his little body, patted his bare butt, and then we went walking toward the house.

Stacy was cussing up a blue streak when we entered. The house was filled with smoke, emanating primarily from the oven... opening the door revealed 3 loaves of homemade bread had been left in there, and were smoking and smoldering, burned beyond all recognition. Eric, Luke and I opened up all the windows in the house, propped open the front and back doors so the smoke filled air would clear out bythe early morning breezes.

Seeing that Eric, Luke and Stacy had matters under control, I took Kevin upstairs to gave him another bath. His backside was caked with mud and goat shit... so getting him cleaned up took some elbow grease and perseverance. Nevertheless, eventually I was able to move on to other areas.

Before I could towel him dry, he sat down on the toilet and took care of his own business. Finished, he tore off a wad of tissue paper and handed it to me. I thought about giving him some shit, but, instead, took the offering and wiped his butt clean, flushed, then lifted him up to the sink so he could wash his hands.

Next, I dressed him in cowboy jeans, a pullover shirt, shoes and socks, spiffed up his hair, and then we went back downstairs. Stacy was sitting at the dining room table, with her head hung low, soot and smoke were all over her clothes, on her face, and in her hair. Feeling pity for her, I said, "Stacy, we'll take care of this... go on and get cleaned up... have you eaten yet?"

Silently, she shook her head, then quietly headed up the stairs.

Eric said, after she was gone, "Whoa, dude... she's NEVER done THAT before... shee-it."

Blowing his comment aside, I asked, "What kind of cereal does she like?"

Without saying a word, Luke grinned, then headed into the kitchen. He soon returned with a box of Rice Krispies, the milk, and a spoon... the sugar was already on the table.

Then we got busy cleaning up the kitchen, trying to get the soot off the counter spaces, table, the stove, the refrigerator, and anywhere else we could see that needed scouring.

When we were just about finished, Stacy, with her hair up in a towel, looked up and smiled warmly. I saw, then, that she was actually an okay person, having emotions and gratitude.

She grabbed a rag from the pail, then disappeared into the dining room. Curious, we followed her. When I saw that she was wiping down the table, I took the rag away and motioned for her to sit and eat the breakfast we'd prepared for her.

Keven, warily checking out her attitude, relaxed. Stacy urged Kevin onto her lap. Kevin, with the hint of tears in his eyes, asked quietly, "Are you mad at me, Stacy?"

Stacy's face fell... I thought she was going to break down in tears, but, instead, she dropped the spoon into the bowl, reached for Kevin, scooped him up, pulled him onto her lap and held him firmly while she finished eating.

Seeing that everything was as okay as it was going to get, Eric, Luke and I took the pails outside, dumped them, sat them on the porch to dry, and then took off for the barn.

Chores could wait... for a while anyway.

We clambered up to the loft, sat down on a bale of hay, and began recounting the events of the day thus far.

Eric said, "Don't tell." He didn't wait for answers. He went to the other side of the loft, grabbed a package from atop a rafter, then returned and sat back down.


Eric made mention of smoking with care, since he didn't want us burning down the barn. Nobody had to say anything... we knew that burning down the barn would highly piss Dad off. Besides, we didn't want to destroy or cause harm to it, to ourselves, or to anything else.

Tom Sawyer kids, we were.

Destructive urchins, we were not.

Finished with the first round, we took the still lit butts to the barn window, then carefully tossed them into the mud below.

Luke then lowered his coveralls to the floor, stuck his highly erect dick up and out, and began peeing a high arcing stream. I, too, needed to take a healthy piss, so I did likewise, as did Eric.

I kinda sorta needed to take a dump, but it was not one of those that required urgency.

We were all hard. Eric began stroking his dick purposefully, grinning all the while. Luke and I looked at each other, and then began stroking ours, too. Eric was the first to arrive. He stuck his dick out, bent his knees, then let out groans and moans of impending orgasm.

Next, I reached the moment of no return. In the light of the sun, I saw a small amount of ejaculation exit my dick and land on the ground below.

Just as I was returning from the trip to that far away galaxy, Luke violently shuddered, scrunched up his face in mock anger, and then jutted his own dick out as far as it could, then with a mighty heave ho – ejected a stream far away from his naked member and thighs.

Satiated, at least for a little while, we got dressed again, smoked another cigarette then went back to work rearranging the bales of hay so that they could properly dry.

By then the urge to defecate was strong, so when we went down the stairs, I took off for the stall in the far corner, dropped my bibs, leaned over, and took a good healthy country shit. I swear that turd was the longest one ever... it kept going and going and going some more... until I felt empty. With my coveralls riding on my ankles, I went into the main part of the barn, tore off a paper towel, and proceeded to wipe away any evidence, and then tossed it into the big trash bin.

As I was pulling up my clothes, I heard Coltrane whinnying like crazy. His 'voice' was unmistakeable. Anxious to see him, I made short order of getting back dressed. Eric and Luke were already in the doorway checking out my horse to see what was up with him.

When I saw him, he was standing next to the fence, upset as all hell. I walked to the fence, reached out to pat him, but he was in no mood to be petted... instead, he walked to the fence, turned so that his back was parallel to it, whinnied loud and urgently.

To Eric and Luke I said, "Something's very wrong..."

I climbed the fence, contemplating on what to do next. Coltrane then surprised me. He took hold of my arm with his mammoth mouth, and wouldn't let go. No, he was not biting me or causing any pain … he was just absolutely in a state of, what? Worry?

When he tried to pull me through the fence, I knew that I had to do something.

I looked to Eric and said, "I've got to do this... something's wrong."

He nodded warily.

Without any further delay, I jumped onto Coltrane's back, grabbed hold of his mane, and then my horse tore out toward the tree line. I turned back... Luke and Eric were running fast after us.

Coltrane was very careful with me, knowing I didn't have a saddle to sit in, and knowing that his back was slick and hard to stay on because my legs had a hard time wrapping around him... rather it was impossible... he took care of me. Not once did I go down. Not once did I feel I was in any kind of danger.

Soon we were at the treeline. He lowered his body so that I could slide off.

One of the free range horses was lying on its side, screaming in pain.

I slid down off my horse, went to her side, and got down on my hands and knees to survey the situation.. I had no idea how an animal gave birth... I just knew there was something that was very, very wrong... a leg was jutting from the horse's pussy, and it was thrashing like mad.

Eric and Luke soon arrived.

Eric took one look at the situation, then he, too, got down on his hands and knees.

With a determined expression on his face, he said, "She's breech birthing. Grab a leg... you pull and I'll push."

With that said, immediately, he reached his arm way up in momma's pussy and began doing whatever it was that he was doing.

I grabbed hold of the leg sticking out and began pulling on it.

Luke, too, grabbed hold and began pulling – hard, at Eric's urgings.

Soon, another leg popped out. Luke took hold of it and began pulling.

I thought, surely, that we were going to pull off the legs... thankfully we didn't. When its butt popped out, Eric removed his arm from the tight confines of the mothers' pussy, joined Luke and me, then we, all three, pulled for all we were worth.

Within seconds, the delivery was finished. But, the foal was not making any movement, in fact, it wasn't breathing either.

Eric got up, knelt down over the foal and began beating its chest with his fists.

When that didn't work, he punched it hard in the gut... that was enough to stir the horse awake, alive. After lying there for a few moments, it started thrashing around, and then stood up on its legs, wobbly as all hell. By then, momma horse was up on her feet, too. The little one then went searching for a teat to feed on. Momma horse began licking the muck and yuck from its offspring while the baby busily gobbled to his heart's content.

Amazed at the whole situation, I said to Eric, "How did you learn to do that? Dude, you saved their lives."

"I've never done it before. I've seen Dad do it. He told me there would come a time when I'd have to do it... it's just a part of farm life."

"But, you had your whole fucking arm up in her pussy... gross!"

That pissed Eric off. He said, angrily, "God damn it, James. This is a fucking farm with livestock on it. Get used to it. Jesus Christ. Ya can't just leave an animal suffering like it was. You've gotta do what ya gotta do. And don't think pussy... think of it as a birth canal. It's just as natural as are sandy shores. Come on, let's go rinse off."

Coltrane stayed next to the mother and its offspring... I wondered if he'd sired the youngin... the little one didn't look like Coltrane... but I didn't know for sure.

We made our way to the creek. Clothes and all, Eric jumped into the water, rolled around, and vigorously splashed himself to get all of the gunk off of his face, arms, neck, all exposed areas, and out of his clothes. He then got out, stripped to the skin, and then dove in, head first. He came up, then began going under water and coming back to the surface... washing out his hair.

Meanwhile, Luke and I stripped and joined him. The water was cold, but not numbing cold... after a few minutes, the water didn't seem that bad, although my adolescent testicles were threatening to strangle me. While we were standing in neck deep water, Eric turned to me and said, "I'm sorry I yelled at you, James. But you've got to realize that we work hard here. One of the most important things that Dad has taught me is to respect the animals, at all costs. So what if you have to stick your arm inside an animal... you just do it without a second thought. If you know how to do something, then you just do it. Now you know how to help an animal give birth when it's in trouble, right?"

"Yeah... okay, I understand better, now. I'm not mad. I guess I have a lot to learn."

"Me, too, James, me, too."

Luke, meanwhile, was standing still, then his face got all red as he was scrunching... doing what we knew he was doing.

Eric, immediately pissed, smacked Luke up the back of his head and angrily said, "Not here in our swimming hole, you asshole. Get the fuck out of here. Damn it. You know better than that shit."

Luke did as he was told. No sooner had he gotten out of the water than he bent over and finished. Meanwhile, Eric was looking all around us for evidence of Luke's indiscretion. Finding no such evidence, he got out of the water, and then he too leaned over and took care of his business.

Knowing they'd soon be back in the water, I stayed and swam around.

When we had our fill of swimming and splashing we got out and climbed up on the rock, and laid down so the hot sun could dry our skin free of water.

The peace and serenity of just lying there without a care in the world, with the light summer-time breezes blowing across my naked body, and from the exertions and emotional turmoil, I fell sound asleep.

Some time later, I was awakened at hearing a loud splash into the water below. Startled, I sat up and looked all around. Eric and Luke weren't on the rock anymore. I stood up and peered down below... they were splashing each other, and frolicking in the almost cold water.

I'd seen Eric do it, more than once... but I'd never done it before... taking in a deep breath of air into my lungs, I stole strength and courage, then dove off the rock into the water some 10 feet below, coming up close to Eric. While coming up, I don't know what came over me, but I slithered up his torso, and grabbed his appendage with my mouth. Eric quickly reached his arms down and made a brief serious effort to have me bob on his very erect dick, but then he drew me up to the surface. I was out of air, anyway.

After getting out of the water, and getting comfortable on the hard rock... Luke laid back and began stroking his fully distended member... clearly with purpose.

Eric said something about Luke being a horndog, then he, too, laid back and began jerking with purpose and abandon.

You don't need to tell me twice.

I came first. The orgasm wasn't all that great, but I'll take it anytime.

Luke was next to arrive.

I was starting to wonder about Eric, if he'd ever make it. I sat up, scooted to his side, ready to take over if he needed any 'assistance'. He was furiously stroking, trying to get to the other side. I got up on my hands and knees, leaned over his torso, and was just about to give him what he was valiantly searching for when he screeched and let loose a howl, notifying the world that he'd arrived.

After lifting his legs high in the air and letting loose with a far to be proud of, he sat up, and said to me, "Dude, you spurted... you really did, kewl."

I replied, "Not very much... that's probably water, ya know."

"No way, dude. I saw your dick spurt... whatever, Luke, wake up. We gotta get to the house... maybe Mom, Dad and Thomas are home by now."

While I was comfortable, feeling a pocket of air deep within my bowels, I pushed down, and then shocked the air with a resounding, rolling, continuous, butt cheek flapping – fart... one of the best ones, ever.

Eric snickered, and then talked about having to call the Hazmat team to fumigate... and that they'd likely treat the area as a hazardous waste site.

Just before pulling up his underwear, I reached across and slapped the shit out of his bare ass.

He called me a fucker and other terms of endearment, didn't retaliate 'right then' but did promise retribution at an unannounced time of his choosing.

Like I was scared – not.

Once we cleared the weeds and shade, I looked to the creek and saw Coltrane minding his own business, drinking slugs of water, and generally chilling out from the hot sun and humid air.

Eric and Luke took off for the house. I, instead of walking with them, made my way down the slight ravine to him, patted his back, and praised his quick thinking and for calling us to the aid of his friend. That earned me a full out wet horse lips nuzzle on my neck. Then he snorted. He was laughing AT ME!


And... My horse definitely has a sense of humor. As I was walking up to the house, minding my own business, I heard Coltrane walking behind me. I turned around. He stopped and was just looking at me... staring me down is more like it. I turned away and continued walking... the next thing I knew was: he stuck his nose deep into my ass, and then raised his head up, causing me to fall flat on my face in the grass. Thankfully I didn't land in a horse pie - a small consolation in light of bruised pride.

"You, asshole, are cruising for a bruising." I muttered, then turned and continued walking along, minding my own business.

When I arrived at the gate, he stopped about 2 feet behind me. I thought to myself, silently, that he really wasn't a total asshole. I walked to him. He nuzzled my neck, snorted in my ear, then turned and ran through the pasture toward the tree line that he called home. He was so graceful... Smiling, I climbed over the gate, dropped down to the ground, and then took off running for the house, wondering if Thomas was home yet.

The car was in the side yard next to the house. I sped up the pace. Arriving at the steps, totally out of breath, panting for air, feeling the strains of running so far at a dead run, my hip throbbing a little bit... but not too much, I stripped down to my underwear in the ante room, tossed my overalls and socks into the basket sitting by the door that led into the kitchen. I wasn't the only one who had dropped my clothes there.

Mom was in the kitchen sitting with Dad sitting at the breakfast table by the window, lazily looking out. Dad turned around, saw me and urged me to come to him. I did. He put his arm around my lower back, patted my side, then Mom said, "Thomas is staying in the hospital overnight for observation. He's doing okay. They're going to run some tests, but he will not be discharged until morning."

Dad urged me to sit on his upturned knee. He said, "Your quick thinking probably saved him quite a bit of grief, James. You knew exactly what to do, and you did it. We're very proud of you. We're all grateful you jumped in there and got the job done without even thinking about it, or being told what to do. Thomas told us to tell you thanks. We're proud of Eric, too. He probably saved Thomas' life by acting so quickly to get help."

Mom said, "Eric told us how much you helped him drop the colt. He was quick to point out that the foal would have died if all of you weren't there... it would have been too much for him to do alone. This is why we want you boys to hang out together. Things happen. It's always better if you aren't alone."

Mom then looked at Dad. Something unsaid passed between them. Dad urged me up off his knee, took hold of my arm, turned me to face him, and then urged me to sit back down... I just knew I was in trouble... I felt it coming... but I didn't know why or where it was coming from... I was still afraid that they'd send me away, or that I'd find something to run away from... even though I had no reason to feel that way. But still...

I didn't want that to happen. Not knowing what else to do... instead of running... I leaned forward into his mammoth chest, grabbed hold of his sides, and held on tight, not wanting to go anywhere else... I felt tears threaten to leak from of my eyes... I struggled to keep them contained...

Dad's arms went around my back. I felt the air escaping from his chest blow across my shoulders. I shivered, even though it was hot in the kitchen, probably from the stove being on... truthfully, I don't know why I shivered like that.

"Dad, I don't know what I did... I'm sorry... please don't be pissed."

"Dan, talk to the boy about our rule around here about apologizing..." Mom said, then got up, walked to the stove to begin attending to lunch cooking on the old cast iron stove.

I rose up, sat tall, and started to shimmy off of Dad's knee, but he stopped me with his huge hand on the small of my back. He said, seriously, "James, understand something... a man walks on his own two feet. He doesn't apologize for things he hasn't done. He doesn't take other people's issues on his back so far that it breaks him in half. Now, here's the rule, and don't worry, you didn't know this because we haven't told you... but here it is: Don't apologize for something you didn't do. Take responsibility for what you do, or don't do. Nobody is mad at you. Around here, we don't wait until sometime later to bring something that's wrong to your attention. We deal with it, then move on. Do you understand me?"

"Yes, sir. I'll try. Everything was my fault... back there..."

"Okay, I understand better, now. The thing is: do you understand better, too?"

"Uhm, yes, Sir. Uhm, well, I... I... I... well, Sir... I... I rode Coltrane today. Without you or Thomas here... you know... like you said for me not to do... bareback, too..." I stumbled and stammered, knowing that surely some serious shit was about to hit the fan... he'd told me to absolutely not ride my horse... alone.

Dad took in a deep breath, then exhaled. "And just why did you do that? I told you to not ride him, like you said, without me or Thomas here, watching you."

"Yes, Sir. I broke the rule. Sir, may I explain?"

"James, you put yourself in danger. I do not trust that horse. Trust is earned, Son."

"Yes, Sir. May I please explain more, please?"

"I'm listening... but this doesn't change the fact that you disobeyed my rule." Dad said seriously.

"Yes, Sir. I didn't even think... Sir, Coltrane was going nuts. He was whinnying and crying... and well, Sir, I got on him... and he took us to where the foal was being born, but couldn't be borned... he was stuck, Sir." I said slowly, but deliberately. I thought if I was going down, then, at least, all the facts needed to be known.

Dad was looking into my eyes. His demeanor hadn't changed, and I hadn't expected it to change. I added, "Dad, we live on a farm. Sometimes things have to be done that bend the rules... you know, like when a farm animal's life is in jeopardy. Eric said if we know how to do something, then we have to do it. Sir, Coltrane will never hurt me. I just know it." I took in a deep breath, looked directly into his eyes, and added while exhaling, "Dad, if you, my brothers, or Stacy, or Mom, were in danger, I would do it again. I didn't even think about what I did as breaking the rule."

"Dan, let him be. I do not disagree with you... James, you broke the rule about not riding that horse without your Dad or Thomas being here, watching you. However, the circumstances do not warrant punishment." Mom said seriously, looking at me, then to Dad.

Dad looked at Mom then to me. He started to speak, but was interrupted when Eric entered the kitchen, running. He slid to a stop, so fast that he just about flew ass over tea kettle. His hair was wet. He was wearing only a pair of yellow brief underwear and a smile. Seeing, feeling the tension in the room, his smile quickly faded. He said, "Sorry, excuse me. Uhm, James, Kevin's calling for you... I'll take care of it."

He looked to Mom, nodded, then reversed his footsteps out of the kitchen, and disappeared through the doorway.

Dad said, after contemplating for a minute, no more, "Sometimes a man has to do what he has to do to prevent death or destruction. I see, now, that you simply did what you had to do in order to prevent catastrophe, even though you did not know what the difficulty was... that says a lot about you, your inner constitution, what you are truly made of. If you truly trust your horse, and I believe you do, then this means that he has given you reason to trust him. It's a two way street, James. You earned the right to be trusted by him… this is true for human relationships, too."

"I trusted my dad, Dad… I mean the father who donated sperms to make me here. He told me he'd take me to Alaska before I grew up… Boy, was I wrong. And then he did that… I don't want to talk about it. It just makes me upset. Dad?"


"I trust you… I trusted you from the very first time I saw you. If trust is earned… I mean we didn't even know each other. It's true for you, too, Mom… it's different here… I can't splain it."

Mom came to us. She pulled up a chair, sat down, then turned my face toward hers, and said, "Well, we heard about some of your history… we kind of know where you came from, quite a bit about what happened to you when you were living in that home, at least the end of it… your caseworker told us about how you survived … do you know what he said?"

"Nah uh. He saved my life, you know. I was almost dead."

"That you were… he told us that you weren't a quitter, that you kept going, and that you kept going even when your hip was painfully broken, and even when you were so close to … dying."

"Uhm… yeah, pretty much… I wanted to die, you know."

"No, I don't think so… knowing you like I do, now… nah, you're a strong kid. And yes, you are a kid. Don't sass me none, Boy." Mom said, as I started to say something along the lines of, 'I ain't no kid'.

"Okay… we've got that straightened out. Child, if this stuff comes up, then just get us together and we'll talk it out. There's no reason to keep it inside all bottled up. This is the way I see it: "Dan, that horse went to the boy. Correct me if I'm wrong... we do not want James riding that horse without you or Thomas here watching out for him... but, if something comes up, then <looking at me> I expect you to do what you did today... actually, I don't even expect you to do the right thing... I know you will. Now, why don't you go see what your little two legged admirer wants... you're excused. Dan?"

"Do you agree with our terms, James?" Dad asked.

"Yes, Sir. Sir, may I ask a question?"

"Of course you can. Go ahead."

"Sir, will you ever be able to trust my horse?"

Immediately, Dad replied, "Yes. Now, run along. See what the little munchkin is up to, and have a talk with him about his mouth, will ya?"

I didn't even turn around to face him as I made my way out of the kitchen...

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