The characters of Naruto are all the copyright of their brilliant creator Masashi Kishimoto. My original character Mako Korrono was my own idea.

It was a normally warm summer day in the kingdom of Konoha. The blond stable boy was busy tending to the horses that belonged to the kings knights. Dirt and grime covered his face as his deep blue eyes shown through. Wiping the sweat from his brow he gazed around the emerald green pastures and the sturdy steeds that occupied it.

"Man I'm whipped." He sighed as he let his shovel fall to the ground and he sat down against the wooden fencepost.

"Awww is little Naruto too tired from all that tough farm work?" He looked up to see another boy leaning over the same fencepost looking down at him. He had thick brown hair and eyes as deep and as blue as Naruto's.

"Hey Mako" He smiled up at him "Your dad let you off the hook early?"

"Yeah you could say that." He hopped the fence and took a seat next to his friend. "So you all done with the horses?"

"They've been washed, fed, I shoveled the crap outta their stalls…yeah I'm finished."

Mako laughed "I couldn't think of a worse job. The closest thing you get to a girl is if she has for legs and eats straw."

"What about you?" The young blond folded his arms and looked the other way "Being the son of a blacksmith, how many girls do you see?"

Mako just leaned back with his hands behind his head. "A few" He said calmly.

"Yeah well, all I know is" He leaned back as well to join his friend. "there isn't one girl out there for me." He sighed.

"Oh don't say that Naruto. Surely there has to be someone out there for you."

"A stable boy who cleans up horse shit? Don't make me laugh."

"Hey now, there's more to you than that. You have something that even most of the kings knights lack."

"Yeah, what's that?"

"You got heart man. How you rank in the kingdom doesn't always impress people. My dad has a saying 'Always expect to find love in unexpected places.'."

Naruto just sighed "So what are you saying?" He asked as one of the horses trotted up and Naruto proceeded to pet its nose.

"I'm saying your trying too hard. Live life as full as you can and if you find the right one you'll know it."

"You think so?"

"Yeah, Naruto your like family to me. I know you pretty well, and when you find the right girl I'll do whatever I can to help out."

"Thanks Mako. Maybe I am trying too hard."

"Hey listen, my mom wanted to know if you wanted to stop by for dinner tonight."

"Yeah sure. Just as soon as I get theses horses locked up."

"Okay" Mako leaped up and over the fence. "I'll see you in a while Naruto." He waved and then started to head back into town.

Naruto smiled a little as he whistled for the horses to come back into the stables. Over an hour passed before he was able to get all the steeds in the enormous barn. He spent most of his days like this, when he wasn't spending his free time with his friend he was working. He lugged bails of hay to the stalls, one for each horse. He treated all the stallions well and put a lot of effort into their care, he worked really hard for a boy his age. After he locked up the barn he made his way to Mako's home, on the way he saw a few people he recognized. There was Kiba, whose entire family was in charge of the kings hunting dogs, on his shoulder was his dog Akamaru. Kiba and Naruto were a little similar but they butted heads all the time. Naruto waved and Kiba waved back while the dog barked a greeting. He kept walking through town, passing shops and homes, seeing a few youth that he recognized. Then he reached a log home that was decent in size, a big chimney stuck out from the back of the building. Naruto walked up and knocked on the door, soon he heard someone opening it and soon Mako was greeting him.

"Hey Naruto, glad you could make it pal." Mako stepped back allowing his friend to step in as he closed the door behind him.

"Naruto, its so good that you came." Mako's mother walked up and gave him a warm hug. Naruto was always considered as family at Mako's home and he always felt like family.

"Thanks for having me over for dinner Mrs. Korrono."

"Its no problem Naruto, your always welcome here." She smiled pleasantly as she set the table.

"Naruto!" A little girl with long light brown hair ran up and hugged the blond's leg. She was Mako's 6 year old little sister Siona and she knew Naruto all her life, he was like another big brother to her.

"Hey Siona, good to see you." He patted her head "You been keeping Mako in line?"

"You bet I have." She showed a glowing smile.

"Yeah, yeah…" Mako grinned. "She does what she can."

"Dinners ready." Mako's mother called and they all sat down at the table, Naruto had his own spot right next to Mako.

"Hey Naruto when am I going to get to ride one of the horseies?" Siona asked

"Siona don't pester Naruto with those questions. Those horses belong to the king, not you." Mako's mother said.

"But I want to ride one." She pouted in her chair.

"Speaking of the kings horses. Isn't your old friend Sasuke in training to become one of the kings knights?" Mako's father asked.

"Yeah," Mako replied "he should be done with his training any day now."

"He's really good" Naruto commented "I'm not sure which stallion he's gonna get yet."

After dinner Mako and Naruto went back to the barn and relaxed in the loft. They looked out the open window at the clear night sky.

"So do you know when Sasuke is going to be knighted?" Naruto asked after hours of silence.

"Not really, but I would guess it would be in the next couple of days." Mako stood up and stretched out "Well I should be getting home, my dad and I have a few orders to fill tomorrow."

"See you later Mako." Naruto said as Mako leaped out of the window. He then lied his head back and soon drifted to sleep.