A Day in the Sun
A very short Laramie ficlet posted 8-23-11
I've spent most all of my life 'on the drift,' as I've heard some people call it. And it's true that since my early days down in Texas, I have been traveling nearly non-stop, always on my way to somewhere, though rarely knowing where I'm bound.
Over the years, it ain't been all that often that I've slept with a roof over my head – not that I mind, most times. I like being out in the open where the air is fresh and the grass is green under my feet, nodding off beside a cheery campfire, knowing there's new trails to follow come morning.
It's nice where I am now, though, settled down here at the Sherman Ranch. It's not so exciting as being on the drift, that's true, but the accommodations are better and the meals more regular. They're tasty, too, and there's never any scrimping on the quality or quantity of the grub. Being out of the wind and rain and the cold is something I appreciate as, though I ain't old, I ain't as young as I used to be. And it purely does get real cold, and sometimes snowy, too, up here in this Wyoming country. Maybe it's just my southern upbringing that left me unprepared for the weather here, but lordy, when that winter wind gets a'blowin' down off the mountains, it's enough to freeze your backside.
Now, don't get me wrong, I ain't complainin'.
I've made me some good friends here, too, mighty good ones that I work with and, when I get the chance, hang out with of an evening.
Yeah, I'll admit it, I like having a place to call home.
Life is good, even easy sometimes. Like today, Sunday, dozing in the sun with a full belly after a hearty breakfast. I might even get the whole day off, if I'm lucky, just rest and relax and take me a good, long nap.
Slim just strolled out of the house – without even opening my eyes I recognize the sound of that distinctive heel-scuffing, long-strided walk of his. I'd know it anywhere.
And now someone else is coming too, movin' in hurry, and these rapid footsteps I know even better. Looks like my lazy day is over, but that's okay. He's a good friend, not big on tenderness but loyal to a fault. He's taken good care of me and I know that he always will – sometimes you just come to understand these things, not by a man's words but by his deeds.
Where he leads, I'm glad to follow, not just because it's my nature, but because over the years he's earned my trust by seeing to my needs a'fore his own.
Even before he calls my name, I turn around and amble toward the corral gate, meeting him there, showing that I'm ready for whatever action the day will bring. He slips the halter over my ears and scratches me in that hard to reach and always itchy spot under my jaw, and I remember what a real lucky horse I am to share my life with a good man like Jess Harper.
(This little ficlet is dedicated to three very special four-legged, whinnyin' pards who I have been blessed to have had in my life: Doc, Shi, and Foolish.)