This assignment was to tell a story using someone else’s voice. I tried to use one of Mom’s stories, and told in her voice, and I’m not sure how well I succeeded. Which kind of makes sense, in a way, because Mom’s had a huge influence on my voice. Still, I was aware of how she would say things as opposed to how I would say things while I was writing this. The ending is kind of abrupt. I don’t know why I struggle with endings so much.
And Mom, I know I didn’t get all of the details right. It was for a Creative Writing class. I was writing creatively.
I’m the only girl in a family with five boys—and it’s a good thing my brother’s have me around to tell them what to do and how to think. I don’t know how my older brother, Karl, managed before I learned how to talk.
Growing up, everything was divided equally between the boys and the girls. My brothers will tell you this means things like the money, the vehicles, the desserts, and brush the girls when I mention the chores. While it’s true that I didn’t spend much time working the cattle or moving pipes the way my brothers did, I was still expected to help with the housecleaning, cooking and sewing—and when Mom went back to school and eventually started teaching, the responsibility fell even more on me, no small task in a family that had as many hard-working farm boys as mine did.
Just like people, every animal on a farm has a job to do, and as far as the horses were concerned, they’re primary duty was a form of transportation for when Dad and the boys would tend the cattle or check fences. For me, horses meant Scout.
Scout had been bought specifically to be ridden, not as a work horse. My brothers would ride him too, but I thought of him as mine. Scout disagreed on this point. Whenever I went to put his bridle on so we could go for a ride, he’d step on my foot. Not hard enough to hurt, or do any damage, but firmly enough that I couldn’t move. When Mom saw me heading to the barns, she’d wait a few minutes, then head to the back porch and call “SCOOOUUUUTT!” in the voice that kept her siblings, children and the kindergarteners she taught in line. When he heard Mom holler, Scout would let me loose, and we would then go for our ride. I don’t think he was trying to be mean, even though he wouldn’t pull the same trick on my brothers. I think that he wanted to let me know that he was letting me ride him, and if he ever decided that he didn’t want to go, we weren’t going anywhere.
I liked to take him down to the rodeo grounds behind the church, where we’d practice barrel racing. Every year on Labor Day, the town of Leamington throws a party called Lemarado Day. There’s a rodeo in addition to the other programs. I always wanted to ride in that rodeo, but something always came up, or I didn’t qualify or something.