Day 10: A Holiday (except for the shopping) (Part 2)

Back at the winery, I took the flowers and wrapped them around fronts of both my geldings’ stalls. Bright seemed pretty okay with it, but Evening snorted and gave me this affronted look. “I know, I know, you’re a boy,” I told him while I fed Bright and put his gear away. “But I’m a girl and I like flowers. You can deal with it for a couple of days.” He shook his head, but didn’t put up any more fuss.

Then, anyway. I have a feeling his half of the flowers will be eaten or dragged into his stall and trampled by morning.

Our chores at the winery were pretty simple, and then Judy told us that Felicity in Firgrove had sent her an e-mail that morning asking for a little help with a wolf problem at some point this morning. With a quick consult over the map, we decided we’d go back through Silverglade to Steve’s, then up to Valedale and to Firgrove. We could lunch at Fort Pinta and do our shopping there before we went to the mall.

I was a little exhausted thinking about all that browsing around. It was like a full day of spring or autumn shopping with Mummy, since I had managed to limit her to twice a year.

But I’d agreed to it once already, so there was no help for it. I got Evening tacked up and Savvy did the same for her Heart. While I trusted Evening, I wasn’t nearly as sure if people would be thrilled with us for leaving our horses standing, so I grabbed simple rope halters with attached leads out of the tack room that would easily fit both of them so we could tie them to hitching posts if someone got irritable. I offered the purple one to Savvy, not daring challenge Evening’s seeming masculinity further today since it also had bands of pink in it, which left him with the aqua one and blue one.

On our way through Silverglade, I gave into temptation and asked Savvy to stop at the shop and salon tucked behind and across from the vet’s. The dressage set in the window was just too pretty. I think she was just glad that I had a place I wanted to go instead of just letting her decide where we went. I didn’t want to spend that much in Star Coin at once (and they were insistent on Star Coins only), so I settled for the gloves and the pants for now. Both were white, so while not the most practical for summer camp, I’d wear them somewhere. I think Savvy liked some of what she saw, but was willing to wait to spend it elsewhere. I can understand the idea, but I was willing to shell out the coins now rather than go bargain hunting.

Things were surprisingly calm on the way to Valedale, and I really got to appreciate how quiet Jorvik was, when we weren’t darting from one crisis to another. I didn’t remember there being anything I particularly wanted there, but I went and at least looked around. Maybe some other trip, but I just wanted bare essentials to get comfortably through a week instead of scrounging today. I did manage to wave at Elizabeth when we passed by! I was quite proud of myself over that.

At the lake, I took off my boots and stood in the shallow parts near the start while Savvy ran the race. The water helped make me feel better, as I imagined it carrying the emotional pains out with each lap against my ankles. Evening nudged me from behind, and I adjusted my stance so I could wrap my arm around his neck and scratch him under his ears. It was too soon when Savvy finished, but at least I had (to borrow a little from Jayne from Firefly), found at least a few scraps of my calm after my massive mood swing this morning.

Ugh, I needed to figure out what to do about this boy so he would quit tying my feelings in knots. And that meant talking to someone about it. And Savvy was the best person I had to turn to.

The path to Firgrove required too much of our attention, and while we were helping with the stalls, Felicity told us about the wolf problem they had down at the sheep, which took over the attention for very different reasons. I blanched, Savvy looked excited, of all things. Well, what she had us do was pretty easy. There were some down fences that needed fixed, and some torches that needed lit around the pen.

We met a boy named Andy, who seemed to be responsible for taking care of the sheep and had his own part to play in wolf-protection. Namely, marking the sheep. He gave us a bright red pencil, and while Savvy walked around lighting the torches, I spared her and did the sheep markings. The little dears baaed as I approached, but were quite agreeable to my marking them. I briefly hoped that the red wouldn’t ruin the wool…until I noticed the pen wasn’t waterproof. Wonderful. We’d be doing this again sometime after the next rain storm (which if my hair was right, would be tonight). It took both of us to thread wire through the gaps to rebuild the fence. I’m not sure how good of a job it was, but it held up for now.

Felicity was quite happy with our results, and awarded us handsomely. Savvy started poking around again, and I took Evening over to the horse gear to wait. But then he started shifting around in a way that was not characteristic of him at all. Curious, I looked at what was on display. Some reds, some black, all manners of gear. If I reached for anything blue, Evening would shake his head or give my shoulder a jostle. Obviously not what he wanted. They didn’t have his size in the green blanket, so I picked up a black and forest green bridle instead. His ears perked forward, like it was an apple.

And, well, he had been remarkably patient with the borrowed gear. “Alright,” I told him with a grin. “If I’m getting me a bunch of clothes, no reason you can’t have a new bridle.” I slid the shillings to the shopkeepr and ignored the strange looks with practice. I changed them out right there rather than risk him sulking the rest of the day. He was quite happy about it, tossing his head and showing off at Heart, I think. It sparked a laugh out of me, which just made him worse.

My horse is a pill, diary.

We reached Fort Pinta just in time for lunch. If we rushed the chores to get to it faster, well… James is still a git, I don’t mind slighting him just a little bit once in a long while. He was willing to let our horses take their tack off and doze in one of the open stalls together over lunch. I don’t know how much Heart liked it, but Evening stacked out a corner of the big stall and leaned with one hind foot resting on the tip like an old man falling asleep in an instant. I grabbed you, diary, to take with me to the table so I could finally talk at least a little with Savvy.

Continue to Part 3…

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About Rebecca M. Horner

A spinner of yarns (of the story sort, though I do crochet...and sew, and learning to make armor...) View all posts by Rebecca M. Horner

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