11 Years Later...
My eye lined up but the bead with the target. I held my breath, and pulled the trigger. I stood there, waiting for the gun to go off. My inpatients grew. I sighed, lowering the gun still pointing down range, and look back at Bo.
“Alaska do-” halfway through Bo's shouting, the shotgun went off. The stock rammed into my ribs, sending pain down my side. I helped in pain as I fell to the ground, halfway convinced my ribs were broken. Lila instantly was at my side, her nose brushing against my forehead. Then Bo stood above me, as I slowly sat up.
“There’s a reason I kept those shells in the back of the gun cabinet.” Bo scolded like a parent. He looked at the target, and sighed. “At least you made a clean shot.” I look at it too. Small holes scattered around the front end of the foam deer. I grimaced as Bo helped me up.I squinted as the sun shone on some type of metal, the reflection happened t be aiming into my eye. I looked for the source, and some potted a small corral. “What’s that for?” I questioned.
We walked over to the pen. The fresh, Spring, air had swirls of new sents a to it, yet, winter’s grasps was still holding on. Tightly.
“They’re starting up Mustang round-ups again. I usually adopt a few in the spring.” Bo explained.
“How are you gonna adopt any, if it already happens in February?” I questioned, wrapping my hands around the cool metal, forgetting about my side.
“Some end up in shelters.”
“Can I help pick one?” I asked eagerly.
Bo look at me from the corner of his eyes, and amused smile showed in them.
“If you don’t have anything going on that day.”
“Really, like what?” I quizzed.
He shrugged his shoulders. “I danno. A birthday party or something?”
I climbed the fence, sat on the top rail, and glared down at Bo.
“I’m 14. I don’t have birthday parties anymore. I don’t even know what to do at one, let alone my own.” I sighed, “one I don’t have good enough friends to invite. Two, my birthday is in July. Three. It’s a matter of time before they move me into another home. Silence swept between us, as a warmer gust of wind reminded me it wasn’t long before school got out.
“There’s always Dustin.” Bo spoke up.
“Yeah. Two kids and adults. Best party ever.” I rolled my eyes as we both smiled at each other before we broke out laughing. I held my side as we stopped. There were a few moments of silence before breeze blew by blew my hair behind me. There was a question I wanted to ask. “Bo?”
I looked off at the meadow behind the target.
“Why do you live here, isolated, when you could be with your other family members on the reservation?”
He looked up at me, kindness shown in his light brown eyes.
“This is my ancestors’ land. Even before the white man came. It was five generations ago my great-great grandfather bought this land from a cruel rancher. When he met my grandmother, he brought her family here.
“The chief only allowed my grandmother to marry him, because he would honor that her ancestry by staying on ancient land. So I am with my family, in a way.”
“Is this is the original house?”
“No. It burn down when my father met my mother. It destroyed the land around us, and expose the meadow.” Bo paused, “he rebuilt the house mainly by hand. His stubbornness impressed my grandfather and his whole tribe. This land is insured to stay in the family.” He looked at me. “If I don’t have anyone to pass this Land down too, my sister will get it, and if she doesn’t pass it down to her children, then the tribe gets it.”
He had explained to me once, that the first Russells that married a Chief’s daughter was the one who bought the land, the first white man for generations of native blood, he had said.