Taylor got off the school bus and ran up the long driveway, excited to see what her father got her for her sixteenth birthday. Running straight into the barn, she looked for him. Finding him in the office, she ran in and stood in front of him.
“Hey sweetheart, what’s up?” Her father said as he continued with his paperwork.
“Dad… Did you forget?” Taylor asked him.
“Forget?” He looked up at her. “Oh, I’m sorry. Happy birthday, happy sweet sixteenth birthday. Yes. I forgot. Why don’t you go upstairs, put something nice on and well go out for dinner. Then we’ll get your gift.”
“Dad,” she seemed disappointed. “you already know what I wanted, I made it quite clear.”
“Yes, Taylor, I know. I’m sorry. Just go get dressed. And hurry up, I have to get to the bank before they close.”
Disappointed, she drug herself out of the barn, across the driveway, into the house and upstairs to her room. Opening her door, she instantly saw it sitting on her bed. It was the present she wanted and she was suddenly excited and happy. Jumping on her bed, she ran her hands over the black leather and the shiny silver of the saddle. She picked up the black leather bridle with the long black leather reins.
Standing up, she jumped around in circles, then went to the window and opened it. “Thank you, dad.” She yelled loud enough that she knew he heard her. Walking to her closet, she pushed through her clothes and found a nice spring dress. It was April eleventh and the day was warm and beautiful.
Stripping off all her clothes, she put on clean underwear and a bra, then slipped the dress over her, adjusting and straitening it out. Looking in the mirror, she misted her long, curly brown hair before brushing it’s full length. Then pulled back the front and attached it with a barrette. She finished with black liner beneath her bright blue eyes and a coat of mascara. Running down the stairs, she changed into a pair of flat slip on shoes that were dressy.
Walking out of the house, she looked down to avoid the mud with her clean shoes. Seeing another shadow, she looked up to see a young man walk up beside her and continue to the barn, walking beside her. “Hi. I’m looking for the Sterling Ranch, am I at the right place?”
She stopped, then he did. “Yes. I’m Taylor Sterling, maybe I can help you.” Looking at him, he was a good looking, young man wearing jeans and a tee-shirt with tennis shoes. His blonde hair curled up around his ball cap. And his eyes were dark. He was carrying a large, heavy duffel bag in one hand and a newspaper in the other.
“I’m here about the job. My name is Rand. Rand Brody.”
“Job?” Taylor said, unaware that her father had place and ad looking for another ranch hand for the upcoming summer.
“Yes.” He showed her the ad in the newspaper. “I’m supposed to ask for Neil.”
“O.. K.., I will take you to him.” She said and led him into the barn and to the office. “Dad, this is Rand. He say’s he’s here about the job?”
“Rand? I’m Neil, nice to meet you.” He said as he came around the desk to shake his hand. “I’m sorry, I was just on my way out.”
“Oh, I’m sorry, can I wait for you to return? I walked here from town.”
“From town? That’s like twelve miles.” Taylor said, surprised.
“Oh. Wow. Well, I’ll tell you what. My daughter and I are going to dinner for her sixteenth birthday, why don’t you come along. I’ll buy your dinner and we’ll talk about it. If I hire you, I’ll bring you back with us. If I don’t, at least you’ll have a ride back to town.” Neil said. Taylor was embarrassed, having revealed her birthday, and upset for inviting him.
“Ok. Thanks, that sounds great.”
With his large duffel bag in hand, he followed them to the truck where he sat in the cramped back seat. Taylor listened as her father began the questions. “So, Rand, where are you from?”
“I’m from Denmark. About fifty miles from here.”
“You came all this way for a job as a ranch hand?” Neil asked.
“Well, yes actually. I love horses and it sounded like a good job for me.”
“How old are you?”
“Twenty five.” Rand answered.
“Do you know anything about horses? About ranching?”
“Horses, yes. Ranching, no, not really. I was raised around horses, have owned them since before I could walk. But I’m a quick learner and this is something that interests me.”
“Of the three other applicants that I’ve interviewed, they’ve been in their forties or fifties. I need someone who is young. Can handle the demands of the job, the way I want. Do you have a problem taking orders and doing things as your told to?”
“No I have no problems. It’s your ranch, things should be done the way you want. You’re the one with the experience, who knows what is best. I will do things as you say.”
Neil observed Rand in the rear view mirror as he drove to town, silent and thinking about this person, which to him, is a young boy. A young man. Parking in front of the bank, Neil got out and went inside, leaving Taylor alone with this handsome stranger. “So, today is your sixteenth birthday? How exciting.” Rand said from behind her.
“Yes, it is.” She answered shortly.
“Well, happy birthday, Taylor.”
She looked back at him, almost surprised that he remembered her name. “Thank you, Rand.” She smiled and turned back around.
He knew he would remember the first time she ever smiled at him. Thinking she was beautiful, he knew she was a child. “So, have you always lived there, on the ranch?”
“Yes. I was born two years after my parents bought it.” She didn’t feel the need to share any more personal information with the stranger.
Her father returned from the bank and drove to the fanciest restaurant in town. “I feel under-dressed for this place.” Rand said, looking at Taylor as she looked nice in her dress.
“Don’t worry about it, Rand, look at me. I’ve been working the ranch all day.” Neil said as he opened the door for him and Taylor both.
A waitress seated them in a booth beside the window overlooking a crystal clear lake, mirroring the mountains. Neil sat beside Taylor and Rand across from them. “Taylor, it’s your birthday, you order whatever you want. And you can order whatever you want too, Rand.” Neil said.
They looked over the menus and placed their orders. “So, Rand, are you looking to stay just the summer, or are you looking for something more permanent?” Taylor asked him.
“Well, it would be great for the summer, but if it turned into something more permanent, that would be better.” Rand said and Neil shook his head.
“If I did a background check on you, what would come up?” Neil asked Rand.
“Maybe a few assault and batteries from having to protect myself by fighting. That’s about it.” Rand answered him and Neil shook his head. “You can check, I don’t have a problem with that, after all, I’ll be pretty much living there, in your barn. According to your ad, the wages include room, board and a small paycheck.”
“Yes. That is correct.” Neil said, again shaking his head. He knew Rand was a very young man, but he had a good feeling about the young applicant.
The waitress brought their orders and refilled their drinks. “By the way, Taylor, Star has been waxing. She’s ready to deliver any time.”
“Maybe she’ll have her foal on my birthday. That would be cool.” She said and took a bite. “Star is my horse.” She told Rand. He knew she was excited about it.
They finished eating and Taylor was contemplating dessert when the waitress approached the table to remove their finished plates. Just as Taylor requested a hot fudge Sunday, she heard a group of people begin to sing ‘Happy Birthday’. She turned to see them coming towards the table with a small cake with candles burning. Rand joined in with the singers and she looked at him, embarrassed.
The cake was big enough for the three of them and some to spare. Taylor cut them each a piece of cake, then herself. “Thank you.” She said.
“I’ll tell you what, Rand. I’ll try you for the summer and see how you fit in.” Neil said.
“Thank you, Neil. I promise I won’t let you down.”
“Let’s hope not. There are rules you must obey. I will not tolerate drugs on my property. I won’t put up with excessive drinking. I don’t have a problem in moderation, as long as it doesn’t interfere with your work. Absolutely no parties. No bringing women back to my barn. And most of all, don’t touch my daughter.” Neil said to him. Taylor was immediately embarrassed and looked up at her father.
“I understand. Don’t worry, I don’t do drugs and I don’t drink much. Very occasionally.”
“I provide you with groceries, you guys cook. There are two other ranch hands. Gene has been here with us for ten years but he’s getting older. And Doug has been with us for three. You will have your own room but share a common bathroom and kitchen. The days start early and end late. It is hard work and I make you earn your wages. But I’m fair.”
“Hard work defines a person. I would rather work hard and keep moving. I’m an active person.”
“I guess you’re coming home with us.” Taylor said and looked at Rand.
“I guess so.” He smiled at her as they all got up from the table.
Returning to the ranch, they all got out of the truck. “Taylor, I have some business to attend to, why don’t you show Rand around. Show him his room.” Neil said and walked towards the barn.
She drew in a deep breath. “Can you give me just a few, I want to change my clothes before going into the barn.”
“Wouldn’t want to get your dress dirty.” He smiled.
She looked back at him with a sneer as she walked into the house. Changing into jeans and a tee-shirt, she removed the barrette and pulled all her hair back into a ponytail. Slipping on her boots and carrying her new saddle, she returned to meet him in the spot where she had left him. “Come on.” She said and walked towards the barn. Taking her saddle into the tack room, she set it on an empty saddle tree.
“I’m going to check on Star first.” She said, leading him to an area of the large barn where there were three large stalls. “These are our birthing stalls.” She said as she opened the gate and looked at the mare. Star was laying down and just from her appearance, Taylor could tell she had went into labor. “It’s going to be a long night.” She said as she knelt down beside the mare.
Leaving his duffel bag outside the stall, Rand knelt down on the other side of the mare as Taylor ran her hand over the horse, then looked beneath her tail. The mare began to push and Taylor knew the foal was coming. Stroking the horse, she talked softly to the mare.
“You don’t have to hang out in here. She has a little while yet. Come on, I’ll show you around.”
“I don’t mind, really, Taylor.” Rand said.
“Well, I still need to get my father.” She said and stood up.
“I’ll stay with her.” Rand said.
Taylor nodded at him and left the stall. By the time she returned with her father, she knew something was wrong. And so did Neil. He ran to call the vet as Taylor knelt down with the horse again. “What happened, Rand?”
“I’m not sure. She just suddenly started sweating and her breathing became labored. How old is she?”
“Um, she’s fifteen years. But she foals every year.” Taylor said.
Rand nodded his head. The two of them waited in the stall for the vet while Neil waited outside. As the vet came in to see the horse, he already knew she was in grave condition and his concentration was now, to save the foal.
“Taylor, you need to wait outside.” Neil said, knowing the same as the vet.
“No, dad, I want to stay.”
“Come on, I’ll come with you. He’s right, you shouldn’t be in here right now.” Rand said and stood up.
She looked at Rand, angry. How dare him? Neil appreciated the fact that Rand agreed with him but she resented the fact. “Yes, Taylor, please go now.” Neil said.
Looking at her father, then at Rand, she got up and stomped out of the stall. Rand followed her out the door of the barn. She stood with her back against the wall of the barn and crossed her arms. She was furious.
Rand walked out of the barn and saw her. “Taylor?” He said and walked up to her.
“Get away from me. I don’t know why my father even hired you. We didn’t need the help.” She said in an angry voice.
“Hey, I’m sorry if I made you mad, I didn’t mean to. And the reality is that he did hire me and I’ll be here, at least for the summer. I think we should get along. So I’m sorry.”
“Then let’s get this straight right now. I may be sixteen but I’m not stupid. I’m mature. This is my house, my ranch and someday I will take it over. I’m nine years younger than you but I’m sure I know more about these animals and this business than you do. So don’t ever tell me what I should or shouldn’t do because I know what I’m doing.” She corrected him.
“Ok, I’m sorry. I’ll never do it again.” He held his hand out for a handshake. “Friends?”
She looked at his hand then at him. Drawing in a deep breath, she reached for his hand. “Fine. Come on, I’ll show you to your room.” She said and walked back into the barn.
As she walked towards the living quarters, she showed him the office. Walking into a different room, he saw it was a kitchen and living area. There were four doors. She showed him the bathroom behind the first door, then his room was the last door. Walking into it, it was merely a bedroom with one twin bed and a dresser with the empty drawers open. The bed was bare with a sheet set and blanket sitting folded, on it.
“There are laundry facilities in the bathroom. We do ask that you keep these areas clean.” She said.
“This is like a three bedroom apartment with an old, rustic look. I like it.” He said as he set his duff bag down on the bed. Unzipping it, he dumped it on the bed and began to put the items away. It consisted of mostly his clothes and cowboy boots, but also included a lap top and a few assorted other items.
“When you’re done, I’ll show you the rest. Before it gets dark…” She hinted at him.
“You’re right, I can do this later.” He said and walked towards the door. “Shall we?”
She took him to other areas of the barn and into the hay loft which was equipped with stairs instead of a ladder. For the last stop inside the barn, she took him to meet the stallions. “We have four stallions. This first one is Chocolate Chip. He is the oldest at seven years old.” She said as she opened the top door of the stall. Rand looked at the tall horse that was white, covered with dark brown dots. The leopard appaloosa came to the door to greet them.
“He’s beautiful.” Rand said as he held his hand out for the horse to sniff it.
Leaving the top door open, she moved to the next stall and opened the top door too. “This one is Stormy Knight. He’s completely black, with no markings and he’s five years old.” The horse greeted them also as Rand held his hand out to him.
“He’s beautiful too.” Rand said as he patted his neck and smiled.
Moving to the next stall, she opened the top to reveal a pure white stallion with blue eyes as he came to greet them. “This one is Blaze. He’s four. He’s fast and he’s the most popular stud.”
She walked to the last stall and paused before opening the top stall door. “This one is a bad boy. You have to watch him, he likes to bite. I’m working on that.” She opened the door only for a moment for him to get a look at the paint stallion. “He’s Victory Runner. He’s been in the wild for the last year, until we finally caught him just recently. I can’t seem to shake the wild out of him. He’s only two.”
“All of your stallions are beautiful.”
“I’m pretty sure my father hired you to give me more time with the stallions, especially Vic. He needs a lot of work, before I can even get on his back.”
“You? You’re the one who rides them?”
“Yes. I break all the horses.”
“Oh.” He nodded and followed her out the back of the barn.
“These are our pastures. We have yearlings over here, they’re all for sale. Over here, we have pregnant mares as well as nursing mares with foals. In the far pasture, we have general stock, mares and a few geldings we couldn’t sell at auction. Do you see the edge of that mountain?” She pointed.
“That’s our property line, basically. We have lots of room to ride. That’s it, in a nutshell.”
“This scene is beautiful. You have a nice place and a great piece of property.” He said. “You should be so lucky… I’m going to go check on your foal.”
Knowing her father told her to leave, she stood just outside the barn, watching as the sun was setting over the mountains. It was long minutes before Rand returned with a look of disappointment on his face.
“She’s dead, isn’t she?” Taylor asked him.
“Yes.” He said softly.
With her back against the barn, she slid down it and sat on the ground with her knees in her chest. “And the foal?”
“They’re still working to get it out.” He said.
“I’m going in there, I don’t care.” She said and stood up, crying.
Just as she walked into the stall, they were pulling the foal out. She helped clean it off then dry it with a towel. Standing up and looking down at it, it was all brown and covered with tiny white spots. It’s legs were tangled but she could see it was a colt. “Pretzel.” She said. “He looks like a small pretzel. His name will be Pretzel.”
“Pretzel?” Rand said.
She looked at him through squinty eyes. “Yes. That’s right. Pretzel. I name all the foals around here. Is that a problem?” She said blatantly.
He smiled at her. “No, no problem.” He was hoping she wouldn’t cause a ripple in his employment by causing trouble.
“We have to get him up so I can find a foster mother for him.” Taylor said.
“Oh no. It’s getting late. You have school tomorrow and I’m sure you have homework. It’s time for you to go into the house. Rand and I can do this.” Neil said.
Taylor was clearly irate as she looked at Rand. He smiled and shrugged his shoulders, making her even more mad. Turning, she stomped out of the stall and all the way to the house. Grabbing something to drink, she went up to her room and sat at her desk. Finding it hard to concentrate on her homework, she thought of the young man who made her so mad.
Returning home from school the following day, she threw her book bag in the house, changed into her boots and ran towards the barn, as she usually did. She knew she had some time before she had to cook dinner for her and her father and wanted to spend it with Victory Runner. Grabbing a bucket, she dumped a scoop full of grain into it then walked to Victory’s stall.
Slowly, as she talked to him, she opened both doors of the stall and stood in the doorway. Just as he stuck his head in the bucket, Rand walked up. “How long have you had him back?” He said, spooking the flighty horse. Victory pinned his ears back and slightly bucked, kicking the wall behind him. Then spun around. Taylor jumped out of the way just before he kicked her.
“You fucking asshole. Thanks. Four days and I finally got him to trust me enough to eat from my bucket.” She said, mad again as she stood up and brushed off her jeans.
“I’m sorry, Taylor. I didn’t mean…”
“I thought you knew about horses.” She returned.
“I do. I just wasn’t thinking.”
“Well, start thinking when your in my presence.” She returned again.
“Sorry…” He said and walked away from her.
She drew in a deep breath and calmed herself before trying it again. Softly talking to the horse, it took a few minutes, but he came back to the bucket. As he nibbled on the grain, she slowly reached up and stroked his neck, still talking to him.
“Taylor, are you in here?” She heard her father.
“Yeah, dad. Careful, I’m with Vic.”
Speaking softly, he slowly approached her and the horse as to not spook the horse. “Taylor, I need you to do the books tonight. I’m taking six horses to the auction. Rand is going with me.”
“Dad, I told Carrie to come over after dinner and we would go riding. Can I do them tomorrow?”
“You’ll have to do them early so I don’t get behind.” He said and tried to pet the horse but he pulled away from Neil.
“I will. I promise. What do you want me to do about dinner?”
“Don’t worry about me. Rand and I will eat at the auction.”
“Ok. Good luck, daddy.”
As Victory Runner finished his bucket of grain, he simply turned away from her, ignoring her. She shut both doors and latched them. Then she went to the office to get started on the book work, instead of waiting until morning. After sitting for forty five minutes, she heard the phone ring. It was the same phone line that was also installed in the house. Needing a short break, she put the pen down and picked up the phone.
“Sterling Ranch.” She answered the phone the way she usually does.
“Taylor. I can’t go riding tonight. My parents insist on taking me to some benefit dinner or something. But they said I could come tomorrow morning. My dad will drop me off before he goes to work.”
“What time?” Taylor asked.
“Like seven thirty, eight o’clock.”
“That’ll be fine. My dad wanted me to do the books, again, anyways. So I’ll see ya in the morning.” They said goodbye and she hung up the phone.
It took her a total of two hours to catch up on the book work that was already behind. She knew her father had neglected it for a few days but she was better at it than he was. Gene and Doug came into the office to talk with Neil, but told her their issues instead. They were concerned about a pregnant mare they seen limping. She immediately followed them outside with a lead rope in her hand.
Seeing the mare, she walked up to her and checked her leg. There was a large gash that had been bleeding. Hooking the lead rope on her halter, she led the mare into the barn and cleaned the wound before applying an ointment and wrapping it. Then led the mare into an empty stall for the night. Then she went to check on Pretzel and his adoptive mother.
The mare had another foal, only days older than Pretzel but she accepted him and produced enough milk for both. At nearly twenty four hours after his birth, he seemed to be still somewhat wobbly. With her hand, she brushed quickly but gently over his coat, just getting him used to her touch.
Deciding to wait for her dinner, she grabbed her saddle and went to Chocolate Chip’s stall and threw it on his back. Sliding the bridle in his mouth, she led him out of the barn before mounting him. As soon as she put the slightest amount of weight in the stirrup, the horse was prancing.
Swinging her leg over him, she found the other stirrup and whistled. The horse took off running towards the mountains. After a couple of miles up and down hills, the horse brought himself to a slower pace without her command. She patted his neck. “Good run, boy, good run.”
Riding him for about twenty more minutes, she turned him around as the sun was setting. At a slow walk, she heard only the sound of nature and closed her eyes for a few moments. She had always loved living here, beside the mountains. Riding up to the barn, she slid off the horse and led him inside, and to his stall. She removed the saddle and said good night to him.
Her alarm clock woke her at fifteen minutes before seven the following morning. She wanted to have time to eat before going riding with Carrie. Cooking a quick breakfast for both her and her father, she ate and slipped on her boots before heading out the door. Sitting on the front steps, she waited for her friend, who was also sixteen years old. They had been best friends since sixth grade.
Taylor waved at Carrie’s father as he dropped her off. “Star had her foal. She died giving birth, but he’s cute. I named him Pretzel. Come on, I’ll show you.”
Carried followed Taylor to go look at the colt. She thought he looked like a pretzel too and stated she knew why Taylor named him that. Then they walked to the far pasture and captured a mare named Girly. Carrie had ridden her more than a few times and liked her. Bringing her into the barn, Taylor saddled her. Then she put her new saddle on Stormy, the black stallion. They led the horses out of the barn and mounted them.
“You’re going to ride a stallion and a mare together. Are you sure that’s such a good idea?” She heard Rand from behind her. Both girls turned to look at him.
“Really, Rand? You’re doing it again.” Taylor said. “Stormy is the most well mannered stallion I have ever seen. He needs the exercise and besides, she’s not in heat anyways.”
“I’m sorry, I’ll shut up now.” Rand returned.
“Thank you.” Taylor said and kicked her horse into a canter.
Carried followed her and caught up. At the end of the pastures, they slowed to a walk. “Who was that? He’s hot.” Carried asked provocatively.
“That was Rand. My dad hired him a few days ago. On my birthday as a matter of fact. He may be cute but I’m not interested. And he irritates me. I kinda hope he leaves at the end of the summer. I don’t know if I can handle him much more than that. If that.”
“That bad aye?” Carried kinda chuckled. “People don’t usually get to you. He must be pretty bad.”
“He wasn’t here one day and was trying to tell me what to do. I mean, really?”
“Boy did he make a mistake.” Carrie smiled.
They rode for a few hours before returning to the ranch. After caring for the horses, they went to the office where Neil and Rand were both at. “Dad, can you give her a ride home?”
“Taylor, I’m really busy right now.” He looked up at her then at Rand. Pulling his keys out of his pocket, he handed them to Rand. “Here, can you take them?”
Taylor gave her father a dirty look as Rand took the keys from him. “Sure. I don’t mind.” He said and stood up. Carrie and Rand both walked out of the office.
“Thanks, dad.” Taylor said before following them to the truck.
“So, Rand, how old are you?” Carrie asked.
“I’m twenty five.”
“I would assume a good looking guy like you would have someone special in town somewhere.”
“Actually, no. Why do you ask?” Rand said.
“Well… then… you should take me on a date.” Carrie said as Taylor looked at her, surprised.
“And you’re how old?” Rand asked, looking at her in the rear view mirror.
“I’m sixteen. Just like Taylor.”
“That’s what I thought. I wouldn’t, because you’re just a little girl still. Besides, I’m not going to jail for anyone.” Taylor looked at him, irritated that he would say that. He just called her a little girl too.
All three of them remained quiet as he drove Carrie to her destination in town. They both said bye to her then Rand pulled out of her driveway. “Is there anywhere you need to stop while we’re in town?”
“No, Thanks.” She answered shortly. Moments of silence passed.
“So, tell me what happened to your mother.”
She looked at him. “That’s none of your business.”
“I’m sorry. Your father already told me she died six years ago. But he didn’t tell me what happened.”
“You’re awfully nosy for someone who is only staying the summer.” She said to him.
“I know I said a few stupid things to you, and scared your horse, but why do you have to be so mean to me. Maybe I should stop trying to be so nice to you. Maybe I’ll work my ass off so hard, that your father hires me permanently, just to piss you off. I mean come on Taylor, what did I ever do to you?”
“You’re arrogant and I don’t like you much.”
“Well to be honest with you, I didn’t come here with a promise to make you like me. I came here for a job. I’ll stay out of your way if you stay out of mine.” Rand said to her.
She looked at him, then out her window. “I had an older brother. I was four and he was six when he died in an accident. My mother couldn’t handle the loss. She turned to alcohol. She drank so heavy it only took six years to kill her. I was ten when she died.”
“Wow. I’m sorry, Taylor. You’re right, that was none of my business. How devastating.”
“It was a long time ago. I’ve learned to deal with it. I don’t really remember my brother. But I do my mother.”
“I bet she was beautiful, like you.” He said and wished he hadn’t.
She looked over at him as he looked at her, then looked back at the road. “I’m sorry I’ve been so rude to you, Rand. I’ll try to work on that. Welcome to the ranch.” She said as he pulled into the driveway.
One week had passed and it was Saturday. She let Pretzel, Sonny, the name she had given his adoptive brother, and the mare out of the barn for the first time. Standing at the gate, she watched for a few minutes as the foals looked around and sniffed at the grass. It was all new to them. Then they began to frolic and she smiled and laughed at them.
Rand came up beside her and leaned with his arms across the gate, watching the foals as they began to run around, picking up speed. Taylor watched as Pretzel took off running. But he wasn’t stopping. Taylor quickly grew concerned as he approached the barbed wire fence. “Pretzel.” She yelled at him but he still didn’t stop.
Hitting the barbed wire, he flipped and became tangled. “Go get dad!” She yelled at Rand as she climbed through the fence, then took off towards the colt. Dropping to her knees beside Pretzel, she realized how much damage the fence had done. “Call the vet.” She yelled, hoping they would hear her.
Rand ran into the barn, notified Neil to call the vet then grabbed the wire cutters and ran to her and the foal. “Oh God, Taylor.” Rand said as he dropped to his knees and looked. “He’s nearly castrated himself.” Rand said as she began to cut the wire away.
The foal lay still and moaned. They knew he was in pain as Rand finished cutting away the wire. Stroking his neck, they tried to calm the horse and wait for the vet. Looking up, they saw her father walking through the pasture with the vet and moved out of his way.
“I’m going to need a bucket of water and some towels.” The vet said.
“You go, Taylor.” Her father said.
She didn’t want to leave the colt’s side but she obeyed her father. Seeing her come from the barn, Rand went to her and took the items from her. “Taylor, you shouldn’t see this.”
“God damnit, Rand, will you stop.” She said to him.
“He’s right, and you watch your mouth, Taylor.” Her father told her.
She looked up at Rand before running towards the barn. She was crying out of anger. How dare him do it again. She was so angry, she went to her room and didn’t come out for hours. She swore to herself the next time he wanted to treat her like a child, she would punch him in the face and show him how much of a child she really was.