|Jethro (standard:horror, 3587 words)|
|Author: Frank Q. Monk||Added: Dec 16 2005||Views/Reads: 1593/962||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|The worst thing Theo ever did.|
One of them fellers in the white outfits said, "Theo, you come up with the nastiest, most horrible thing you've ever done." He looked at me like he figured that'd be a challenge, or maybe like he was afraid to hear the answer. But I ain't afraid to hear it, and I'm not afraid to say it. I think about it just about every day. Every hour sometimes. That's the truth. I guess it was four or five years ago or so. I was living with my uncle out in the country. Sometimes I'd come walking home from school and I'd see old Jethro. He wasn't really old. He was a horse of about, oh, maybe five years old. Pretty young and wily. Mr. Sanders kept Jethro in this small pasture. Mr. Sanders was real particular. He didn't like nobody messing with his pets, and he didn't like messes or droopy things. He kept everything tight and organized. His fence was as tight as a hung noose, six lines of wire across, metal posts at only twenty feet apart, a stay halfway between each post. To top it off he used four-barb-wire, which is more expensive but more likely to poke you if you brush against it. I heard that once a year he came around with a come-along and ratcheted up the tension so hard the veins stuck out of his neck. You walked up to his barbed wire fence and you knew you weren't going to bend it an inch to climb under. You'd likely slice your hand open trying, or at least get your clothes torn and maybe a whupping later because clothes ain't free, you know. I always managed to sneak a carrot or an apple wedge out of the lunch room, or I'd grab a couple apples off somebody's tree, for Jethro. I'd come out and give him a bite or two because Mr. Sanders didn't keep much grass in that small field. Sometimes Jethro would have bloody scabs on his lips from scraping at the short grass--trying to get the little nubs because he'd eaten everything else. I always felt sorry for him. One day I stopped by and he seemed to be in a fine mood. He came running across the field to see me, his legs kicking out like he was a tap dancer looking to put on a show. I had four or five carrots in my backpack, which maybe he smelled, but I think he mostly just was happy to see me. I can tell when somebody wants something and when somebody is just glad to be around you. I stood on the log I always use to jump over the fence. I kept one on the other side too. Mr. Sanders had the barbed wire gate so tightly strung that there was no way I could open it, even with the two by four tied to it that you can use for leverage. To open a gate like that you have to be big enough to shove against the gate hard and lift the wire loop over the top of the gate post, and I was probably a good fifty pounds shy of being able to pull that off. Mr. Sanders had no problem with it himself--his lips never got scabby because he had to look hard for food. I shooed Jethro away so he wouldn't get hit, and then I put a hand on top of the wood corner post and leapt over. My legs had only gotten long enough to pull off the jump that year, and it was one of my favorite things to do back then. Some days, when Jethro was too buys eating or sleeping, I'd jump over that fence twenty or thirty times, pretending I was being chased by spies or Indians. Sometimes I'd do that jump and be a hurdler like in the Olympics; only they never dared to do it over a barbed wire fence. Sometimes I'd pretend I was flying. He put me in a good mood, so right at the top of my jump I kicked my heels together like the leprechaun from the Lucky Charms commercial. I landed in a mess, but that never worried me none. You can't always just go by how things end. Jethro nibbled the back of my neck with his thick lips, and it made me get up right quick. I wasn't going to have no part of being grass stubble, and I told him so before he got any more wrong ideas. He shook his head and stared at me, waiting for me to tell him what I wanted to do that day. I pulled out the orange Frisbee from my back pack. Jethro gave it a sniff because it smelled like the carrots I still had stashed in there for him. I leaned against his neck and he blew snot on my elbow, like Click here to read the rest of this story (260 more lines)
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