He came over to greet me, “Hello,” he said. His southern mountain accent was thick but suited him. “You must be Raven. Sorry ‘bout your parents, they were good people.” I just nodded, their deaths was too recent for me to speak of them. “I’m sure you’ll be happy here, though. Gods know you love horses, and they certainly like you. Last time you were here, you were just ten years old. We found you in a stall with my meanest, most wild mare and her foal, happy as you please. A ten year old human and a two year old mustang gettin’ along perfect.” He laughed brightly.
I smiled, “I remember. The mom was standing there eating while her foal next to her and I was playing with the baby’s mane. When you came in to get me, she got mad, like she was protecting two foals from danger rather than just the one. I have a picture of you, me, and the horse together. I’m sitting on her back.”
“That’s right. Come on, let’s get your things and get going, they’re all waiting for us.”
We pulled up the long drive way, pastures on either side broken up by unfenced fields and a few side roads leading to the staff’s homes. We pulled in front of the big house and Buddy stopped.
“Come on,” Billy said, climbing out of the old, weathered truck. “Everyone’s waiting in the barn.”
We went in to find literally everyone inside. Billy hadn’t been kidding. It was a really good thing that barn was big because staff, neighbors, friends and Karen, Billy’s wife, was there smiling.
“Welcome back, sweetie,” Karen said, coming up and giving me a big hug. The rest of the crowd followed up... [continues]
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