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The True Champ Part 1
During a day, with a cloudy sunshine and a slight drizzle, there was a single creature who roamed a field in my back yard. This creature would show up every day at six am, and would be in my company until six pm. I called him Champ, and until recently, he was nothing out of the ordinary.
Champ was a beautiful creature, but was only known to me. I would go out in the fields in my backyard and watch him graze. He would occasionally glance up and stare at me, then return to his meal. I often find myself comparing him to a horse, but I knew that something made him stand out amongst all other horses in the world.
Champ had always been willing to come up and nuzzle me, or eat from my palm, but today he just stood there, his mane blowing with the wind, and his tail tangled into several knots. He didn’t belong to me, and in fact I didn’t even know to whom he belonged, but I had a feeling that he thought he belonged to me.
It was seven o’clock am in the outskirts of Fort Worth, and the dew on the ground made the earth a lush place for the wild horses to graze. They would only be here for a short time, because they moved to a new place every hour or so. Champ, who was different from all of them, would not migrate however, until it became dark. He stood out like a sun against a dark sky compared to the other horses. His coat was sleek, and his body was well muscled. He was a bay stallion with a slender face that accentuated his delicateness. A white blaze ran the length of his face and he had two socks on his hind legs. He encompassed the majestic posture of an Arabian, while still maintaining the wild spirit of a mustang. He was about two hands taller than the tallest of the horses and about twice as fast.
Today, as I stood watching the horses graze across my five hundred acre field, I noticed something that was a customary routine for the horses. They were, once again, coming close to my barn, as they did every morning. But something caught my eye. Champ was suddenly, not among them, and not to be seen throughout the entirety of the field.
“Must have gone down to the creek for a drink,” I reassured myself. But I had my doubts, knowing that we have a water trough on an old fence post that is used by both my family’s horses and the wild ones, and a horse like Champ cannot just disappear in two minutes without being noticed.
I decided to take my family’s pick-up across the field and to the creek, to see where he had gone. As I reached for the keys in my pocket, I heard my Ma calling me inside saying “Ryan, Dad needs your help to fix the broken stall.”
In an agitated tone I replied, “Can’t Cody or Jake help him? I helped him yesterday.”
“Your father says you’re the only one he needs. Besides, Cody’s at the gym and Jake is at the store gettin’ a new saddle for Bullet.”
I sluggishly pulled myself from the driver’s seat of the Ford, and fixed my hat on straight. As I reached the house, I heard my ma tell me to take off “them dirty cowboy boots before you make a mess of the floor.” I shrugged and slid them off with my heel. As I reached the kitchen, Ma told me that Dad was waiting for me in the John Deere, and not to keep him waiting much longer. I picked up my boots and ran with them through the house, out the front door and toward the John Deere. I slid in shot gun and put my boots back on. All the meanwhile, I was thinking about Champ, and where he could be.
Dad started driving, and I brought the topic up. He stated in reply, “You know, many cowboys would give anything to take a horse like that and break him in. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was taken by someone who needed a new horse and thought that this horse would be just the right cowpony.”
I scowled, and with an angry tone to my voice whispered “That couldn’t‘ve happened. I saw him only two minutes before he disappeared, and he never leaves our field, unless he’s with that herd of horses.”
“Sometimes, you gotta wait and see what comes.”
As we reached the barn, I pulled the tool chest from the truck, and pulled out a hammer and a pair of pliers. I reached toward the bottom, searching for the box of nails and found an old piece of worn out leather, with a swirling design on it. I carelessly flung it back into the box and continued my search. I followed my dad towards the barn, matching him stride for stride.
Throughout the time I spent nailing the hinges to the stall door, and replacing the boarding, I spoke not a word, until I was done. “Dad, you gonna need me again this mornin’?”
“No son. You can go now. I might need you later on today, though.”