No Bull | Teen Ink

No Bull

February 12, 2022
By Emma_Owens GOLD, Rowan, Nebraska
Emma_Owens GOLD, Rowan, Nebraska
10 articles 1 photo 24 comments

Favorite Quote:
“Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person’s ultimate good as far as it can be obtained.”
-C.S. Lewis

It was a warm spring day in Millville County, Georgia. There was a refreshing morning breeze ruffling Butch’s blond hair as he got into his pickup truck with his best friend Victor. The two were as different looking as they were friendly. Butch was of average height, but with a muscular build and tanned skin from working in the fields. Victor was tall, skinny, and had brown curly hair. As Butch climbed into the driver’s seat he thought of his girlfriend, Sarah, and how it all started. It was about this time last year when he first met her. Two days before they met, Sarah had broken her wrist making it hard to tie her shoes. Butch saw her struggling with her shoelace in a park and offered to help her. As he tied her shoe, one of the shoelaces broke off. He put it in his pocket automatically and Sarah laughed asking him what he would do with it. Butch blushed and, avoiding the question, asked her to dinner. Butch knew now what he would do with the shoelace.
“Hello? This is flying saucer 2.0 coming in… are you there?” Victor called to him. Butch started.
“Oh, hey,” Butch acknowledged him.
“I thought I lost you there for a second,” Victor said.
“Nah, I was just daydreaming.”
“You know what I was thinking about? That state championship game. You know the one where you and me were beating those Tennessee boys up? I wonder whether Will ever got any better at basketball?”
“Aw, don’t remind me,” Butch moaned. “The game itself wasn’t too bad, but what happened afterward was awful. He set his dog me just because he was jealous!”
“I know. That was wrong, man... If I ever see Will again, I’m going to tell him what’s what.”
“Thanks, but you don’t need to do that. We may not be on good terms, but there is no need for you to go to jail for it,” Butch replied. They arrived at Sarah’s house where they both jumped out of the car and went to the front door. Butch knocked, and the door opened to reveal Sarah, blond and smiling. She ruffled the ears of her beloved Goldendoodle, Ben, and kissed his doggie face goodbye. She closed the door hurriedly and Victor whipped off his baseball hat and bowed.
“My lady,” he said, kissing her hand.
“Hey!” Sarah protested.
“That’s my girl!” Butch said, pushing Victor out of the way and giving Sarah a long kiss.
“C’mon, lovebirds! We need to go to the fair,” Victor declared. They piled into the pickup truck with Butch driving, Sarah shotgun, and Victor in the back, struggling into his white veterinarian's lab coat.
The Millville Fairgrounds were busy with people setting up their tents and stands. One of these people was old Miss. Gertrude, who made the best boiled peanuts in Georgia. Butch, Sarah, and Victor got out of the car and stepped into the spring air full of the smells of livestock, carnival food, and baked goods.
“Howdy, Miss. Gertrude!” Butch called out as he walked over to help set up her peanut stand.
“Here’s the basketball star, finally doing something useful for a change,” the wiry woman jeered at him with a twinkle in her eye, her unruly grey hair already escaping from her bun.
“That was seven years ago, ma'am. I am a cow farmer now and I have a few prize bulls. I entered one of them into the fair today.” Butch replied.
“I always knew you were full of bull! Go put that table over there under the walnut tree and marry that girl of yours,” she cackled.
“I’m trying to, ma’am.” Butch smiled as Victor arrived, his arms full of popcorn.
“Guess who I just saw,” Victor announced. “I saw Will, looking as shady as he could be, slinking into the baked goods tent. Wonder what he’s sabotaging now.” Before Butch could even begin to guess what he was up to, Sarah’s best friend, Jeanne, and her boyfriend, Teddy approached them. They made a cute couple, Jeanne, short, dark-skinned, and mysterious alongside Teddy, slim and sandy-haired, his wire-rimmed glasses giving him an intelligent look. Sarah ran up to Jeanne and hugged her.
“Hey, Teddy. How ya doin’?” asked Butch.
“Quite well so far. Who is this?” Teddy motioned to Victor.
“Hi there, I’m Victor. I'm the town veterinarian here to help you with all your animal needs,” said Victor.
“We need to get to the pie competition now,” announced Jeanne.
“I’m sure you will-” Victor started to say but was interrupted by a man who accidentally ran into Sarah. She fell to the ground hard with a small cry.
“Oh no! Are you okay?” Butch ran over to her side.
“I'm gonna go get help,” Victor said as he sprinted off.
As he went to get a doctor, Sarah started to moan and clutch at her ankle. Butch saw Will lurking in the corner of a tent nearby and then jogging away. About 10 minutes later, the doctors arrived and said that Sarah had sprained her ankle but not very severely. They wrapped it up and told her to rest whenever possible but that it was okay to walk on.
“How are you, Sarah?” Victor came in and asked, handing her some peanut clusters.“I’m much better. Thank you,” Sarah replied as she popped her favorite treat into her mouth.
“I have some extra pistachios. Victor, do you want some?” asked Teddy looking at a red smudge of dust on Victor's white lab coat as the veterinarian gave drinks to everyone else.
“Yes, thank you. How did you know it was my favorite?” replied Victor.
“You have a red smudge that looks like pistachio dust. Did you know that the reason they are dyed red is that when they are hand-picked they acquire stains on the shells so the manufacturers dye them red?” remarked Teddy. Victor did not reply but stared at Sarah.
“It’s time to head over to Rob’s pen,” Butch announced.
“Who’s Rob?” Jeanne asked.
“My prize bull who is going to win the $5,000 prize,” Butch answered. With Butch and Sarah ahead of the party, they traveled to the bull’s pen. Butch noticed how Rob was lying in the mud. They quickened their pace and then Sarah screamed as she realized what happened to Rob. Butch felt the world going around as he hugged Sarah. Teddy ran up from behind them and began to go over every inch of the bull and its pen. As he did this, he asked how healthy the bull was before the fair and also if Butch had any enemies. This jerked Butch out of his stupor. He remembered Will and how he jogged away as soon as he saw Sarah fall. He remembered watching him skulk into the baked goods tent when they arrived.
“Where’s Will?” Butch growled. Teddy then went methodically questioning each person in the party, asking where they were at different times during the fair as well as their knowledge of livestock. Suddenly, stopping mid-sentence while talking to a nonchalant Victor, he ran twenty yards to tackle a man from behind. It was Will. Butch saw Teddy collaring him and threatening him while Will pointed viciously toward the medical tent. Slowly Teddy released his hold and they walked together to the tent.
While the others are puzzled at this bizarre scene, Victor heaved a sigh and merrily announced, “Case closed. Teddy got his man. He should play football for Tech. He’d make them into a great team, besides being smart enough to get in there.” They looked at him, too shocked at the day’s events to laugh at his joke. Over the loudspeakers, they heard the winners of the livestock competition being announced. The somber group stumbled over to the judging table where they saw another man stepping forward to receive a large check and pose for photos with the mayor.
Butch remembered what he was thinking of when he climbed into his truck that morning. He realized that his dreams of buying the ring and marrying Sarah would never come true. Without that check, he would never be able to buy that ring. Devastated, he walked up to congratulate the winner, his heartbreaking. As Butch extended his hand to the winner, Teddy jumped onto the stage, stealing the microphone from the announcer.
“Wait! This is wrong, very wrong!” Teddy shouted.
“Hey, give me my microphone back,” the announcer cried.
“Just a minute, please, sir. I need to clear something up for my friend,” Teddy paused to make sure he was the center of attention. “Today a tragedy has occurred. My friend, Butch Halloway’s prize bull has been killed.” An audible gasp went from the audience. “As you know, Rob, the bull was set to win this competition. I know who killed the bull. On it, there was a red mark, and next to it, a syringe needle. I also know that someone very close Butch loves pistachios and happens to be a vet.” Everyone turned to look at Victor who paled and then tried to run away.
“Where ya goin’, sonny?” a familiar voice rang out as Victor’s bobbing head disappeared from view. Teddy and Butch arrived to see Victor lying on the ground with Miss. Gertrude pointed her formidable cane at his nose.
“Hey Butch, better ‘steer’ clear of this guy from now on,” she joked. Butch shook his head and asked Teddy how he figured it out.
“You already know about the pistachios and the syringe and how that pointed to Victor and the red smudge on his coat. Another clue pointing to him was that I asked Will what he was doing when he jogged away from Sarah and her unfortunate accident. He said- and this was proved by the doctors in the medical tent- that he was running for help while Victor was killing your bull. He said he was going for help, but he was really administering an overdose of tranquilizer. There was plenty of time for him to make it back to the group before being found out, and why would anyone be suspicious of a vet giving a shot to the bull? The reason Victor did this is that he loves Sarah. We know this because he gives a little extra to her and also can’t keep his eyes off of her. He also knows what you were going to do with the prize money,” Victor explained.
“Ya know you’re pretty darn smart,” Butch complemented. “Thanks for figuring all this out.” His heart started to piece together again and lighten. Just then the judge and announcer walked up with the check-in the announcer’s hand.
“We went over your bull and have come to the conclusion that it was in perfect health before it was murdered,” the judge said to Butch. The announcer then got Butch on the stage and awarded him the $5,000 check. Butch dismounted the stage, smiling, and walked over to Sarah. Instead of kissing her, he got down on one knee, pulling out the shoelace from so long ago.
“Will you marry me?” Butch asks with a smile on his face.
Sarah cried joyful tears and responded, “Yes!”
Butch tied the string around her finger and whispered to his new fiance, “This will have to do for now until I buy the ring.”

The author's comments:

I wrote this in 8th grade for a mystery unit that we had so parts of it aren't that good but I tried to make it a little better. 

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