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Storm and Joey
Johnna, Age 17, Camden, OH

One cold stormy night at about 2 a.m., out in a grassy meadow, under a big oak tree a baby colt was born.  The rain was beating down hard as the little buckskin stood up on his wobbly feet for the first time. It wasn’t long till the little guy crashed back down and went to sleep next to his mother.

Morning came.  Mr. Brick, the owner went out into the 100-acre field to find his mare Tootsie, who was supposed to be foaling any time soon. He finally spotted Tootsie standing by the pond.  On the other side of her stood a proud little colt.  Mr. Brick walked up to Tootsie with caution knowing that any sudden movements might startle them.  Tootsie watched as he walked slowly around in front of her.  The colt was the most beautiful baby he’d ever had, and with 50 mares, 5 studs, and 30 some babies on the farm presently, he’d seen a lot.  The colt jumped and ran behind his mother; Mr. Brick laughed and patted Tootsie before turning to go back to the gate.

Later on Ms. Dawson came to the farm.  She was the vet and came to check on the new arrival.  The baby had to be separated from his mother so that no one would get hurt.  Tootsie was fed in the barn as usual, but as she was eating a dividing wall came between the colt and his mother.  When the little guy noticed what was happening he kicked and pawed at the walls. Tootsie began to act up herself.  The vet got in the cage with the colt and held him tightly against the wall.  Mr. Brick led Tootsie to another smaller field, so she could graze for a while.  They stood like this for about an hour, finally the colt relaxed.  Mr. Brick returned when she had just calmed him.

“ Could you hand me that bag Mr. Brick?”  Ms. Dawson asked.

“Well, I figured you’d be done by now, he must be a spirited one.”  Mr. Brick handed Ms. Dawson her heavy bag.

“Yes, this one is a lot stronger then the others, however he’s finally a little tired now.”

The visit from the vet went well, and she told Mr. Brick over and over how proud he should be of this colt.  As she was about to climb into her big dodge truck, she turned at Mr. Brick and said, “ Storm.”

“What?” Mr. Brick wondered.

“ Name him Storm! He was born on one of the stormiest nights and has the spirit of a storm.”

Days, weeks, and months went by Storm now turned a year old and Mr. Brick decided that it was time to teach him some things.  He went out into the pasture and spotted Storm chasing one of the much larger colts.  He smiled as he approached Butter, a palomino who was born a couple days after Storm.  He was much tamer then the others and loved people.  He gave Butter a carrot and the others slowly approached Mr. Brick, all but Storm.  Storm stood there proud that he was the as if he was saying, Do I look that stupid to you?

Mr. Brick ran out of carrots soon and walked off wondering why Storm had not come to him.  All of a sudden he heard the pounding of hooves and turned to see Storm in a dead run at him, Mr. Brick stood there knowing that it was just a test.   Storm came to a halt about three feet in front of him.  They stood there looking at each other, both with questions in their eyes.  Finally Storm turned and ran back to the others.  When Mr. Brick returned to his home he called the vet to tell her that the ten colts he wanted to get cut were ready.

“Ten,” Ms. Dawson questioned, “ I thought there were 12 of them?”

“ Yes Ms. Dawson but I’m keeping that buckskin colt, Storm a stallion as well as the palomino.”

“Oh, I see, well if you’d like to bring them to me it can be taken care of much quicker, because I have appointments booked solid for the next two months, but can take care of them in between appoints all in no more then three days.”

Well I’ll leave tomorrow morning around seven and be there around ten p.m.  Can you start the next morning?”

“Yes, sounds great, are you bringing the others for their visit as well?”

“Yes, I’ll see you then.”

Mr. Brick went to feed the stud colts and to lock them into the barn until morning came.  They all went in and went to the feeder. Mr. Brick shut the barn doors behind them and went to bed.

Morning came.  Mr. Brick had called his grandson, Charlie the night before and asked him to go along with him because he would be staying in Dallas for a few days.  Charlie arrived as Mr. Brick had finished loading the third colt into the horse trailer.  Charlie had just turned 20 and was strong and handsome.  He joked a lot and was a very outgoing guy.  Mr. Brick loved him very much and had always favored him out of his other five grandchildren.

“Hey Paw I’ll get the others.” Charlie shouted as he came walking down the long driveway. Mr. Brick caught the colts and handed them to Charlie who loaded them one by one.  Finally it came to catching Storm.  Mr. Brick waited for his grandson to return before attempting to catch him.

“What’s the matter with that one?” Charlie asked, he knew his grandpa wasn’t a bit scared of anything, but he couldn’t think of any other reason as to why he hadn’t caught him.

Mr. Brick smiled at Charlie as he handed him a lead rope.

“I want you to catch this one,” he smiled.

Charlie took the rope and walked towards the stud, glancing back at Mr. Brick.  Storm snorted, and slung his head around as if he was going crazy.

“Ok, Paw now what’s the matter with him, he doesn’t seem as people friendly as the others now, does he?”

Charlie stopped and put his hand out towards the wild young stud.  After about ten minutes the stud slowly walked up to him, then nipped at his hand, turned around and just stood there.  Mr. Brick began to laugh making things for Charlie even more frustrating.  He moved slowly around to the side of the stud putting his hand on Storm’s side, watching every move Charlie made.  Finally Charlie threw the rope around his neck, and to both Mr. Brick and Charlie’s amazement, walked slowly into the trailer.  It had just turned seven a.m. and they were on their way.

When they got to Dallas the tired colts were unloaded and sprayed off with cool water.  The heat was horrible and the colts were exhausted.  Ms. Dawson came out into the field and shook their hands.

“It’s good to see you made it here safely, I hope this pasture will do for a few days.”  Ms. Dawson said.

“This’ll be just fine,” Mr. Brick replied, wiping the sweat from his forehead.

“This is my grandson Charlie, he made the trip with me and will be staying with me, I think we're going to head on over to the Comfort Inn and get a shower.”

Mr. Brick was 72 years old and had problems with his heart; he knew it wasn’t good to be in hot weather for long amounts of time.

The next morning Charlie got up and drove over to the field, Mr. Brick had felt bad from the trip and stayed at the hotel.  When Charlie arrived a young girl stood out in the pasture.  She had long dark hair, was kind of short. Charlie approached her.

“Hey!” he shouted when he got about 100 yards from her.  “Hey, does my paw know you’re out here?”

“Well my aunt said it’d be all right if I checked out these beautiful stud colts,” she replied as she turned to him smiling.

“Oh, ok, well that’s fine then, I guess,” he said, blushing a little.

 Charlie went back to the truck to get the feeding buckets out.  The horses came running when they heard the feed being poured into the buckets. Charlie petted each horse and got a brush out, none of the horses had been fooled with much so Charlie thought it’d be a good idea.  He brushed and petted each one.  When he got to Storm he stopped.

“What’s the matter with that one?” the girl asked.  She had been anxiously watching.

“Umm, nothing, he’s just a little….”

“A little what?” the girl asked before he could finish his sentence.

“He’s just not very people friendly.”

“Yes he is,” the girl replied and walked up to Storm. She stuck her hand out and stood there with her hand out for about a minute.  Storm blew hot air on her hand the smelled her hand.  She moved her hand slowly up his sleek nose.  Storm stood still.

“Well, I’ll have’ta tell Paw about this, that stud has been wilder then any young colt I’ve ever seen,” he said with excitement in his voice.

 Charlie filled the water buckets up and climbed into his truck.

“What’s your name?” he asked, “I’m Charlie.”

“I’m Joey,” she yelled back.  Charlie nodded, smiled, waved and then pulled away.

When Charlie got back his grandpa was waiting eagerly for him.  Charlie threw himself on the chair next to the door.

“What’s the matter with you boy?"

“Nothin’, Hey, there was this girl at the field this morning, and she walked right up to Storm and petted him right on the head. Now I’d like to see me or you try that,” Charlie replied with a twinkle in his eye.

“Well, it looks to me like she done more then try to tame that colt,” Mr. Brick said laughing.

“What are you talking about?” Charlie said in a defensive way as he jumped up and looked out the window.  Mr. Brick laughed and poked Charlie.

“Well, I say we go get something to eat, then we'll head back to the field around noon and maybe….” Charlie interrupted him.

“Ok, I know what you’re going to say, can we just let it go, besides I really don’t think nothing of that girl anyways.” Charlie said in a carefree way.

They drove to a little diner.  After eating they went to the field.  Mr. Brick rolled his eyes as he watched Charlie scan the place, looking for the girl he’d been talking about.  After a good while Ms. Dawson’s truck pulled up.  She and the young girl climbed out.

“Did Charlie tell you what happened this morning with that one colt?” Ms. Dawson asked anxiously.

“Yes, he did,” Mr. Brick answered, grinning at Charlie. Charlie gave Mr. Brick a little shove as the two ladies turned to look at the horses.

“I really, really like that buckskin colt, do you mind if I catch him?” the younger girl asked.

“Sure,” Mr. Brick replied. And Joey walked out into the field towards Storm who was grazing alone farther out then the rest of the colts.  Charlie began to follow her.

“Now Mr. Brick, I have time to do a couple of these between now and six p.m.  Is there any particular order you prefer?”  Ms. Dawson questioned as she looked at her watch.

“Well, no not really just be sure you leave Storm and Butter.  Those are going two are my best, and will make good money being studs.”

“That’s fine with me.”  She walked out into the field to where a tall black colt with a white patch of hair stood.  “Would you like me to do their shots before?” She yelled as she walked the colt towards the fence.

Mr. Brick handed her the rope. “What ever is easiest for you.”

When Ms. Dawson was done the colt was put into a corral on the other side of the clinic.  She went and got another one.  The other colts were finished within three days and Mr. Brick, Charlie and the horses returned home.

When they got home Mr. Brick received a letter from the American Quarter Horse Association.  The letter told him that there was going to be a horse show in one week.  Mr. Brick called Charlie into the kitchen to ask him if he would like to show a horse.

“Well Paw, I won’t have time with work and all, but I bet that girl, umm Joey, she’d like to show Storm,” Charlie answered.

“We'll give her a call,” Mr. Brick replied as he walked out of the kitchen.   Charlie waited a couple hours then called Joey’s house.

“Hello,” a soft voice answered the phone.  Charlie knew it couldn’t be Joey because it sounded like an older lady.

“Is Joey there please?” Charlie tried to sound polite.

“One moment.”

“Hello,” a more familiar voice was on the other end now.

“Hello Joey, this is Charlie, we just got home and Paw got a letter in the mail, he wants to know, I mean we want to know if you’d like to show one of our horses? The show is in a week so you’d have to be here as soon as tomorrow,” Charlie said stuttering.

“Sounds good to me, I’ll have to see if my aunt can watch my Nanny. I’m the only one here to take care of her,” Joey answered with excitement.

Joey arrived at noon the next day.  She had two bags.  She was to stay with Mr. Brick. He had an extra guest room. After Joey settled in Mr. Brick made a phone call.  Then he turned to Joey.

“Charlie will be here in a couple hours to show you around,” Mr. Brick smiled.

“Ohh, I’m pretty good around barns and stuff, do you mind if I go out there and just look at the horses?”

“That’ll be fine, the colts are in the west pasture.”

Joey went out. She’d never seen soo many horses.  She petted them, then walked up to Storm.  She had brought a lead rope out into the field.  Storm didn’t hesitate to let Joey catch him and lead him around.  Joey began working with the colt four times a day.  Finally it was time for show.

The alarm clock went off at four a.m.  Joey was up and ready in an hour. Storm had been ready from the night before.  The horse was loaded, they went and picked Charlie up and were on their way to show.  When they got there Joey finished making Storm look like he was worth a million dollars.  Before walking out into the arena Charlie grabbed Joey aside and gave her a good luck kiss on the cheek.  Joey face turned red with embarrassment as she walked out into the arena.

“There’s so many pretty horses out there,” Charlie said turning to Mr. Brick.

“Yes, but Storm’s got it all,” Mr. Brick said.  Joey walked Storm around the arena again and again.  Finally it was time for the winners to be announced.  Charlie and Mr. Brick stood fidgeting.  There were five horses left now.

“Third place goes to..." the judge said slowly turning to the white and black paint.  Second went to a bay, and the last few minutes seem to be dragging.  Storm stood still and proud as if he knew he had won the show already.

“First place goes to Storm and Joey,” the judge shouted.  Joey smiled bigger then she ever had before.

When they retuned Mr. Brick asked Joey if she’d like to continue to show Storm.

“Well yes, but it would be rather hard. I have to take care of my Nanny and I couldn’t be traveling all the time,” Joey said turning a smile into the saddest look he had ever seen.

“Take him home with you,” Mr. Brick said in a cheerful way.  Joey did, and so began the amazing show horse story of Storm and Joey.  The two went all over the country, Mr. Brick followed wherever they went.  By the time Storm was four he had sired over 200 babies, won over 250 shows, and placed in 200 other shows.  Charlie bought a house across the street from Joey’s Nanny’s and Joey lived with him.  They married at one of the biggest horse arenas and had a western style wedding.  Later the couple bought two other horses and began a horse farm, with Storm being the main attraction.

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