Issue: December 2018
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Next deadline: December 14

SHOWDOWN IN SALMON RIVER

Written by
Published on August 2018

There was something strange with the mood of the barn this morning. True, it was that time of the year for shows to start. The owners were busy packing up the trailer harnesses and everything else that is associated with going to a show but………
It was normal to take more than one cart, more than one harness - now that wasn't right! “What does this mean?” Baby thought to himself. He also was wondering if the others saw this.
“Hi Baby! I just wanted to let you know that Joseph and Annie are both going to the show but you won’t be alone because Havier and Jake will be here, plus, you can have sleepovers with them. We will be back on Sunday, but I will be here for supper tonight.” Leona said as she gave Baby a big hug to reassure him that things were going to be okay.
Standing watching the trailer pull away with his two buddies onboard brought a tear to the corner of Baby's eye. He knew that he would be okay and they would be back soon. After all these years, he should be used to this, but it was still hard.
“Hey Baby! Want to come to the big tree with us?” Havier and Jake both knew that Baby was going to feel a little sad not having his buddies. But they were going to make sure that Baby was happy.
As the trailer rolled down the road………..
“Joseph, when are we going to get there? My legs are getting tired of trying to steady myself on all these turns.”
“Well, it shouldn't be too much longer if we are going to where I think we're going. The bumps will be gone soon and we will be on the highway.”
“Where are we going Joseph? I need to know!!!”
“I think it feels like we're going to Salmon River.”
“What’s Salmon River, Joseph? A river filled with salmon?”
“Annie, it’s not like that! In fact, it is one of my most favourite places to go! I don't think you have been there.”
“I don't think I have been there either, Joseph but I'll wait and see.” replied Annie.
It seemed like only minutes later when the door of the trailer opened at their destination. As they got off the trailer, Annie's eyes got bigger and bigger.
“Wow! No, I haven't been here before, Joseph!”
Joseph was greeted like an old friend. Annie started to feel like no one wanted to see her because all the attention was being paid to Joseph. Just then, Joseph noticed that Annie was looking down at the ground.
“Annie. Come a little closer to me.”
“But why Joseph?” she said as she walked closer.
“Just trust me okay? ”I can see you are feeling a little uncomfortable right now.”
“Oh Joseph, how did you know I was?”
“I have my good points too.”
“Awww Joseph. Thanks!”
Before she knew it, everyone was paying attention to her as well and saying how pretty she was. It was in that moment that Annie decided she was going to like it here. “Where are we going to be sleeping tonight Joseph? I hope I have a place next to you because it will make me feel safer in a strange place.”
“I always seem to get the same stall when I come here and that's the one over there. I can see what is happening and all that stuff
“Maybe I will get the one on the other side of you.”
Sure enough, Annie did get the stall next to her buddy. She couldn’t see as much as he could. That was ok, as long as they were together.
The night passed and sleeping was a bit difficult as there were a lot of new and different sounds that were not at home. Every now and then Annie would peep through the boards to see if Joseph was still there with her. The next morning the sun was shining brightly through the trees creating dancing particles of dust in the air.
“I wonder what we are going to be doing Joseph?” Annie whispered as she finished her breakfast.”
“I know I will have a few classes with the other minis down the aisle. I am not sure what you will be doing. Maybe you will have a line class.” "Joseph! I never heard of a line class. What is that?”
“Well, in fact I've never been in the line class either, so I really can't tell, but I know they walk back and forth. It’s like watching paint dry.”
“JOSEPH ! No matter what it is, I am going to have fun because that's what it's all about! Right?”
“You got it Annie.”
As the morning rolled on they watched the big horses get hitched to the big carriages and start into the arena. Annie's eyes were so wide with wonderment! Just then they heard……..
“Annie. Let's get you hitched first and then we will do Joseph.” "Joseph! Something's not adding up. How are we both going to be out in the arena at the same time with only one driver? Leona is busy taking pictures. I am so confused!” “Don't fret Annie. We just have to wait and see. I remember before we left that they were talking about getting the little girl that always drove you to come here and do it as well.” answered Joseph. “Oh! That would be good because I know her and she knows me. Oh! Thanks Joseph. Now I feel better and I'll feel even better when I see her in person.” Moments later they were both ready to go and then they heard........... “tell Paul Lindsay we're ready to go.” When Annie heard that she hit the panic button! JOSEPH! WHO IS THIS PAUL LINDSAY????!!!! I DON”T KNOW HIM! WHERE IS THE GIRL I KNOW?” Annie yelled at the top of her lungs. “Annie. It’s alright! I know who it is and he is a kind man. I have seen him helping everyone with their horses when they needed a hand. I like him a lot.” “Joseph, you are not saying those things just to make me feel better, are you?” “If I was home - maybe I would have a bit of fun with you sometimes, but not here. I am telling you the truth.” “Ok Joseph. I hope he knows what he is doing with a donkey because we are different, as you know.” “Annie, it is going to be fine. Trust me.” “Ok. I will do it, but it will be hard.” A voice from the other side of the arena shouted…. “Paul will be there in a minute. He is just putting on his coat. He is driving Annie, right?” That was it. All the questions was answered. Well, except for one - what does this Paul look like? “Paul, this is Annie and she is a good girl and easy to drive.” Before Annie knew it Paul bent over and looked her in the eye. All Annie could see was a pair of gentle eyes looking back. A few minutes later they were both in the arena. “Joseph, we are the only 2 here! I thought there would be more minis." “So did I but it is just us. Now I am confused too.” answered Joseph. “This is the first time we have had a donkey class. Let’s get started.” said the announcer. “This is going to be interesting Annie. Me against you.” “I am ready to go Joseph!” Everyone who was watching was yelling and it didn’t take long to realize that one side of the arena was yelling “Come on Joseph!” while the other side was yelling “Come on Annie”. The excitement of the people was like fuel to both Annie and Joseph as they trotted around the arena. As soon as it started it was over. Well almost…….. There was this back-up part. For the record - it took Joseph 5 years before he felt comfortable enough in an arena to back up. He was wondering how Annie was going to handle it as he looked on. After a few attempts, Paul told Annie it was alright and he knew it was not easy for her. “Joseph! I feel so bad that I couldn’t do back- up. “Annie, it is alright. You did your best and I am proud of you. Plus, it was fun and that is what we came to do, right?” “Right, Joseph." When the ribbons were given out there was no difference in the cheers between Annie and Joseph. They were like the “same”. On the way home both Annie and Joseph were lost in their own thoughts of the day. “What was the best part of our show that you liked Annie?” “I liked it very much and am ready to do another but the best part was the way you looked after me and Paul was so kind to me. Maybe the next time I will back up.” “If you do Annie, it’s game on!” “Is that a promise Joseph?" “You will have to show with me again to find out." “Can I bring Paul?”

Hi Everyone, Well, here we are back for another season. Summer is almost over. We hope you had a great summer with lots of good memories. School will be opening soon. Stay safe. Until next time.
Baby, Joseph, Havier, Jake and Little Annie

NOTE: this month’s story is dedicated in memory of PAUL LINDSAY 1964 – 2018 who sadly passed away earlier this month. Paul will be sadly missed by many.

Uniacke Newsletter
2018-09-25
https://www.uniackenewsletter.ca/stories/showdown-in-salmon-river