Circle C Early Beginnings Parts 5-7

by Samantha Snow

Chapter Five A Surprise Place

It was a few weeks after Andrea Carter was born, she was loved on by her family and siblings. They choose the middle name to be Rose. Elizabeth was grateful for her new daughter. Kate loved taking care of her and Elizabeth got lots of rest. She was recovering fast and doing well. “I can take care of Andrea while you play for a while.” she told Kate when she came into the room.

“If you are sure….” Kate said slowly. 

“I am, go and have fun!” Her mother said, smiling at her, “You have helped me so much you should get some free time.”

Kate smiled, “Thanks Mother!” she took off outside. 

Justin and Chad were playing around, they were just hanging out. “Hey Kate! Want to play with us?” asked Justin 

“Yeah! Come join us sis!”  said Chad running over to her, 

Kate smiled, “Thanks Chad, Justin! I was hoping to go for a ride if you like.”

“I actually was just thinking about that, sure! Okay Justin?” asked Chad.

Justin nodded, “Sounds great! I’ll help you saddle your horse Kate!” 

“Okay, thanks! I am going to tell Mother, I will be right back.” Kate ran off to the ranch house,

Justin and Chad walked to the barn together, “I think we should take Kate somewhere new and surprise her, she works so hard helping Mother all the time.”

“Good idea Chad! I think she would love it, where should we take her as a new surprising area?” asked Justin, thinking.

Chad checked to see if Kate was back and whispered his idea to his brother. “Yes! Great idea Chad!” Justin said they stood up as Kate came into the barn, “We are good to go!” She glanced around at the horses and said, “I think I'll take Sally.” getting her horse, Sally all tacked up and ready to ride. Justin and Chad helped her get the saddle on and she helped bridle Sunrise and Skylight. 

They led their horses out of the barn and mounted them, “Hey, want to have a race?” asked Chad,

“Of course! Let’s race to that big tree.” answered Kate, “Okay, Justin?” 

Justin grinned and took off, “Hey! He’s getting a head start, again!” hollered Chad

“Chad,” Kate turned to Chad “Let’s change direction and head to that tree. “ and pointed. “There’s no way we can catch him at the speed he’s going.”

Chad’s eyes lit up, “Yes! Let’s do it.” Chad and Kate nudged their horses into a gallop and raced to the big tree away from the tree Justin was heading too. He and Kate pasted the tree together, it was a tie! Kate and Chad grinned at each other and waited for Justin to figure out their trick and come after them. 

Shortly after Justin came riding up. “Hey, where did you go? We were racing to that tree.” Justin pointed behind him.

“No, no! It was this tree.” Kate insisted. 

Justin frowned, “I don’t think so.”

“It was!” 

“I still don’t think so…” said Justin, puzzled. 

Kate and Chad bursted out laughing, they had gotten Justin good. “Sorry Justin, you lost the race. You got a head start so we decided to change direction to trick you, it worked!” said Kate giggling.

“Next time, no head starts Justin.” added Chad very seriously.

“What..” Justin’s voice trailed off. “Let’s have a race, no head starts, no cheating. Okay?”

Chad and Kate agreed, “Let’s go!” They lined up evenly and Chad yelled “Go!” and they were off, kicking their horse’s to go faster, Sally, Kate’s horse suddenly put on a burst of speed and passed Justin and Chad and she won the race! 

“Wow, good race Kate!” said Justin smiling,

“Yeah! Great job Kate!” added Chad.

“Thanks! Your horses did well too!” said Kate, 

“Hey, I got an idea, let’s go that way and see what's behind the trees.” said Chad, this was their surprise for Kate. 

“Okay, sure!” Kate replied, she had never been there before, this would be exciting! 

Justin led they way, he halted his horse when they came into view, 

“Wow, just wow! This a wonderful place, oh my.” said Kate in awe, it was so cool! There was a waterfall, a pond, it was such a beautiful place! 

Chad and Justin grinned at each other, they were thrilled Kate liked it so much, “We found this place a while ago, we thought we should surprise you one day!” said Justin, 

Chad nodded, “Yes, it is a wonderful place, do you like it Kate?”

“I love it!” Kate answered happily 

“Let’s ride along the edge of the pond for a bit, okay?”



After riding along for a while Kate said “I better be getting back, Mother will want me to help with supper.” 

“Good idea, Father probably needs us too.” said Justin, Chad agreed, so they turned and started back to Circle C Ranch. “Thanks for riding with me and showing me this place,” said Kate softly.

“Oh, you're welcome! We had fun! Right Chad?” said Justin, he had enjoyed it too.

“Yes, it was great fun!” Chad agreed.  Kate smiled and they kept riding along home. It was a perfect end to a great day! 


Chapter Six Andrea’s First Word

One day a while later in the middle of the night Elizabeth woke up, her 3 month old daughter was awake and crying. She hurried over the crib. “Hush, hush, Andrea, you're okay.” she whispered softly, Andrea quieted, her mother Elizabeth rocked her back and forth. She kept whispering to her, “I know you are teething, so you cry more, you're okay. Hush…”  she rocked her a while more till Andrea fell asleep, she tucked Andrea back in the crib and went to her own bed and fell asleep. 


The next morning Kate went into her parents room, Mother was still sleeping, Andrea was awake and whimpering so Kate went and picked her up, she quickly wrote a note to her mother saying “Mother, I took Andrea, she was crying and I thought you should sleep in. I will take care of her, don’t worry. Love, Kate.” Kate placed the note in the crib and slipped out, she went downstairs where her family was, “Good morning!” she called out

“Good morning Kate, how are Mother and Andrea this morning?” asked her father smiling,

“Andrea was crying so I took her and left a note for Mother. She must have gotten up sometime in the night to care for Andrea so I figured it would be best to let her sleep in.” answered Kate.

“That’s fine, thanks Kate. I can hold her for a while as you fix breakfast.” offered Father warmly,

“Yes, thank you.” Kate handed her sister over and went to the counter and started getting breakfast ready, “Does eggs and toast sound good this morning?”

“That sounds good!” said Justin coming in the room, 

“Yeah, I think so too.” Chad said following his brother. 

“Great, oh, would one of you mind getting Melinda and Mitch up? I would but I am in the middle of making breakfast.” asked Kate,

“I can!” said Justin,

“I’ll go with you.” said Chad, getting up and following Justin to where Melinda and Mitch were sleeping.

“Thanks!” Kate called after them, she turned back to the pan of eggs, she was making scrambled eggs, it was easy and simple. She chopped them up and made sure they weren't burning and toasted some bread, all the while talking to her father. “The eggs are almost ready. Can you get a few plates?” 

“Yeah, sure Kate. Here. and he handed the plates to her and she filled them up, each person got a scoopful of eggs and two pieces of toast. 

“Looks yummy.” commented Father, watching her.

“Sure is.” Kate replied, smiling.

Just then Justin and Chad came into the room leading Melinda and Mitch. “Got them up, they are ready to eat!” said Justin, “I am too.” he added.

Chad agreed and they sat down, they were just about to eat when Mother walked in, “Good morning Mother!” they called out together.  

“Come join us for breakfast.” added Father

“Good morning everyone! Eggs and toast I see, looks good.” she sat down at the table with them “I got your note Kate, thanks for taking Andrea, it felt good to sleep in.” 

“Oh, you're welcome Mother!” answered Kate, she was happy to please her Mother.

“Let’s say grace.” said Father and they bowed their heads. After they did so they dug in, the eggs and toast were really good! 

“Thanks for making breakfast.” said Justin, smiling at his sister.

“Yeah, thanks!” added Chad.

“It was very good, thanks daughter.” Father said. He smiled at Kate.

Kate smiled and blushed, “You're welcome, it wasn’t too hard” 

“Yum.” said Melinda, holding up her fork. She was happily eating away. 

“Yummy.” added Mitch doing the same thing.

Everyone laughed, they smiled at Melinda and Mitch. “We better be getting on with the chores, Justin, Chad.” said James standing up.

“Okay.” Chad and Justin got up too and followed him out to the barn.

Elizabeth and Kate started to clean the table, Andrea started crying so Elizabeth went to tend to her. “I’m going to feed her, would you mind cleaning the rest of the table and washing the dishes?” 

“I sure can Mother!” said Kate and she kept at it. Mitch tried to help her a bit so she held a dish and helped him carry it. Melinda tried to help too, Kate smiled as she helped her siblings carry dishes. “Thanks Mitch, thanks Melinda!” said Kate after the dishes were washed and clean. 

“You are welcome.” said Mitch slowly

“Welcome.” added Melinda.

“Want to play for a while?” 

They nodded so Kate led them over to the toy bin. “Here you go.” Mitch and Melinda settled right now and played.

Kate stood, she knew they would be no trouble for a while. She went into the kitchen and made sure everything was put away, it was nice and tidy so Kate went to find Mother. “Mother?” she called.

“In here Kate.” Elizabeth called from where she was tucking Andrea down for a nap. Andrea opened her eyes when Kate came near and said “Kat?” it was not quite Kate’s name but close enough! Kate glanced at her mother in surprise, “She talked?” Kate said in no more than a whisper. 

Elizabeth nodded, her eyes shining with delight. “She did. Right Andrea?” 

Andrea just looked at her mother, Elizabeth smiled, “We shall have something to tell Father.” 

Kate nodded, “Yeah.” she looked at her youngest sibling. “She knows my name.” 

Elizabeth smiled at her oldest daughter's shock, “Yes, Kate, she does.” 

Kate broke into a wide grin. “She does!” 

“I’ll finish putting her down and will be right there.” Mother said, turned back to the baby.

“Okay.” Kate went to check on Mitch and Melinda. They were still playing happily so Kate joined them to just hang out a while. Mother came into the living room a few minutes later. “Andrea’s asleep. She should nap for an hour or so. What shall we do that is somewhat close to the house?” 

Mitch jumped up, “Let’s go outside.” he pointed to the door. 

“We can for a bit, just not too long okay?” answered Mother

Mitch nodded and tugged her hand, Melinda and Kate followed. “Where’s baby?” asked Melinda

Kate knew she was talking about Andrea and answered “She is taking a nap inside.” she crouched down beside her sister

“Andy?” Melinda asked

“Andrea. Can you say Andrea?” asked Kate

“Andy.” Melinda said again.

Kate stood, she was thinking “Andy would be a good nickname for Andrea, it would be a lot easier to say. Andy’s a boy’s name, so what if we spell it with an I and not a Y? Andi. I’ll ask Mother and see what she thinks.” Kate and Melinda headed over to her and Kate told Mother what she was thinking.

Elizabeth thought about that for a few minutes, “I like that, it would be a lot easier for the kids to say. We shall ask Father tonight.” she promised.

The day flew by, Kate and Mother were always busy caring for the youngest children. “Soon Mitch will go with Chad, Justin and Father while they make their rounds.” Mother said thoughtfully,

“I guess so, he’s getting older.” answered Kate

“Speaking of getting older I am thinking you have a birthday coming up soon” said Elizabeth with a twinkle in her eyes.

“Yeah, soon I will be 15.” answered Kate, not noticing her mother's twinkling eyes as she was watching Mitch and Melinda playing.

Elizabeth smiled and she went to check Andrea. 


Chapter Seven Kate’s Surprise 

About a week and a half later Elizabeth and James were talking one late evening after everyone went to bed. “Jim, tomorrow is Kate’s birthday. What shall we do for her? She has helped me so much since Andrea, or Andi was born.” Elizabeth said with a smile. 

“Good question, Beth. She has helped a lot this last while. You could make a cake and I could probably buy her a new horse tomorrow…..” James suggested “You know how she has been wanting another one that's younger than the one she rides now….” James added, his voice trailing off. 

Elizabeth laughed, she laid a hand on James arm, “I know, I know, I was about to suggest the same thing! About the horse. And yes, I could, and will bake a cake for Katherine” she added.

“Great! I will go into town early tomorrow morning and get one for her, the delivery has a beautiful dapple horse for sale, I better check and see if she is still available. I will be back late morning, is that okay?” James asked “I could take the boys with me…” he added thoughtfully. 

“Yeah, let’s do that. I can keep Katherine busy so she won’t have time to go in the barn so she will be surprised.”

“That’s not a problem. I will keep the horse in our empty pasture, away from the ranch house, you just got to keep the cake a secret.” James teased,

“Ahh, that might be tricky but I’m sure I’ll manage. Will you?” Elizabeth teased back 

James smacked his forehead in mock honor, “Oh no! I will try..” he said “Oh I can keep that secret you know that Beth!” he said, chuckling. 

“I know you will, I was just teasing. Anyway, let’s get to bed and get up bright and early. Kate can play with Melinda in the morning while I make the cake.” said Elizabeth 

“Okay, sounds good!”


The next morning, very early James woke Chad, Justin and Mitch and went to the delivery and the horse was still available. It was not too expensive so they went and brought it. The horse was such a beautiful horse, they had never seen such markings before!  

“Kate will love her won’t she?” aske Mitch as they paid for the horse,

“I’m sure she will!” answered Father

Justin and Chad agreed wholeheartedly. 

They took the horse home to the ranch, “When we get to the pasture we are going to ride her, okay?” asked James looking at his three sons.


“Sure, I’m excited!” 

Mitch nodded, “I agree.” 

They arrived at Circle C before Kate was even up so that made things much easier, they were able to ride the horse though the yard and got a saddle and went to the empty west pasture. 

They saddled the horse and briddled her, James swiftly mounted the horse and took hold of the reins. The horse was very well behaved, she did not buck, kick or anything, she just stood still till James said “Walk” and gave a slight tap to her sides. She walked on very smoothly. “She’s a good horse, very good listener.”  James called to his boys who were watching him intently. 

“Good!” called out Mitch

“That’s just what Kate would want!” said Justin thinking

Chad shouted aloud “Great! A horse for Kate!”  He turned thoughtful. “Will this horse be from all of us or just you?” 

James turned the horse and rode over to them and dismounted. “She will be from all of us, after all, you came and got her with me.” 

Chad was relieved, he didn’t know what Kate would like but if the horse was from all of them no need to worry about that! “Okay!” he said back

“Do you think we could get the horse into the barn without Kate knowing?”  asked James 

“I think so, I could go inside and see where Kate is.” said Justin

“Okay, great! That would be very helpful, son.” answered his father.      


Meanwhile at the ranch

Elizabeth got up with James and went downstairs, she took Andrea with her, she could finish sleeping on the couch where Elizabeth could keep an eye on her. She went to Kate’s room first, she was still asleep so Elizabeth decided to start on the cake right away.  She hurried downstairs and got started. She whipped up some batter, baked it. She knew Kate liked chocolate cake best so she made that, she made chocolate icing too, Kate's favorite cake! Another surprise for Kate she put chocolate chips on the cake too, “This looks yummy.” Elizabeth said to herself.  After icing it and writing Happy Birthday Kate! on it and hid the cake away in the cabinet. 

Elizabeth went and checked Andrea or Andi as everyone called her nowdays. She was still sleeping so Elizabeth cleaned up and made everything look neat. Just in time! Kate came down the stairs “Good morning Mother!”

“Good morning Kate! Happy birthday!” exclaimed Elizabeth     

“Thanks! I”m 15 now.” smiled Kate.

“You sure are.”

James, Justin, Chad and Mitch walked in, “Good morning everyone!” they called out, 

Elizabeth and Kate said the same thing. Elizabeth had made breakfast while making the cake so it was ready. “Mitch, would you get Melinda, I think she is playing in her room.” asked Elizabeth

“I can Mother.” said Kate

“No, no, it’s your birthday! Come and sit.” Elizabeth motioned to the table. 

“Ah, okay.” answered Kate.

“I will get her.” Mitch said and ran upstairs.   Shortly after he came down Melinda trailing behind him “Got her!” Mitch said and sat down to eat. They said grace and starting eating away!  

Elizabeth and James decided to surprise Kate that afternoon. The horse was ready and the cake was ready. Elizabeth had a few surprise gifts too. 


That afternoon

It was afternoon and Mother was getting ready to surprise Kate, Kate was outside playing with Melinda and everyone else was inside around the table, they had slipped inside though the back door so Kate wouldn't see them. Elizabeth got the cake and gifts and called Kate in “Kate?” Can you and Melinda come inside please?” 

“Sure Mother!” Kate replied, “Let’s go inside Melinda.” 


They walked in, “Happy birthday Kate!!!” everyone shouted together, Andi chimed in too “Happy, happy!” she said excitedly.

Kate stopped in surprise! She was shocked! She never even thought her family would do this for her! “Thank you! Thank you!” she said over and over.

“Open your gifts Kate!”   called out Chad

“Okay!” Kate answered and ripped over the gifts her mother had gotten her a new scarf, a coat and a few new knitting hooks. “Thank you!” Kate exclaimed when she opened them.      

“Shall we have some cake?” suggested Elizabeth hold a cake cutter.

“Sure!” Kate responded,

“Here, you may cut the cake.” Mother handed the cutter to her and Kate cut slices for everyone and they happily ate the cake.  

“This sure is yummy.” commented Chad

“Sure is.” Justin said

Mitch and James agreed. “Yes, thanks for making this Mother. Speaking of making the cake? When did you make it?”   

Elizabeth smiled and said “I got up early and made it, glad you all like it.” she tilted her head towards James “Speaking of getting up early….”     

James got the hint. “Shall we go for a little walk?” he asked

Everyone agreed so they did, they walked around and they ended up near the horse barn, “Let’s go inside.” said James, he pushed the door open and the new horse nickered “Who’s that horse?” asked Kate curiously 

Elizabeth and James grinned at each other “The horse is yours Kate. Happy birthday.” James said softly. 

“Mine?! Thank you so much!” she ran up to the horse, “What’s her name?”

“I’m not sure, I figured I would let you name her.” answered James

“I will call you Dapple, you are dapple colored and the name suits you.” she said to her new horse. 

“Dapple it is!’ Father said

“It does suit her.” said Elizabeth

The rest of the family agreed.           


  1. I'm so sorry! I accidentally deleted the comments in this and about 14 other fan fiction stories. My bad.

    1. That's okay. Sometimes it just happens. Samantha

  2. It's so nice to see Kate being so nice to her siblings before she ran away. I love that Father is in the stories. Keep writing!!😉
    - Brianna

  3. 🥹 So sweet!! ~Emma

  4. Keep writing Samantha!


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