Macy and Sunny

by Gabby K.

“Macy, get out of your bed so you can help me with your colt!” Hester Walker Trent screamed at her niece, Macy Walker.

“Alright, Aunt Hester!” She yelled back. Macy threw off her covers, quickly got dressed, combed her hair till it shone, and pulled on her fancy boots. “Comin’!” She dashed out of her room and quickly ran outside. “What in tarnation’s goin’ on here, Sunny boy?” Macy said, taking the lead rope from her aunt. “What's gotten into ya in the last couple days?”

Sunny responded with a toss of his shiny mane.

“Yer momma wouldn’t be proud if she saw ya acting like ya do.” Macy said.

Sunny pawed at the ground and resumed spinning in circles and rolling.

Macy coughed. “Sunny! Stop!”

Aunt Hester sighed and walked back inside. “You better train him well so he stops making a mess of himself. I desperately wanted you guys to come, especially a cute colt, but if that colt keeps making a ruckus, I will have to send him back. Now, I reckon I should make us some breakfast.”

Macy groaned and jerked on the rope. “Get yer head lookin’ at me right this instant!” She ordered.

Sunny ignored her and continued rolling.

“Yer useless.” A gruff voice said. “Jus' like yer brothers.”

Macy froze. Okay, remember what Andi told me. Stay calm, and control my temper. Stay calm and control my-

“Ya hear me?”

Macy nodded and dropped the rope. Anger tugged at her face and hands. Stay calm. She reminded herself. Sweat dripped down her forehead, despite of the cold weather.

“Ya scared of me, girl?” John ‘Buck’ Kirk said.

“No, sir. In fact, I'm tryin’ to keep my anger cooled.” Macy declared.

Buck laughed. “Is that right…” He stepped closer. “As I was sayin’ befor’, yer useless. Yer anger will always show, and yer bound to end up in a lockup of some sort.”

Macy knew he was pushing her, pushing her hard enough to hurt him. Then he could tell her aunt and she would be sent away. Surely, Aunt Hester won't send me away just because I couldn’t keep my cool, right? “Yer wrong, Buck. Like always.” She managed to say.

Buck smiled a toothless smile. “Oh, am I? I sure didn’t realize.”

Macy growled, sending Sunny galloping away. “Oh, Sunny!” She began spatting curses at her colt.

“Macy!” She heard her aunt yell.

“Yes, ma’am?” Macy replied, ignoring Buck's comments about how bad she was at cursing.

“What did I tell you about cursing? I bet your brothers' cursing finally got to you. Ever since you came with Sunny…” She trailed off.

Macy grunted as Buck slammed his fist into her ribs.

“Yer weak. A weak, scrawny girl.”

Macy growled again. “I stood up against my schoolmaster. And I reckon I can stand up against you, Buck. I've probably survived more cattle drives than you.”

Buck chuckled. “Yeah, right. I've been on more cattle drives than ya can survive. I have beaten cow-rustlers ‘till they nearly bled to their death. I have crossed flooded rivers with my bare feet and no mount along with a dozen head of cattle. Not once have I had a hired hand that turned against tough Buck.”

Macy clenched her fists.

“Now, now, Buck, ya know ya shouldn’t be makin’ fun of girls.” Tom ‘Sherf' Westler said.

Macy curtsied. “Howdy, Sherf.”

The sheriff tipped his hat. “Howdy, Miss Macy. You’ve grown better with your manners. I’m surprised.”

Macy straightened and dusted the grass and snow off of her dress. “Why, thank you. Aunt Hester has been makin’ sure that I keep my manners fresh.”

Tom smiled. “Good. Another proper lady around here might calm down the men. Well, where is your Aunt Hester? I’ve come to collect my weekly eggs.”

Macy motioned inside. “Aunt’s in there. She's makin' breakfast if ya want to join us.”

“I don’t want no breakfast.” Buck growled. “I wanna teach this young ‘lady’ a lesson.” He said, yanking on Macy's long hair.

“Ouch!” Macy screamed.

Tom pulled out his pistol. “Buck, what did I say? You don’t want to end up in a cell, do ya?”

Buck shook his head and reluctantly let go of his hold on Macy's hair. “Alright, Sherf. I best be goin’.”

Macy dusted off her dress again and headed towards where Sunny was sunbathing in the melting snow. “Sunny!” She called.

A returning whinny came her way. Sunny jumped up and trotted over to his owner. “Well, hello, there!” He seemed to say. Macy patted his rump and began tying him up inside his little paddock.

Then Macy walked over to the chicken coop. “Howdy, gals!” She exclaimed happily as she opened the door. “Got any eggs for me and Sherf?”

A hen clucked her response and resumed pecking at the fallen hay scattered along the floor.

“Oh, ya sure do!” Macy said, putting the eggs in a basket. “Time to go, see ya gals tomorrow!”

“Macy, come on!” Aunt Hester yelled from the kitchen.

Macy waved goodbye to the hens and skipped over to the house. “Comin’!”

Macy stepped inside and set the basket of eggs down. “The hens gave us a ton of eggs today!”

Aunt Hester smiled. She took the basket and called for her cook. “Martha! The eggs need cookin’!”

Then, a dark-skinned Mexican woman hurried in, quickly wiping her hands on her faded apron. “Yes, ma'am.” She said, a flurry of Spanish words following.

“That's a mighty big bunch!” Tom exclaimed, taking a sip of his coffee.

Macy nodded. “Yep, sure is!” Then a big, fluffy something rubbed its wet nose against Macy. “Jack! Aren’t you supposed to be watching the hens and horses?” The black and white sheepdog wagged his tail.

Aunt Hester finished sipping her tea. “Yes, he is. How in the world did he get in?” Jack barked and backed away slowly. He whined and slipped out of the wide-open door.

“That’s how!” Macy said.

Aunt Hester stomped outside and began giving Jack a piece of mind.

Meanwhile, Sunny was resting in his paddock. He shook his glossy mane and gave the grass in front of him a big tug. Out it came, along with its roots. Sunny chewed contently and glanced toward the house. There, Aunt Hester was tying Jack up next to the hen house. “Bad dog.” She kept saying over and over. Along with “No dogs inside.” And “The worst dog ever.”

“Hester!” Sherf called from inside. “I think that’s enough name callin’ of the poor thing. Best leave it alone.” Aunt Hester nodded, and with her head high, returned inside the house.

“So, do ya want yer eggs fri’d or scrambled?” Martha asked.

Macy though for a moment, but her  Aunt Hester knew exactly what she wanted. “Fried, please. Like always.”

Martha smiled, revealing two missing front teeth. “Alrighty, ma'am. What ‘bout you, Miss Macy?”

“Fried as well, please. Oh, and with extra salt.” Macy finally said. “I'm goin’ out to town, today. Got sum business to take care of at school.”

Sheriff Tom rose to his feet and gave everyone a two-fingered salute. “Got to get goin'. See ya in town, Miss Macy!” With that, he walked out the door, setting his mug on the porch.

***

         “Macy Walker! What a pleasant surprise! Don’t expect to see a young lady ‘round here on the weekends!” A friendly blacksmith called from his anvil.

Macy waved and clutched her purse close to her chest. “Hello, Brick! I’m going to go buy some peppermint for Lucy. She fell and banged up her knee pretty bad.”

Brick winced. “Ooh, that’s gotta be a sight! Hope she heals well. Oh, and be safe! The purse-snatching has started, again. Better watch that purse of yours!”

Macy nodded and hurried the rest of the way to the candy store. She quickly bought a peppermint and brought it to Lucy. “Here, Lucy. That mean Buck better stop hurtin’ little kids, or I’ll run out of silver dollars!”

Lucy smiled and took the peppermint eagerly. “Thanks, Macy! I wish I had a silver dollar, just think of how many peppermints that could buy!”

Macy laughed. “A ton, I bet!” She said.

 

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