The week-end is here and we are off to the races!
Well perhaps not literally! I am inviting all of you to the races. You can come but still stay in the comfort of your own home. Yes, you guessed right, we are headed to Moonbeam Farm. Another fun story from the book that Colin and I are working on. I thought I would give all of you a little treat, since you answered trivia questions about our Moonbeam Farm gang on Thursday. If you missed seeing the answers, here is a link to my post yesterday. Friday’s Super Short Stories and more.
I have always enjoyed horses. They bring back such sweet memories. I remember visiting my Aunt and Uncle when I was young, and they had several horses in their barn. Seeing them and going for a ride was always the highlight of the visit. I can still smell the scent of the hay when I would walk into the barn and I remember the joy I had at feeding them. The fun memories of childhood. I think it was the Kentucky Derby that my Uncle would go to each year. Not to place bets at all, just to enjoy an exciting race of beautiful horses. They really are magnificent creatures.
Get ready to enjoy an exciting race now! You can place bets in your mind of who is going to win, just try not to get the horses names confused. I can guarantee that you have never heard horses with names like these! The creativity with the horses names did come from Colin, need I say more. I feel confident that following this horse race, will give your brain some exercise. Enjoy and may your horse win!
The Horse Race!
Every year, the town held a Founders Day celebration which always included a horse race around a local field. This year, it was being run in the field on the other side of the barn at Moonbeam Farm. The Man-Servant, while not a gambling man, would always watch the race and place friendly bets with Odessa, Jaxon and Dewey.
Dewey had dozed off after breakfast, and suddenly woke up to an empty farmhouse! It was unusual for the Man-Servant not to be around at this time, so he went over to the barn and saw Jaxon rearranging the straw on his bed. “Hey… Jaxon! Have you seen the Man-Servant?” he asked. “It is horse race day today.” said Jaxon. “He’s probably in the field trying to find a good place to watch the race!”
Dewey went out into the field and saw the Man-Servant sitting on a low branch of a large oak tree, and just above him was Odessa. “Hi guys!” said Dewey. ‘Isn’t it a bit early for the race?” The Man-Servant looked down to where Dewey was standing. “The race starts in thirty minutes, and Odessa and I wanted a good place to watch. Are we going to bet again this year?” They have bet in previous years with the winners being waited on for a day by the losers.
Jaxon just then arrived, so Odessa flew down and picked him up. She then placed him on the branch next to the Man-Servant, while Dewey just climbed up the tree trunk to where the others were now sitting. “Okay.” said the Man-Servant. “My bet is on Second Chance to win!”
Odessa just laughed. “Second Chance? Really? Don’t you remember him from last year? My pick is Third Strike!”
Dewey and Jaxon looked at each other and burst out laughing. Dewey turned to them both. “You’re kidding right? You honestly think that either Second Chance or Third Strike can win this race? Are you both totally out of touch with reality?” The Man-Servant smiled at Dewey. “We’ll soon see won’t we? Who are you picking?” Jaxon decided to get involved in the conversation. “I am going to pick the winner!” he said. “I am picking Seventh Heaven!” Dewey just looked at Jaxon and rolled his eyes. “I am in shock.” he said. “There are only six horses in this race and you guys are picking Third Strike, Second Chance and Seventh Heaven? Incredible! You guys will soon all be waiting on me for a whole day because my horse is First Choice! It’s going to be the winner!”
As the race was about to start, the Man-Servant got his binoculars out of their case. While Odessa could see across the field really clearly, the Man-Servant needed his binoculars. He could also then give Dewey and Jaxon a commentary when the horses were furthest away from them.
The race started from the far side of the field and, as in previous years, it consisted of four laps. As the horses came around the bend and down the straight which took them by the tree, it was First Choice who was leading! Dewey was jumping up and down on the branch. “Look guys! He is already out in front! Get ready to be my servants for a day!”
As the horses went around the curve and headed for the start/finish line area, the Man-Servant gave his commentary. “Okay guys. First is now second. Seventh first. Third and Second have just been passed by Knot Like Lee and Lou Zher is picking up the rear.
Dewey just looked at the Man-Servant. “What?” he said. “Do you mean that First Choice is now second, or that Second Chance is first?” “Hold on Dewey.” he said. “They’re just coming round the bend towards us again!” They all watched as the horses went thundering past their tree. Odessa was happy because Third Strike had managed to get into second place behind Seventh Heaven. They all watched intently as they went around the curve and headed down the straight to complete the second lap.
“Right!” said the Man-Servant. “As they start lap three, Third is still second but Second is now first!” Dewey looked at him again. ‘Do you mean that Third Strike is in second place, or that Second Chance is in third place, but then who is in first place?” The Man-Servant was too excited to answer!
“Finishing the third lap, Third is fourth, Second is first, First is third and Seventh is second!” said the Man-Servant. Dewey and Jaxon were exasperated as they did not understand what he was talking about.
“This is the final lap guys, and they’ll soon be near us again!” said the Man-Servant. Dewey and Jaxon were all standing on the branch now, and Jaxon was jumping around when he saw Seventh Heaven was in the lead, with Odessa’s Third Strike right behind it. Dewey was shouting “C’mon First Choice! Get moving!” The Man-Servant was also shouting at Second Chance to go faster as they went round the bend for the final time and headed for the finish line, all six horses were very close.
Dewey kicked the Man-Servants leg. “This is the end of the race Man-Servant so commentate clearly so we all know what is happening!” “Okay Dewey.” he said. “As they start the straight away down to the finish line, First is third. Second is first…”
At that moment, Dewey bit the Man-Servant’s leg. “Man-Servant! You really suck as a commentator. We have no idea what is happening out there!” The Man-Servant looked down at him. “The race is over Dewey! Lou Zher sprinted to first place with Knot Like Lee right behind him!”
Jaxon looked up at the Man-Servant. “So none of us won?” “No Jaxon.” said the Man-Servant. “Our horses came in 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th!
Odessa picked up Jaxon from the branch and placed him on the ground, where he was soon joined by the Man-Servant and Dewey. Odessa then flew up and on to the Man-Servant’s shoulder, and they all headed back to the farm.
“Tell me Man-Servant.” said Odessa. “Why did you pick Second Chance to win?” “Well,” said the Man-Servant, “I liked the name. I liked the idea that it was getting a second chance. Why did you pick Third Strike Odessa?” Odessa looked at him, and rolled her eyes. “My horse’s name was not Third Strike Odessa, but just Third Strike. I picked it because I like the attitude behind third strike. It’s like a polite threat that something was going to happen… as in three strikes… third strike… get it?”
Dewey had been listening. “I picked First Choice because… well… it’s First Choice!” Jaxon was smiling at all the comments. “You guys are so not clued in at all about horse racing are you! You don’t pick a horse based on its name. You study the form of the various horses, and then make an educated decision based on everything you learn. That way there is a very good chance that your horse will do well.”
The Man-Servant, Odessa and Dewey were thinking about what Jaxon had said, and then Dewey asked. “So why did you pick Seventh Heaven?” Jaxon didn’t answer, but suddenly started racing towards the open farm gate. The others chased after him, and caught him at the door to the farmhouse. He was laughing so much that, for a moment, they did not know what to say.
Then the Man-Servant took charge. “Okay Jaxon. Why did you pick Seventh Heaven?” “I told you!” said Jaxon. “You have to study their form, and Seventh Heaven looked very good.” The Man-Servant shook his head. “Oh… Jaxon! I know that is not true because I did check the horses and Seventh Heaven was running her first race!” Odessa looked at Jaxon. “Tut! Tut! Jaxon. You are not telling us the truth are you?”
“It was my magic.” said Jaxon. “I consulted my magic as I thought that it could make Seventh Heaven win, and you guys would have to spoil me for a day!” Dewey looked at him. “You mean you tried to cheat?” Jaxon turned around to face Dewey. “You would have cheated if you knew how!” “Well yes,” said Dewey, “but I’m a cat!”
The Man-Servant was shaking his head. “You two are so bad! It‘s not nice to cheat.” Odessa turned to look at him. “Really? Really? I saw you talking to one of the horse owners yesterday, and heard something about owing you a favor. What was that all about? Am I the only one here that has any integrity?”
Just at that moment, Florence and Hermione flew into the yard and landed near Odessa. “It didn’t work.” said Florence. “We tried to distract all the horses like you said, except Third Strike, but those horses were really focused on the race. Sorry! We’ve got to dash!”
As soon as Florence and Hermione had flown out of the yard, the four of them just looked at each other, and then burst out laughing at what they had all tried, and failed, to do!