Taking a Ride on the Pony Express

Do you like Unicorns? Well if you want to chase them, you should visit Tippy’s blog. http://unicorniks.com/2020/04/20/lockdown-rules/   It is well worth your time!

I am giving another shout out today to Tippy for his close answer to one of the questions from my Trivia post on Saturday. The question was asking how many months the Pony Express ran for. The correct answer was 18 months, he guessed 26, so he got a prize! His prize was choosing a topic for me to write about and he suggested  for me to do a story around the Pony Express. I didn’t think that would be too hard, until he asked that I give all the ponies a name. Then I delved more into reading about the Pony Express and found out that there were 400 total ponies. I hope I don’t disappoint anyone by NOT filling my story with 400 names of ponies. If so, I will try to make it up to you somehow. I may not have named all the ponies but there are some true facts mixed in with this fictional story. I hope Tippy and the rest of you can enjoy this little journey back in history, to a time long, long ago!

 

Skippy was taking a break. He thought he would sit under the shade of the big Oak tree on this nice Spring evening, in 1860. He needed some time to check out the back of his eyelids for a little, and it was so peaceful listening to the running water in the nearby creek.

His horse Udella was munching on some grass and taking a much needed break as well. Skippy liked Della, he called her that, often forgetting the “U” that was in her name. She could run as fast as the wind, one of the fastest horses, among the 400 that were used for the Pony Express. He always liked when he got Udella on his last run,  for he knew that he would be finished with it in half the time. After changing horses 8-10 times along the 75 mile route, he was glad to end the day with a fast horse.

Skippy was just about to enter dreamland when he saw something that set his heart to racing. A horse was galloping towards him and he heard some hollering. It was an Indian raising his hand in the air and waving it around. Skippy was scared, for he had heard stories from some of his other comrades who had met up with Indians, as they were traveling their routes.

There were 120 men that were riders for the Pony Express, so among all of them they gathered lots of stories. The stories had sent chills down the spine and made the hairs on his arms stand up! Especially the story about the 14 year old rider that had been attacked by Indians. Skippy was only a year older than him. He hadn’t known the rider well, besides his name, William. He wondered if he had been an orphan too, like a lot of the riders were. Riding for the Pony Express was really dangerous, part of why they wanted riders under the age of 18. Didn’t want no married fellows. Now Skippy was a quivering as he hid behind the tree, and having doubts of why he had ever taken this job.

He knew what the boss man said, that the riders were expected to protect the 20 pound mail pouch with their lives. He told his employees how he paid them well at $100 dollars a month so he expected their dedication. They had to swear on a bible before they took the job, but right now he was ready to just throw that mail pouch at the Indian and ride Udella as fast as he could. The problem was that the Indian was between him and Udella, for she had wandered off to another patch of grass that had some clover, oh what was he going to do?

Skippy could tell the Indian was a young boy as he rode closer to him. Perhaps he would be friendly or maybe not. He took a deep breath and prepared to meet his doom, as he stepped out from behind the tree. The Indian was smiling, and Skippy gave a shaky smile back. Skippy considered himself a happy guy so he may as well keep smiling, even if he was to meet his end.

The Indian boy stopped and pointed to Skippy’s canteen. Skippy knew there wasn’t a lot of water left but hey if water could save his life the young boy was welcome to it! He handed him the canteen and the boy smiled at him as he gulped it down. He handed the canteen back and motioned to the creek. Skippy was feeling pretty hot, and he began to feel a little more at ease. The boy really did just seem thirsty. Surely if he had meant to kill him, he would have done it by now!

“Come!”The boy said, as he motioned towards the creek again and started towards it.

Skippy stood for a moment debating, but then he couldn’t resist as he watched the young boy splashing in the creek.

Soon they were both cooling off in the creek and having a good time!

Sometimes boys just needed to have fun!

 

 

 

 

 

14 thoughts on “Taking a Ride on the Pony Express

  1. This was a fun read, and an entertaining way to teach history. I’ll bet Skippy got laughed at a lot by his coworkers at the Pony Express, with a name like that. He might have broken a few noses, while reminding his comrades to call him “Skip”.
    In all my years in the postal service, I never took a bath with an Indian. So this was a unique story. And well done, in my view.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. great job weaving some interesting facts into your story. I never knew the Pony Express riders were so young; I just assumed they were much older.

    At first, I thought the bosses were being unreasonable by demanding that the riders protect the pouch with their lives, but I just calculated that $100 per month, 160 years ago, is equivalent to over $1.1 million dollars per month today (assuming 6% growth). They were being paid quite well to get the job done!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it. I had assumed they were older too.
      Wow about the One million dollars! I can see how that kind of money would be very tempting, especially to a young guy!

      Like

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