I held back the lump in my throat as I hurried through the front door and made my way to my bedroom. I could not breathe and my head felt like it was going to explode if I didn’t let go and cry soon but I just couldn’t, yet.
I quietly closed the door to my room layed down on the bed burying my face in the pillow and cried hysterically until I fell asleep. About thirty minutes later I woke hearing the sound of my father’s voice as he returned home from work. I flew of the bed and ran to him, once again crying hysterically. He wrapped his arms around me asking why I was crying. It took a few minutes before i was able to calm down enough for him to understand me. “Dad, Dr. Y said he has to sell Babe because they are moving!. What am I going to do? How can he do this to me when he knows how much I love her”? (Babe was the horse that our town’s “bone” doctor had bought for his grandkids but after they moved away I began taking care of her. I had spent every waking moment that I could with her, even if it was just sitting in the pasture doing my homework while she ate. When summer came my girlfriends who had their own horses and I rode all day everyday. We rode down to the river and up to the lake. We rode through the pear orchards and along the railroad tracks. We played pony express in the pasture and even camped out in my back yard with the horses there too. When Babe and I were alone i told her everything. Whenever there was going to be a gymkhana we would clean stalls at the fairgrounds to earn enough money to enter . It didn’t matter that we did not have a horse trailer like the other people did, we simply just rode our horses to the gymkhana. In fact only two of the girls had saddles but they let us use them when it was our turn to do an event. We didn’t have fancy tack or saddles or even cowboy boots but we loved being together and we definitely loved our horses. It was the best summer ever!)
As I stood there sobbing in my dad’s arms he said “you should not let yourself get so upset over something you have no control over. If the doctor has to sell Babe there is nothing you can do about it”. I said “But Dad, I want to keep her .” As soon as my dad her those two words, I WANT, he said “WELL I GUESS YA OUGHT TO GET A JOB THEN” ” D-a-a-d please be serious”. He began telling me about how expensive horses are and all that owning one entails. I argued my side of it and began begging and pleading. Finally my father says “o.k” I’ll make a deal with you. Anything I have ever wanted and got I had to work for. You get a job and you can have the horse.” I made him swear and pinky promise which he did but with a slight smirk on his face thinking of the deal he had just made with a TEN YEAR OLD LITTLE GIRL. We had dinner then I did my homework and went to bed, again, crying until I fell asleep.
The next day my dad was already home from work when I got there. He kiddingly said ‘well did ya get a job yet? I told him all about how I had gone to every house I could think and asked if they needed a sitter or if they had any work at all I could do for them, but had no luck. When my gramps saw how dissappointed I was he gave me a couple of quarters to get us a soda from the machine across the street at the transmission shop. While I was there I was telling the mechanics about how bad I wanted a job and how hard I would work everyday just to have Babe. The owner overheard my story and asked if I would be interested in helping out around there. He said I could come a few days a week to clean the office and bathrooms but I had to always be there on time and do a good job and that my school work had to be finished first and my parents had to give their permission and I of course told him that yes I would love to do it. Suddenly the reality of what I was actually saying to my father hit me and I screamed this blood curling scream “Oh my gosh!! Dad! I did it !! I got a job!!! Babe is going to be so happy!! I bet you never thought I could do it, huh? but I did!!! I mimicked him as i put my hand on my hip and said “that’ll learn ya to make a deal like that with me again huh”? Dad grinned proudly gave me a huge hug and told me he was very proud of me. The transmission shop paid me $ 1.50 an hour. I worked there for the next two years until my family moved across town and every penny I made went to taking care of BABE.