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Archive for the ‘Short Stories’ Category

Man Eater – Chapter 3

By: J.V. Andrus

 

It was summer now and all was calm.  I was outside playing one evening when I spotted my run away pony, Judy.  With her head down, she stood quietly in the corral by the barn, stamping her small hooves and flicking her thick white tail back and forth in an attempt to fight off the hoards of black flies that bit at her small golden body.  Slowly, I walked towards the barn and nonchalantly swung the gate closed to trap Judy.  I turned to find myself cornered.

I was frozen to the spot.  Man Eater dove at me, white rimmed eyes full of hate and black ears flattened to the back of his head.  Grabbing me with his teeth, he flung me into the air.  The world exploded as I hit the ground and in half a daze, I crawled under the corral to safety.

Luckily for me, the jacket I had been wearing was my brother’s and being four sizes too big, I had slipped out the bottom.  I sat and watched in mute silence as Man Eater tore the jacket to shreds, then turned heel and headed for the hills.  I was soon to learn that this would only be the first of many attacks by the insane stallion. (more…)

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Man Eater – Chapter 2

By: J.V. Andrus

I was only a small girl but I’ll never forget the first time I saw that wild horse.  He was crazy-mad and full of hate.

We stood still as Daddy and Frank brought him through the yard, fighting and screaming.  His nostrils were flared wide and red and his white rimmed eyes were full of hate.  His head and short mane were caked with blood and lather covered his huge black body.

The angry stallion fought the ropes that circled his neck and held him between the two other horses.  He dived at Daddy’s horse only to be brought up tight by Frank’s rope.  He turned and charged at Frank but was thrown backwards when Daddy’s rope pulled tight.  He was a mass of flying feet and catching one of the ropes in his teeth bit down on it with such fury that the rope snapped but, Frank was too fast and another rope whistled through the air and landed over his head.

I was sick.  I thought the poor horse would kill himself before he would stop fighting.  It took the men an hour to corral the crazy, mad fighting horse. (more…)

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Gone But Not Forgotten

I have always been fascinated by the power of words to convey a message.  When I was young, my mother used to read us stories some of which were her own.  I loved those stories.

J.V. Andrus
Dec. 2, 1934 – Oct. 10, 1989

Sometimes, however, an artist’s work isn’t fully recognized or appreciated until after they are gone – the following story has never been published but, it needs to be. It is a story I have never been able to get out of my mind.

Written by my mother, J.V. Andrus, Man Eater is about a wild mustang captured in the Alberta Foothills before the majority of wild horses disappeared from the range.

Many people like to romanticize the good old days – truth is, times were hard back then and the bitter reality of that truth can be harsh. The story of this wild mustang is raw.  It’s real. It is a battle between a wild animal fighting for a territory being encroached upon by man. So, let’s take a step back into our not so distant history and enjoy my mother’s story of a wild stallion who roamed free in the foothills of Alberta in the 1939’s or 1940’s.

Proudly, I present:  Man Eater by J.V. Andrus.

The following is Chapter 1 of 3.

Man Eater

By: J.V. Andrus

When I was a little girl, my family lived on the CC Ranch southwest of Nanton.  The Ranch, situated on Willow Creek was silhouetted by the wild and beautiful Rocky Mountains.

The land was filled with bush and farther in towards the mountain was thick timber.  I remember that it was not uncommon to see bear, moose and deer on this land.  We knew that many wild horses made their home in the mountains although they were rarely seen.

My story is about a black stallion who gained the band of wild horses and who was snared in the mountains by my Dad and his best friend Frank.

I had only seen the wild horses a few times.  My Dad, who was foreman of the CC Ranch, said the wild horses were inbred.  They had large over-sized heads, crooked legs and big pie feet.  Some were very small.  The wild horses usually had long unshed hair and the older mares had matted manes and tails that hung to the ground.

They stayed high up in the mountains most of the year and grazed on the tender grass that grew along the timber line.  Their bands were very small.  The cold harsh winters and deep snow found the colts and weaker mares starving.  Some were pulled down by Timber wolves, some by another hungry predator. During these times, wild horses usually descended from the mountains into the foothills.

The ranchers hated the wild horses. (more…)

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Circles

 

The moon was still high when Vesta emerged from the lean-to.  She knelt by the fire and added kindling to the embers coaxing it to flame then added larger pieces of wood.  She could hear steady rhythmic breathing and snores.  The babe still slept soundly as well.  Vesta was certain her daughter was in good hands.  She needed to go and quietly sit away from camp in order to decipher the dreams that so disturbed her rest.

A movement to her right caught her eye, a red fox. It had stolen a meaty bone and was scampering away from camp.  Sly little fox, they were never to be trusted Vesta had learned.  They’re too smart for their own good she remembered as she thought back to the time she’d watched one get over confident when trying to steal from a wolf.  Its greed had been its undoing.  But, that was nature’s way. The strongest and more intelligent species survived.

She wrapped a fur blanket around her shoulders and started walking through the foothills toward the flat land.  From the edge of a grove of trees, yellow eyes followed her.

(more…)

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Spark of Life

“I’ll not be left here.”

“She speaks and, with stern words at that, Chin!”

Xheng’s eyes widened.  It was the first sentence Amarelle had spoken. The Captain relieved Amarelle of her abusive captor, the Preacher, almost a fortnight ago but she’d fallen into a mute silence after being rescued. He noticed a spark of life in her eyes.  Stiffness in her stance fore told a stubborn determination to have her way in this discussion.

“You are still too weak for a voyage over the ocean to the Canada’s, Amarelle,” Chin spoke his words softly and carefully so as not to cause the girl duress.

“I’ll not stay!” Amarelle stated with forceful intent.

“Well, she’s correct in thinking she can’t stay Chin!  The moment we are gone the Preacher will be claiming her once again and we can’t have that.  Gather up what tinctures you can for her and all the cheese, fat meats and bread makings you can to get her weight up while we journey.  Then procure some proper foot wear and clothing for the girl. She will be relegated to the Captain quarters while we sail.”

Smith gave Amarelle a quick once over.  The girl, although healing, was frail.  Outward bruising had disappeared but she had not overcome the trauma she’d endured at the Preacher’s hands.

“Deny her nothing Chin. Take her with you to gather her needs.  I suggest you hurray we leave on the tide come morning light.” (more…)

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You’re being watched…

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Vultures

Vultures – Chapter 2

Vultures – Chapter 3

Vultures – Chapter 4

Vultures – Chapter 5

Whispering Leaves

 

Vesta sat cross-legged near a grove of red willow and weaved a basket from their flexible stripped branches.  In this basket, she would carry any collected red bark back to the settlement.  The medicinal properties of the bark were much needed to subdue fevers, aches and pains during the outbreak of the springtime influenza which the colonies residents were now suffering. (more…)

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Never allow someone else’s idea of who you are to impede your growth,

Sway uninhibited to the rhythm of your heart and rise,

Even wild flowers on the Badlands let their true colors shine,

The most unique version of your self is wild and free.

 

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Some of the best things that happen,
are the ones you never thought could.

                          Rob "Shoe" Glenesk

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The North American Buffalo (Bison) Calf;

Otherwise known as a Bobblehead…

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