Today my sister, Esther came to spend a week with me. Avery had to go on a freight run and he had to do it himself. The other two drivers were out already and this run just came up suddenly. At least it is not that far away. Down in Pennsylvania somewhere. So Mother and Father told him that my sister would be happy to spend the week here with me. Avery liked that idea. He is worried about me and the baby though I have no idea why. I am doing well but will be glad to have some time to spend with Esther. Her and I were always pretty close. We shared the chores of taking care of the younger children. Now I will be having my first child and Esther will be getting married too before long.
Esther was a big help to me. She helped me wash the laundry. I should have done it yesterday but Avery was leaving and I did not want to spend the day doing that when I could be with him. He had the wagon all loaded to go and just spent the time with me. He did not want to leave me but he felt better about it knowing that Esther was going to stay with me. My brother, Kenneth brought her here in the new buckboard. I was waiting for her and had made a good lunch for us. Kenneth was happy to sit down for lunch with us before he had to leave to pick up supplies in town. He hinted to me that he has his eye on a girl I know. So it looks like he might be leaving home too.
We were getting the last garment hung on the line and were looking forward to going inside for some cold lemonade I had made earlier. The lemons were a gift from Ruth this week and I must admit they are a luxury I wish I could afford regularly. Just then our neighbor's boy, Travis Swingle came running up our drive way, he was out of breath and could hardly speak at first, "Mrs. Longworth! Mrs. Longworth!" Then he paused to catch his breath while Esther and I went to him anxious for him to finish.
He finally spoke, "Ma and Pa went to the auction this morning to sell some bulls and aren't back yet. The mare is foaling and having a hard time. None of us kids know what to do. She appears to be fading fast and I can see the foal! Isn't Mr. Longworth here? Maybe he knows what to do?" he looked around for Avery.
"No Travis, he is gone for the week. Maybe I can help?"
"Oh no! She is such a good horse. I know Pa will hate to loose her." he replied disappointed, knowing that a woman and pregnant one at that would not be able to help with a horse foaling.
"Come on Travis! Let's get my horse and I'll ride over to your place. Esther, you want to come? I'll get my vet bag," with that I hurried up and threw a bit in Tatar's mouth, mounted him standing on a stump and pulled the boy up behind me."
At the Swingle place I knew right off that it was the foal's legs that was causing the trouble. It was big foal too. I righted the foal quickly as I had seen Father do many times before, and had even done it once myself when my own horse gave birth to Spud. Travis and his sister Fran looked at me with awe, "Mrs. Longworth, how'd you know to do that? You aren't much older than Fran here." Travis said, obviously with a new respect for this pregnant young woman.
"I grew up on a farm with many kinds of animals. We always had to do things like this right from the start. I helped my Father with the horses all the time." I replied, tired, but pleased that it all turned out for the best. I wiped the mare down with a cool cloth. She was content now as she licked her new colt. He seemed to be a hungry little fellow. A big boy!
Back at home, Esther and I finished putting the laundry tubs and the lye soap away after hanging the last two garments on the line. Then we went inside for our lunch and the lemonade that I had completely forgotten about. As the tart beverage cooled my throat, I felt my baby kicking inside. It made me smile as it did every time I felt the life inside of me. Esther sat down and said, "Rachel, how did you know to do that? I saw Father do that stuff too but I don't think I could do it myself. I'd be afraid to do it."
"Well, I knew I had to do it. Remember when Spud was born and I had to do it or lose him and the mare? Father was not home and I wanted that foal for my own. A darn good horse he turned out to be too."
"You are going to have a baby and not that far off. You rode Tater too and I thought you don't do stuff like that when you are having a baby."
"Oh Esther, you know I am not one to sit around and be waited on. Besides once the baby is here I will be stuck inside more than I would like. Those people need their horses. I would have hated to see that mare die."
I sat there long after Esther turned in for the night, in the candlelight I reflected on my day. Somehow the Lord has given the me the chance to do the things I have always yearned to do. I am married to a man who uses horses in his business so I am always around them. He will learn what I did today for our neighbors and I know he will be pleased. He likes it when I do something surprising with the horses. He'll say, "Rachel, you keep surprising me. I never know what you are capable of." Yes, my life is turning out to be good and happy just like I prayed for before I married Avery Longworth.
Copyright © 2010 Kathleen G. Lupole