REPAIRING FENCES AND FRIENDSHIPS

by Tona Rebstock
(Poplar Bluff, MO USA)

On a hot, sticky summer day in the late 1950's, a twelve year old boy rushes to change his clothes after finishing practice at baseball camp. He can't wait to get to the horses. He has rehearsed his speech to his Dad a hundred times, hoping Dad will go for it. Gary goes over each approach in his mind and mumbles, "They've just got to say yes!" He is quite proud that he found a job on his own and that he saved all of his money, hoping his Dad would allow him to have a horse.


Gary reasons this should be enough to prove he's capable of taking care of a horse, and as a bonus, he says, "I can pay for the horse out of my own money." How could his Dad say no to a win-win situation? Gary finishes lacing his dirty tennis shoes and runs all the way to the stables.

He waves to everyone and shouts, "Hello." and eagerly begins cleaning out the stalls. After the dirty stalls are done, Gary rubs the horses down as they are brought back to the stables. This is his favorite part of the job. The animals are tall and sleek, and they feel so strong under their shiny coats. The horses appreciate his gentleness and one of them playfully nudges him. As he wraps up his chores, he bids each horse goodbye and approaches his boss, Mr. Bryant. Gary asks, "Can I have my last paycheck, sir?" Mr. Bryant flips through the checks in his front shirt pocket and hands him his check. He shakes his small hand and says, "Good work. Will you be back next summer?" Mr. Bryant chuckles when Gary nods and races off to meet his parents.

He swiftly assembles his clothes and crams them in the worn, brown suitcase. Gary lugs the luggage down the front steps. He perches atop the case and patiently waits for his parents arrival. He sees the black sedan turning the corner and jumps up waving chaotically.

Gary gathers his courage and hollers, "Over here." He runs up to the car and blurts out, "I got a job working with horses, saved all my money. Can I have a horse?" He quickly adds, "I can pay for all of it."

His Dad laughs and replies, "Hold on. Son, give me a hug and you can tell us about this job of yours on the ride home."

Gary hugs them both fiercely and pleads, "I found a job cleaning the stables and rubbing the horses down for Mr. Bryant. I saved all of the money. Can I please have a horse?"

His Dad answers, "We'll think about it. Let's get your things and head home." The ride home seemed shorter than usual because Gary was busy catching his parents up on all of his summer activities at camp, his new job, and his new found love of horses. His parents let him choose between baseball camp next year or a horse. Gary excitedly shouted, "A HORSE! A HORSE!" He briefly thought about all of the friends he would miss from camp but he couldn't wait to have his own horse. So Dolly was purchased.

She is a three year old Tennessee walking horse and has a beautiful white blaze down her nose. After Dolly was bought, Gary gallantly insists, "Dad you ride her first." So his Dad rides her from the previous owner's pasture about two miles from their farm. They take the muddy back roads and then ride through the neighboring farmer's cotton fields and finally arrive at the farm first.

Gary, riding in the car on the gravel roads, follows their progress as far as possible but eventually looses sight of Dad and Dolly as they ride off. When Gary arrives at the entrance to the farm, which is adjacent to a huge fenced in pasture that contains about one hundred head of Black Angus cattle, his Dad is laughing his head off and can only point to the pasture.

Gary says, "What on earth?" His Dad can only laugh and point.

His Dad took the saddle and bridles off Dolly and turned her loose into the pasture with all the cows. Well, Dolly has never seen a cow before and she was running all over the pasture as excited as can be. The cows had obviously never seen a horse either. They were running all over the pasture too. Cows were jumping the watering trough, running into the pond, and jumping over the fence. Some even went under the fence! Three of the cows were going "lickety split" through a cornfield.

Mike the bull, the sheik of the harem and the daddy of all the calves in the pasture was headed into the next county by way of the railroad track. Gary turns to his Dad with a wide-eyed look saying, "He's such a big bull, I never even knew he could run." In the distance you could barely hear the clickety-clack of the train coming down the tracks but every time the train whistle blew, Mike the bull would pick up more speed and run like lightning. Gary joined in with his Dad and laughed uncontrollably for a good ten minutes. He couldn't even talk.

After rounding up all the animals, Dolly had to be boarded up in the barn for a few days until she and her new friends became better acquainted. Sometimes it takes more than a first encounter to become friends. They all got along just fine later. That one summer, Gary learned the responsibilities of a job, how to take care of a horse, how to repair fences, and also how to repair friendships.

Comments for REPAIRING FENCES AND FRIENDSHIPS

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Jul 25, 2016
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cool
by: Anjali's

nice story I hope this would happen in real life nice talking

Jul 17, 2016
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funnyu
by: dicky

it is okay.could do more describing

May 04, 2016
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Awesome
by: Kimberly

You did a good nod and I hope to hear from u again

Apr 11, 2016
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Awesome Story ☆☆☆☆☆ 《☆》
by: MysteryGirl

This story is very exciting I will tellnkt to my baby sister!!!♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡
☆☆☆☆☆

Mar 14, 2016
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lovely
by: Anonymous

Tells a story with a very good and important meaning. A bit like a fable.

Jan 27, 2016
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GREAT
by: Anonymous

great story here! will read this to kids in an elementary school for our outreach program :D

Sep 28, 2015
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Friend
by: Anonymous

Great story perfect for school

Sep 07, 2015
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Good but improving needed
by: 10 year old girl

Good story but i think the title should be changed as it does not really suit the story! overall, excellent story though and please do not get down over my tile advice as it is just a bit of advice for if you are going to write another story maybe just focus on choosing the title and if you are stuck, what i normally do is i write the story first, and then i think of the title.



Sep 18, 2012
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Good story.
by: Anonymous

Good job Tona. I enjoyed the story and will pass it on to my grandkids.

Jan 24, 2012
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great
by: Anonymous

nice ♥♥♥

Dec 22, 2011
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THE STORY
by: Anonymous

THIS IS A AWESOME STORY I LIKED IT VERY MUCH

Sep 20, 2010
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Great Story!!!
by: Anonymous

Great Story!!!

Sep 18, 2010
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Great Story
by: BCM

Tona, Working for what you want in life is a good lesson for everyone. Very well written.

Sep 16, 2010
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repairing fences and friendships
by: Shanen

Good story! It's entertaining for the kid in all of us with a strong moral core. Very well written. Your description really brought the story to life. I hope to read more of your stories in the future. Great job Tona :)

Sep 15, 2010
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Good Job
by: Anonymous

What a nice story. Good job Tona. It was pleasent to read and had good lessons in it for kids and anyone really.

Sep 14, 2010
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Great Story
by: Anonymous

I enjoyed reading this story, hopefully it will encourage more kids to work hard and earn their dreams

Sep 14, 2010
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Repairing Fences And Friendships
by: G.F. Evans

Having worked with horses and cattle during my pre-teen years and gaining income from it, I can really identify with this story. I'm a grandfather now and thinking back to those days, I realize that they were some of the happiest days of my life and were the first building blocks for my realization of the fact that when one reaches a goal after striving to work hard to attain it, the effort will be learned and it will become a driving force to want to repeat it many times over through life. Hopefully more kids will read this story and find a way to
do what Gary did but in their own realm of interests.

This is a great story not only for kids of the pre teen age but for us old nostalgic kids as well. Look forward to seeing more from this writer.

Sep 14, 2010
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repairing fences
by: Anonymous

tonya great job wish parents would read it and really learn a lesson today that kids enjoy earning their own money and to learn how to take care of their own pets they learn a great lesson in life this way.

Sep 14, 2010
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Repairing fences and frienships
by: Anonymous

Tona Great Story! I too am looking forward for more stories, great job!

Sep 14, 2010
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Great story!!
by: Anonymous

Tona, that was a wonderful story. Kids learn responsibility through doing, he found a job to pay for what he wanted.What a grownup thing to do. It was great that he let his dad ride her first. Too funny that the cows had never seen a horse before and acted so goofy.

Sep 14, 2010
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repairing fences and frindships
by: Anonymous

GREAT STORY!I am looking forward to reading more from her

Sep 14, 2010
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GREAT STORY
by: Anonymous

GREAT STORY! I am looking forward to more stories.

Sep 14, 2010
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Repairing Fences and Friendships
by: Anonymous

Great Story! I especially enjoyed the part about the first meeting of Dolly and the cows. It reinforced the value of working hard for things that you want in life.

Sep 14, 2010
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great
by: Anonymous

This is a great story, showing how proud a child can be, if they are allowed to work and earn the things they want and the importance of responsibility . A great lesson in life

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