I am so tired, this burden is more than I can bear!
Why'd I get loaded so heavy? Merv's not.
Ouch! That rock hurt my hoof. Why does that funny upright animal have to keep yelling all the time and poking me with that stick?
Whoa! That looks steep, hope I don't roll teeth over tail!
Washo loved to make up thoughts for the donkeys he was tending. It made the long days on the trail bearable. Some days, he would burst out laughing at what his imagination attributed to the beasts. He was alone a good portion of the day, walking, re-distributing loads that had shifted, calming the unruly donkey that tried to buck and break away from the rest. The beasts were held in a line by tethering them to one strong rope.
“Whoa!” The third donkey wanted free. Kicking hard, he hit the pack of the forth donkey knocking him off balance; braying loudly he fell on his side. How'd he do that? Help upright animal! Help! Washo laughed as he worked, putting things right again. Thirty minutes later all were moving.
The sun was painting the sky a beautiful array of colors as it prepared to sink out of site, Washo could smell bush coffee and bacon on the air from the camp his partner Maco had prepared. He was so very tired he could hardly put one foot in front of the other.
“Hup up!” he yelled as he poked the lead donkey. “We're here! Maco will tend you now. You bunch of wired-eared loppers!” He put the lead rope under a large rock, shook hands with Maco with one hand while he grabbed some bacon and biscuit with the other. Chewing fast, he sank down to the ground with a sigh.
“You must have had a lot of buckers today” Maco handed him some coffee. “I'll unload, you eat.”
Washo nodded to acknowledge Maco and grabbed another biscuit. After unloading, Maco would tell him about his day, then sleep, wonderful sleep.
Washo jumped as he heard a thunk and a thud. A donkey was kicking Maco. Maco fell, blood gushing..
“Maco! Don't move.” Washo grabbed the donkey. Tying them all far away from Mako.Then assessed the damage. He saw lots of blood and flesh hanging over Maco's face. Was that his brain? Is his eye okay? “Maco, I'm going to run to Morney and get help.”
“Please God, keep Maco safe until help gets here.” His mind kept praying while his tired feet covered the mile and a half north to Morney. Dear God, let the Doctor be in. I wish I'd grabbed my coat, its getting colder. God keep me warm. He was so tired he was stumbling as he arrived in Morney at the doctors house. He gasped out his story as he pulled Dr. Sha towards the door. “Hurry!”
“Washo, I must get my bag or I won't be able to help.” The doctor pulled loose and gathered his instruments quickly. He pushed two quilts into Washo's arms as they exited the house.
Dr Sha mounted,gave Washo a hand up and kicked the horse. Washo tried not to fall off, hold onto the quilts, and pray as they sped into the night..
“Go to the left!” Washo directed. He felt his eyes trying to close in sleep. His grip on the horse loosened and he started sliding off. Dr. Sha steadied him with one arm, guiding the horse with the other.
They arrived at the camp to find Maco still alive. Dr. Sha started cleaning the wound. “Washo! need some water, please.” He could see that it wasn't brains, just torn flesh and hair.
Washo grabbed a bucket, sped to the stream and back. “Is Maco going to live?”
“Yes, he's lost a lot of blood. We'll replace it at hospital.” Dr. Sha continued working. “Maco, you'll be a celebrity in the village. Not many ten-year-olds could have done what you've done today. They'll probably have a feast in your honor!”
“Wow! You think so? I'd really like that!” Washo's chest puffed as he stood tall. “I never thought I'd have a feast in my honor.”
“Maco is Chief's son.” He smiled as he watched Washo trying on the thought of being famous. It's amazing how quickly these boys mature when they have responsibility. Thank You , God.
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