Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Shrewdness (03/07/05)
TITLE: Leading a Horse To Water, Six Times!
By Pam Kumpe
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Straightening the house, bringing in wood, feeding the chickens, hogs and gathering eggs, it was rather long list. What she did mind was drawing bucket after bucket of water from the well to water the half dozen horses; it took so long there was no time left for play.
Her home had a well on the back porch with a long, metal cylinder tube. She would let the tube descend into the well, raise it back up, release the metal latch for the water to go into the pail and carry it to the horse corral and pour it into the trough.
To Jetty it seemed an insurmountable job because no sooner than when she poured the water into the trough, than the horses would drink it dry. She could not pour the water fast enough to keep ahead of them.
So this day, she walked to the corral and the horses came to the fence. They were happy to see her. They didn’t notice the sour look on Jetty’s face even though it was aimed at them.
Her eyes traveled beyond the corral to the pond, the trees, and the green grass along the water’s edge. A couple of the cows were quenching their thirst there. She figured, “It could be worse; at least, she didn’t have to get water for the cows.”
Then, an idea popped into her mind, she decided she could take the horses, one at a time, to the creek, the one that crossed the road at the bottom of the hill.
All she had to do was figure a way to mount the horses, since she was unable to lift the heavy saddles. So Jetty retrieved the bridle, put it on the first horse and looked around for a solution. The metal barrel, she could roll it over to the stump; climb onto the stump, jump onto the barrel and onto the horse!
No, that wouldn’t work; she would still be in the corral with no one to open the gate, so first, she must get the horse out the corral.
She led out the horse through the gate, and walked him to the old wagon parked by the shed. Then, she climbed onto the wagon, and voila, she was on the first horse.
The scheme worked perfectly until she took Rip, the last of the 6 horses to the creek. Instead of standing in the edge of the creek and drinking his fill, he decided to wade in. Soon, Jetty was in the road at the other side of the creek and she tried to urge him back into the water.
Rip, took a notion to wade upstream into deeper water. Her feet got wet and Jetty’s dress tail was dragging in the water and so far, Rip had not drunk a drop of water, but when the water was deep enough to suit him, he stopped and drank his fill.
Jetty worried, because Daddy would see the dry horse trough. Her plan was to draw a few buckets of water, let it run down the insides of the trough and it would look like the trough had been full.
Sure enough, Daddy commented there wasn’t much water in the trough. Jetty said, “Daddy, they have been watered, just see if they are thirsty.”
She decided this was the perfect solution to the ‘horse watering dilemma’ and she was very inventive in getting her work done.
One time she was supposed to mop the entire seven rooms and the hall of the house.
Once again, she didn’t want to draw the water, so she walked to that same creek behind the house and washed the mop each time. Only thing is, one time, she let the mop loose and it rushed down the creek to the river.
She told her Daddy, “A monster jumped out of the creek and grabbed it…”
Although Daddy was mad, he did say, “Jetty, you are so good at making up stories and finding new ways to get your chores done, you ought to be on the radio.
From that day on, she used the mop handle, pretending it was a microphone, and on days when she watered the horses, she pretended she was riding away from poverty, to a home with running water, and a house with a maid to do all of her chores!
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