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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Police (10/12/06)

TITLE: Dominion
By Teri Wilson
10/18/06


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Oh, Lord help me. Here she comes. Nutcase animal rights wacko. What in the world could she possibly want now?

Bobby Wade stared out the window of his office at the slim woman marching across the dusty parking lot.

Good grief, she’s so skinny she’s about to snap in two. I guess that’s what happens when all you eat is grass and twigs.

The office door slammed and Beth Logan parked herself into one of the rusty folding chairs across from Bobby’s desk. “Sheriff, I have an atrocious instance of animal cruelty to report.”

Here we go again. “Yes, ma’am.”

“There’s a farm down on Highway 6 with the worst barn conditions I’ve ever witnessed.”

“So, you’ve been inside the barn and witnessed the atrocious conditions?”

Beth shifted slightly in her metal seat. “Yes, sir. I have.”

“The owner of this farm invited you into his barn of his own free will?”

“Not exactly. Sheriff, many lives are at stake here. I don’t see how it matters how I know…”

“Oh, it matters. It matters a whole heck of a lot. You know I just can’t search a man’s barn without grounds. The word of a criminal trespasser is not sufficient grounds.”

“Sheriff, please. The animals are suffering. It’s a matter of life and death. Please do the right thing.”

Bobby’s head started to sweat under his cowboy hat. “The right thing is to spend my time protecting the law-abiding humans of this county. Hasn’t anyone ever told you it’s the humans who are in charge? Now, please leave.”

“I’ll be back, Sheriff. I just hope it won’t be too late.” Beth walked out of the office with tears in her eyes.

The Sheriff waited until she had driven out of the dirt parking lot before he grabbed his keys and climbed inside his squad car. He turned onto Highway 6 and headed home, his fingers lightly drumming along to the old Hank Williams tune on the radio. He’d only gone about two miles when he spotted a most unusual sight on the country highway.

It was horse. Standing alone, with its head hanging low, in the dead center of the road.

Bobby got out of his car and slowly approached the animal, all the while expecting it to run off like any normal horse would. But, as he neared the mare he knew something was horribly wrong. First, there was the awful stench. Even though the horse stood straight up in front of him, it reeked of death.

Bobby took a bandana out of his pocket and covered his nose and mouth. He coughed twice and then reached out to touch the horse. He could feel every bone in its body beneath his trembling fingers. Long streams of runny liquid flowed from the mare’s cloudy eyes. The Sheriff could have sworn he heard the animal begging him to put it out of its misery.

“Howdy there, Sheriff. Looks like one of my mares got out.”

Bobby was startled to hear the voice behind him and turned to see Jed Perkins, an old childhood friend.

“Jed, what’s wrong with this horse?”

“Nothin’, except she keeps gettin’ loose. A good beatin’ should cure that, right?”

The Sheriff felt the bile rise up in the back of his throat as the words of Beth Logan ran through his mind like a nightmare. She had never told him the animals she spoke of were horses. As a country boy, he had grown up watching John Wayne movies. The Duke would never neglect one of his horses like this. No, she had definitely not mentioned the abused animals had been horses. He would have listened. Bobby gulped.

I would have listened, wouldn’t I?

“Bobby, I’ll just be takin’ the horse back now.”

The Sheriff moved to stand between Jed and the mare. “Jed, I need to have a look inside your barn.”

Jed’s face reddened with anger. “What for? It’s my barn. I make the rules. I’m the boss of my horses. It says so right in the Bible.”

Bobby took a deep breath and uttered the words he never would have imagined himself saying before. “I don’t think God would approve of the way you’ve been caring for this mare, Jed. The Bible gives no man license to mistreat any of the Lord’s creatures.”

“So that’s the way it’s gonna be, huh?”

The Sheriff gently placed his hand on the horse’s neck. “That’s right. Now let’s go have a look in that barn.”

*********************

“A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal...” Proverbs 12:10

“Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds.” Proverbs 27:23



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This article has been read 1125 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Rhonda Clark10/22/06
This has a strong message. The imagery is very vivid, but the story seems rushed.

Good for you for taking on a less than pleasant subject.
Venice Kichura10/23/06
Nicely written & great message!
Ruth Neilson10/23/06
Love the description and compassion that the officer has (once he has seen the light.) I felt like I was watching Animal Planet's Animal Cops.
Donna Emery10/23/06
A well-written story and it really touched my heart. How sad that things like this happen to animals that we are meant to protect and care for. Thanks for sharing this story.
Jan Ackerson 10/23/06
Yikes! Gripping, well-written, highly original, and certainly food for thought.
william price10/23/06
Nice job Terri. (I hope this is Terri's story, I'm not good at the hint thing yet). Your story flowed like a game of dominos. Once the first line went down, the rest of it all followed. Good job, nice writting. Enjoyed the ending. God bless.
Donna Haug10/23/06
I like this. I liked his emphasis on humans and yet I liked his instant compassion for God's creatures once he saw the need for himself. Good work.
Pat Guy 10/23/06
What an original take on the topic, although a hard read. I would hope he would have gone for ANY animal that was being abused in such a way.

Provocked strong feelings in me - the mark of a great writer! :) Can't say I liked it which doesn't mean a hill of beans. You did a great job on this.

Betty Castleberry10/23/06
As a *huge* animal lover, this was tough to read. But that's what makes a good story, one that provokes feelings. Very well done!
Sara Harricharan 10/24/06
This is a compliment-what a sad story! There are very few stories that can draw me in so deeply. I am a born horse lover and this really hit home. Great job-glad the Sheriff finally came around.
:)
Bonnie Derksen10/24/06
I would like to add my agreement to all of the above.
Tough read because it's a tough subject, but great when you know someone that can do something about it.
Well done and well written.
Lynda Lee Schab 10/25/06
Nicely written. Dialogue was excellent, message was clear. Well done!
Cassie Memmer10/26/06
Great story! It was a little 'convenient' for the horse to be in the road on the policeman's way home, but, hey, we only have 750 words! :o) Good writing and a satisfying read! Blessings!
Beth Muehlhausen10/26/06
Enjoyed this one. Contrasting the bottom-line character of the two men is effective...it really lingered with me and made me think about truth vs. deception.

Of course I felt sorry for the horse and his compatriots back at the barn...glad to know rescue is on the way. :-)