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 Ned Revisted

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CD Roberts
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Posts : 114
Join date : 2013-09-23

20131003
PostNed Revisted

The Kid got as far as the doorway to the stables when he heard a loud whinny followed by a louder snort, and followed by the following: “Hey, Stupid.”

Curry whirled around. “You’d better not be addressin’ me like that,” he growled. “I may just end up decidin’ to shoot you after all.” His eyes roamed over the stalls and found the occupant that had spoken so rudely to him. He glared at the horse coolly.

The horse coninued,“Naw, you won’t do that. Your friend would never forgive you. Anyway, he told me you had a soft spot for animals you can’t eat, that you like their company more than that of men.”

“Ned, I like some animals more than men because they don’t talk back. But, for you, I’d be willin’ to make an exception. Where’s Heyes? He’s here in town, ain’t, he?”

“No,” responded the horse sarcastically, “I walked in here myself, and paid the liveryman to feed me. Of course he’s here.” Then he muttered under his breathe, “I was right when I said st…” He stopped when the Kid’s hand flexed towards his gun.

“Where is he, Ned?”

“Here.”

“I mean, where in town is he?”

“Here,” the horse repeated, raising and lowering his head to point towards the ground.

The Kid walked to Ned’s stall and saw the figure of his friend sprawled beside the animal. He quickly bent down to Heyes. “Is he hurt? What happened?”

“Him, oh he’s not hurt. Bend closer and smell his breath.”

“Sheesh,” said the Kid, “he’s drunk so much he’s passed out. “Well,” he said accusingly, “what happened?”

“It’s not my fault. He met an acquaintance, an, er, unfortunate one; two actually.”

“You mean someone recognized him? That don’t make sense. He didn’t leave; he stayed in town and went for a drink? Er, drinks, I mean.”

“No, these were new acquaintances, not some of your former victims, or past gang members. I found them very pleasant, for the most part, that is. Heyes’ reaction was somewhat different as you can see.”

“What happened?” the Kid asked for the third time.

“It started when we got here and he put me in the stall.

***

“I don’t say this often, but I wouldn’t have made it today without you. You saved my life. I appreciate that.” He patted his friend on the shoulder. “Maybe I’ll get you some oats too.”


***

“Wait a minute! I said that to my horse. You copied that. Heyes would never say that to you. I said that to my horse because my horse is a good horse, a normal horse.”

Ned smiled in which his lips curled into a large grimace. “Oh, yes, like master, like horse. Both of you normal,” and so the Kid couldn’t hear, “and stupid.”

“What did you say?”

“OK, I said, maybe those weren’t his exact words, but he complemented me profusely. Can I continue?”

The Kid nodded.

***

“Fine, oh fine. I save your life and you’re going to give me oats. And don’t pat me like that; it’s patronizing.” Ned shook his head in barely disguised disgust. “If you want to show your appreciation, I’d rather have carrots, after you remove this saddle, brush me and get me something to drink. That was a long gallop, you know.” He swished his tail to flick away the flies that were annoying him.

“Ned, I take everything I said about you back. It was my idea to separate from the Kid when that posse was getting too close, so actually I’m responsible for saving all our lives, assuming the Kid and his horse survived. All you did was run fast.”

“You really are an egotistical ingrate, aren’t you? You wouldn’t have even considered separating if I couldn’t gallop so fast. But no, now it’s all your idea. Just an excuse so you don’t have to reward me properly.”

“I don’t suppose it’s occurred to you that I’m tired too. I would think that water and oats would do for now. I’ll reward you properly later.” While Heyes said this, he removed the horse’s saddle and walked him to a stall.

“I should trust you?” asked the horse flicking his tail at the flies once more. “Least you could do is take care of these flies for me.”

The two flies buzzed closer together and backed away from Ned’s tail.

“They’re horse flies, so they’re gonna be attracted to you. I’m not gonna stand around here and kill flies for you all day. Now that I’ve got the tack taken care of, I’m going to go get a drink. Then I’ll bring you back something.”

The flies drew close to the horse again. Vainly, he swat at them. Ho looked back. “Look there’s only two of them. They’re annoying. Just kill ‘em for me.”

The two flies jumped up, if a fly can jump up that is, buzzed alarmingly, and moved to the horse’s head, hovering out of reach.

“Look, ‘ere, mister. Me and the Missus don’t mean no ‘arm, but the doctor, ‘e says she’s got to get ‘er nutrition proper, being in the delicate condition she’s in. She’d only take a little bit ‘o blood. Why, it’d be almost nothing to a big strong ‘orse like you.”

Heyes stared at the flies and hit himself in the forehead. “No, this can’t be real, first talking horses and now talking flies.” He shook his head. “It’s just not possible; I’m really am going crazy.”

“Guv’nor, you ain’t mad, this ‘ere ‘orse speaks, so, ‘aving some’un to talk to,‘course, we can talk to ‘im.”

“Men speak,” answered Heyes, “How come you’ve never spoken to a man before?”

“Begging your pardon, Guv’nor, but ‘umans ain’t so interesting to talk to. I wouldn’t be talking to you now, except I got to take care of me Missus ‘ere.” The fly next to the talking fly buzzed up and down in agreement.

Heyes covered his face with his hand, drew it down, and then sat on a barrel. He crossed his arms and bent over, placing his head between his arms on his lap. He groaned.

Human apparently taken care of, the fly turned his attention to the important matter at hand, and addressed Ned again.

The fly cleared his throat, or perhaps that would be, his thorax. “Now then Mister ‘orse, it’s like this…” And the fly and the horse continued their negotiations. Heyes raised his head and peered through his fingers at the two loquacious animals.

****

“So what happened?” the Kid asked once again.

“What do you think? I could hardly refuse a request from a lady in her condition. I nobly deigned to make the sacrifice…”

“Not to the flies! Him! What happened to him?”

Ned sniffed. “I would think you would have the decency to show some concern for me, after all, I’m the one who suffered the pangs of her pincers and donated my precious bodily flui…”

Curry raised his gun, aimed at the horse and cocked the trigger. “Ned, I don’t care about your little flea bite…” he said evenly.

“Horse fly bite.”

“…I just want to know how he got like that.”

“You humans, you only care about each other. No interspecies empathy from you.” He shook his head in disdain. “If you must know, he said he needed a drink or three. Considering how he staggered back here I think he downed considerably more than that.”

“That’s what happened to him, talking flies.” He holstered his gun.

“Yep.”

“He’s not hurt. You’re sure he’s not hurt.”

“Nope, he’s not hurt. Dead drunk is all. Pathetic.”

A fly buzzed beside the Kid’s ear and then landed on the post next to him. He crushed it with a single swat.

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