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Note - most stories are fictional and do not refer to anyone in particular living or dead. True stories will say they are true!
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Juan went out to the barn and
gave each horse a small amount of hay. He
had to cut back on their food since there were two horses instead of one.
The woman was still asleep
and Juan decided he should put her bottom garment on her some how. It was difficult to dress her, with her broken
leg, and this was just a wrap that she could pull aside when she needed to. He carefully slipped it under her and
positioned so she could cover herself the way she wanted to.
Juan made some soup and she
began to wake up. He fed her some of the
broth while she stared him. It was as
though she was trying to make sense out of this situation. After all she had been unconscious for at
least 24 hours.As the afternoon wore on
she became more alert and was becoming more restless.
Juan got the bucket and made
some examples of what it was going to be used for.
Finally later in the evening she acted as if
she needed to use the bucket. Juan
clumsily tried to help her and she managed to relieve herself.
For the next week he
struggled with the situation and it was the most difficult week of his life. The most embarrassing part for both was when
he had to wipe and clean her up. By the
end of that period of time, she was able to take care of most everything
He tried to find out what her
name was and the closest he could figure out what she was saying was No-nee. He knew it wasn’t right but both settled for
that. This was a learning time for both
of them. Two different cultures being
forced to go beyond their present understanding of each others view of what
life consisted of.
They began to make some head
way when they just accepted each as human beings without all the trapping which
identified them and their purpose for being. He made her a crutch and helped her learn to
She seemed anxious to get
outside and sit as the sun came out each morning. Juan went and got her pony
and brought it to her so she could see he was alright. This seemed to put her at ease more than
anything else he had done.
The leg was healing very
well. He had found an old pair of chaps
and cut them up so he could wrap them around her lower leg. The chaps were stiff but rubbing some lard on
them made them pliable.
the splints he gently washed the calf and wrapped it with strips he cut from an
old shirt and then laced the cut up chaps around it. This gave her protection and strength as she
began to walk.
The snow had melted enough
for the horses to walk without a struggle, so Juan got both horses out and
readied them for a ride. Her pony was
pawing for he was raring to go.
It was still a little
difficult but the horses made it over to where the cattle were waiting for some
hay. It had been two weeks since he had
made it to the feeding barrier. No-nee
got off her pony with Juan’s help and sat on the frame work of the barrier
because the pressure in her leg was building up from dangling free on the pony.
In any case she wasn’t ready
for any long rides across country. As
they rode back to the cabin several thoughts came into his mind. In a short time the ranch hands would be
coming to check on him and the cattle to see if they made it through this very
Questions plagued his mind, what…
how could… how could he explain her presence and what had been going on these
last few weeks.
As he looked at her, really
for the first time he realized she wasn’t too bad to look at, for an Indian. These and many more thoughts were flooding his
When they arrived back at the
cabin she dismounted and tied her pony to the corral then went into the cabin
to fix some food. He was getting used to
her cooking and could finally keep it down.
A couple more weeks went by
and while he was at the feeding barrier one of the ranch hands came by and said
he was on the way to Santa Fe to pick up some medical supplies and didn’t have
time to stop. He said Senior would be
coming up in another two weeks.
Senior first wanted to check
on the other herds and see how they made it through the winter. This made Juan feel a little better for now he
had some idea of what was going on.
As he rode a slow gallop to
the cabin and he started to rub his horse down when all at once he was covered
with a large shadow and before he could draw his guns there were huge arms
around him slowly squeezing the air out of him. The person had both of Juan’s hands in his so
Juan couldn’t reach his six shooters.
Slowly Juan was beginning to
grow faint when he heard No-nee’s voice screaming. He could feel her beating on the interloper. Then he realized she was speaking in her
native tongue. Little by little the huge
man released his hold on Juan and he could breathe again.
Although he wanted to pull out
his guns, he didn’t have the strength to do so. As he gained his strength he asked her what
was going on for now he was a good position to shoot this monster.
As Juan could understand her,
this man was her fiancé, and he had been looking for her since the storm first
struck. When he saw her pony he assumed
she was being held against her will and was going to set her free.
Juan said he would leave them
alone to get reacquainted. He wanted to
rub his horse down and give him a little feed. He waited until he thought they had enough
time to explain how all this came about, then he knocked on the door but got no
response.Looking in Juan was
embarrassed as he viewed her fiancé on top of her and she was moaning.
He quietly shut the door and
thought; “It looks like they got everything settled.”
Just before dusk they came
out and indicated they would be leaving in the morning. Juan said he would sleep in the barn to which
she answered that wouldn’t be necessary.
They had supper after which Juan made himself
a pallet while they spent the rest of the night getting acquainted all over
again and again.
As a result Juan didn’t get
anymore sleep than they did.
He was up early and fixed some breakfast for them
before they left and was glad that episode in his life was over.