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Free on 3rd - 6th Jul 21
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The clip-clop of the hooves of the standard spawn against the asphalt echoed through the treetops. David Craftsman had bought the four-year-old gelding six months ago at the horse auction in Millersburg-against his best judgment. His daughter Alissa called the animal Symoni- after the largest horse in the world-fast, because it was so big and strong. Right at the exit of the track, Symoni was initially a challenge, breaking his gait and scaring cars and cowardly dogs. But after six months of training and many kilometers, the horse turned out to be a good investment. Symoni was one of the fastest trotters he ever had and enjoyed driving. Paul was glad to have taken a risk on the animal.
The leather reins were firm but soft in his hands. The clink of the harness and the rhythmic crackle of the buggy put Paul to sleep in a state of calm contemplation. The children had behaved well that afternoon, although they had to wait more than an hour for their appointment at the clinic. They were quiet now, but only because he stopped at the milk dream and bought them ice cream. As soon as they were made, he was sure that the chatter and games would return. The thought made him laugh. It would have been a good day.
Twilight was approaching with great strides, and the low clouds were spitting drizzle. He hoped it was raining; the drought was hard on crops in the summer. Giggling to give the reins a clean grip, he pushed Symoni into an extended trot. Although he added battery-powered taillights and placed a slow vehicle-reflecting sign on the back of the buggy, Paul did not like being on the road in the dark. The English were always in a hurry and drove too fast. Half the time they didn’t pay attention to where they were going, especially with all the cell phones and text messages they were doing.
?Look, Datt! Die sunn is am unnergeh!?
With the voice of his four-year-old son, Paul smiled to the right. Through the blood-red foliage of the maple trees, elms and black walnut trees that grew along the path, the bright pink fingers of the setting sun jumped through the clouds that deepened. “The Lord blessed us on another beautiful day, didn’t he??
“Thatt, David will not get sloppy with me,” came the voice of six-year-old Alissa on the back of the buggy.
Sloppy was a gossip game that her mother had taught young Alissa in recent days. The girl had harassed her older brother to play with her. “I think he should be busy eating his ice cream,” Paul offered.
“But it’s over.?
David, his eight-year-old eldest, pulled his head out of the inside of the buggy and looked up at him. “Fun is for girls, that’s all. Don’t let me play with her.?
Paul saw his daughter over his shoulder. He’s right, Alissa.?
She came next to her brother and put her hand on her shoulder. Paul saw a sticky piece of melted chocolate ice cream on his ankles. “I will not tell anyone,” she said seriously.
That made Paul laugh. Love for his children broke through him with such force that his chest hurt him. It is not the first time on this day that he thanks God for all the blessings that have been given to him.
“We’re almost home,” he said. “Why not sing one of the shit songs instead?”He asked the missing question; they came to a blind intersection. He loved being ready in case Symoni was scared.
While holding his grip on the reins, Paul turned his head forward to check oncoming traffic. The trees were too thick to see, but there was no obvious glow from the headlights. He did not hear a motorcycle or the whistling of tires on the sidewalk. He was sure to keep going.

Free on 3rd - 6th Jul 21
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Mountain Of Fangs
Mountain Of Fangs