“Please don’t do that Jack. You know I hate it.”
“Yeah, I know. And I hate it to but we can’t change the impossible”
“Pax.” We shake on it as apologies for our traded insults.
“So, what’s been happening between you and the scullery maid?” I ask cheekily, swing my legs against the stall. Jack had been interested in Annie, a very pretty, golden haired girl, since he had first come to work here, around a year ago. My boarding school life, which had been so dull, had been made bearable by Jacks wit and friendship. He and I both shared a passion for horses, which had been strengthened through my classes riding lessons.
He had been forced to attend on Amelia and Abigail, Jemima’s twin shadows and about as jumpy as a bagful of cats when it came to horses. Jemima and Elizabeth, a quiet girl who allowed her sheer loveliness to speak for itself, were better than the others but rode as dainty ladies, side-saddle and no faster than a stately walk. Their horses, Piper and Pippa, were the genteel and perfect pair of dappled gray ponies, who were pleasant but just about as fun as an empty vase; nice to look at, but completely void of anything inside.
The most eventful lesson by far had been the one where Jemima, bored of Pippa‘s denial to go faster than a trot, had insisted on trying the free spirited, bold chestnut Swallow. Swallow was best kept for the most experienced of riders as Jemima soon found out. Swallow had promptly bucked Jemima off the moment she had settled herself in the saddle. Landing in a heap, screaming that she had been done a serious injury, everyone rushing to her aid, Swallow had pranced back to jack, her expression one of deepest satisfaction. I think both jack and I had cracked ribs from trying not to burst into fits of giggles and even Jester had allowed himself a snort of laughter.
I chuckle as the memories took their toll and allow Swallow an extra pat. Jack caught on and grinned to himself as he swept the floor. “She really was a sight to behold” he sniggered.
“Cart wheeling through the air” I snorted, sounding exactly like Piper who was a favourite for snorting.
Swallow pricked her ears and let out a neigh of warning. I looked up and saw jack pale as the voices of Jemima and Abigail drifted in through the open door, calling my name.
“Hide” I hiss at jack, who promptly dives into the nearest haystack. If Jack and I were found together...that thought did not bode well. I cast around for something that looked time-filling, as though I haven’t been catching up on gossip with the stable boy. The sound of their boots and chatter grows closer. I let out a little moan of frustration and Swallow nickers in sympathy. Closer, closer they’re coming and time is trickling out...
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