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Badger! And Uxbridge Tornado!

First, a short short story that I wrote for a ten-minute writing challenge during an Uxbridge Writers' Circle meeting.

The 'prompt' for the piece was a photo of someone horseback riding on the edge of a forest.


At last I had time to ride my flashy quarter horse out in the expansive conservation area, which is a short walk north from the farm. Marigold is a handful at the best of times, but today she's even more spirited and alert.

Frost has settled on the tall weeds, muting the browns that contrast with the bright oranges and yellows of the turning birch leaves. The undergrowth holds monsters of various shapes and sizes, all enemies of the horse, as far as Marigold is concerned. We do a couple of spontaneous pirouettes but I manage to calm her down with my voice.

But there's a rustling ahead and the weeds shake. This rattles Marigold. She spins around, bucks and takes off at a gallop, having dismounted me in the process.

As I check for broken bones, I look towards the source of the trouble and the movement comes nearer. The weeds are so tall that it could be a coyote or even one of those coy-wolves I've seen at a distance.

A black and white face emerges.

I think I must be suffering from concussion. This apparition looks just like Badger, my barn cat who disappeared over a year ago during a snowstorm. I assumed she'd met some dreadful fate.

Badger comes sauntering over to me, licks my face, purrs and I immediately feel much better. I pick up her frail body and we stumble home to find Marigold.

Uxbridge Tornado

We were very fortunate. Not like others in our community. We had only minor damage from the brutal storm, but many in Uxbridge experienced terrifying devastation of their homes and property. I had to go into Uxbridge (we live out of town) yesterday and the terrific impact of the storm on buildings and trees shook me. I didn't see much of the town since I thought I should stay out of the way as much as possible as people work hard to clear debris, cover broken roofs, and get power flowing again.

The people I met were subdued. I wondered if it was due to shock and sadness. The two places I had to visit had no power and were struggling. One business cannot access two of its buildings because the roofs were ripped off.

Our challenge was a small one in comparison. We had no power for 3 1/2 days. We have a well and, of course, we need power to run the pump.

We have kind neighbours who offered us water for our horses. I took two large garbage bins (washed with swimming pool water) and then we siphoned the water into the trough in the barn through a window.

This shows the siphoning at work!

The horses may have noticed that 96.3FM wasn't playing in the barn, but otherwise it was life as usual for them!

So, we're thankful that we're all fine.

But very very sorry that so many have so much damage.

PS Getting back into the swing of writing my 5th book in the Meg Sheppard Mystery Series!

Copyright Vicky Earle 2022

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Jun 13, 2022

I just love the description of "spontaneous pirouettes" and so wish I could perform one!!


Jun 04, 2022

“The undergrowth holds monsters of various shapes and sizes, all enemies of the horse, as far as Marigold is concerned.”

My fave line and so true about horses.


Anne Leueen
Anne Leueen
May 28, 2022

Yes we too were lucky . 5 days for us with no power. we bucketed water from our not yet opened pool for toilet flushing.

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