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The Old Man in the Red Wooden Barn

This is a Fiction I wrote based on my Imagination and creativity.

I felt like I could see my old man standing in front of the barn as we finally left the property. He waved with a sad smile. The barn disappeared behind the trees as we turned onto the road. One day we'll all be together again, in that old red barn that I grew up in.


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This is the only place I'm familiar with. This is where I was born. This is where I grew up. Its walls provide a safe haven for me. It shields us from the weather, provides shelter from the sun, and provides a place for us to sleep at night. Sometimes you'll notice small mice and raccoons in here, as well as goats sleeping in front of the barns. It was peaceful.

The brilliant red paint has faded and chipped over time. Cobwebs entangled themselves in the interior rafters and supports. The wood on the outside has become worn and rotted. The old man worked quite hard to maintain the beauty of the barn. He achieved a wonderful job when he was younger, but as his body began to age and become weak, he was unable to keep up with the workload.

He continued to bring us hay and feed. Stacking hay flakes in the stalls' corners, where our hay racks were. Outside, the wooden doors were closed to keep the rain and snow out, but the brackets that kept them in place were rusty and needed to be replaced. However, the weak elderly man was no longer able to hold up the wood to repair them on his own.

The old woman who had been accompanying him had stopped coming out to the barn. She'd bring us carrots and apples, and maybe a bag of horse goodies. She'd walk into the tack room every morning and get a brush to take care of us. Without her, the mornings are now lonely. When she stopped coming, the old man became less lively and happy. We can only do so much to help him.

He would always say that we kept him company. That the days were less lonely when he was with us in the barn. When he gave us our feed, he'd give us a quick brush and tell us that he loved us, that we were the reason he was still here. He said how much he missed her. How his children were in another state. And that the neighbor was really the only one to come visit when he could, but he was his age too.

We used to watch him try to keep the weeds that grew along the barn walls down when he let us out in the pasture near the barn. He'd try his hardest to repair the paddock runs that led to the stalls. He was out on his tractor attempting to keep the grass down while he wasn't tending to those. One man, though, found it to be too much work, yet he never gave up.

But he stopped coming one day. A firetruck and an ambulance arrived in place of his morning ritual, along with the old neighbor who would always stop by. My friends and I stood at the edge of our stall windows, looking out at the old farmhouse. The men took our elderly father into the ambulance on a stretcher, but the ambulance sirens were turned off as they drove away.


The next-door neighbor had also left. However, he returned with a horse trailer and drove up to the old barn. He put a halter on each of the last three horses and loaded them into the trailer one by one. Then he approached me.

"He really loved you, Mower."

I know he did. I was his companion. I looked to him for guidance.

"He always wanted a black and white paint. He finally got you."

Over the years, he had a large number of horses. A few arrived and went. Some stayed. Some died in this place. But in his life, I was consistent. Before closing the big metal door, the neighbor put me in a halter and led me to the trailer with the others, walking me beside my pasture companions.

"I made a promise to him that I'd take care of you all after he died. I'm going to keep that promise."

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He took the goats and chickens from the coop and loaded them into containers in the bed of his truck before we departed. We started moving shortly after as he drove away down the driveway. As we drove away, I returned my gaze to the old wooden barn, which had shrunk in size. That barn was where I spent my entire life. My entire life had been spent with the old man.


I never thought I would see the day where that life would end. I felt like I could see my old man and the old woman standing in front of the barn as we finally left the property. He waved with a sad smile. The barn disappeared behind the trees as we turned onto the road. One day we'll all be together again, in that old red barn that I grew up in.




Comments

Thelma Alberts from Germany on July 10, 2021:

What a beautiful story. Sad but real. Thank you for sharing.

Lovely Tolentino (author) from Philippines on July 10, 2021:

Thank you for reading Vanita. I appreciated it so much.

Lovely Tolentino (author) from Philippines on July 10, 2021:

I appreciated it. I love to write more story soon. Thank you for this motivational comment of yours.

Vanita Thakkar on July 08, 2021:

Nice story. Sad and realistic. Thanks for sharing.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on July 07, 2021:

Good story.

Sad ending. But i like that it was told from.a different prospective...it makes it seem more real.

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