A brief introduction
|“I tell you Mom, it was awful. I couldn’t look at her ankle.” Jasmine got into the truck and threw her backpack behind the seat.
“Poor Amy. How did it happen?” Judy Jurgensen watched as Jasmine buckled up and then waited as Justin and Jules ran across the school parking lot and jumped into the back of the truck bed. She then slowly moved the truck to another parking lot at the school.
Jasmine started to eat an apple left over from her lunch. “We were practicing a lift we wanted to do for the game this weekend. Well, that is definitely off the routine now. So she came down wrong and twisted her ankle. I think I heard it pop.” Jasmine sat in her cheerleader uniform for the Mustangs basketball team at Ingomar. High School.
Justin pounded on the back window. Jasmine slid open the window and yelled at her two brothers. “What?”
“Hey, Jazzy! Throw back that blanket.”
Jasmine found the blanket under a tool box and her backpack. It was full of hay and mud, but would have to do. She wadded it up and pushed it out the window. The brothers huddled under the blanket in the truck bed.
Judy looked in the rear-view mirror. “I swear, those two. They should live in the woods with wolves.” She smiled, then patted Jasmine on the knee. “I’m glad you weren’t hurt. Please promise me you won’t do any of those crazy stunts you saw during cheer camp this past summer.”
“There were some pretty awesome moves but none I would dare do. But you know Amy. She’s up for anything. I think Coach King will be thinking twice about changing our routines after this. She’s afraid for more of us to get hurt. After all, there are only 5 more left on the Mustang cheer team now.” The truck sat idling while Judy sat with the children in the parking lot.
“Why are we sitting here?” Jasmine asked.
“We’re waiting for Jameson to get done with FFA. He had a short meeting after school. Then we can get going. Shouldn’t be too much longer.”
“I hope so. The bums won’t be happy if they have to wait much longer. And I have homework.” Jasmine stuffed the apple core into her hoodie pocket.
“We’ll be home in plenty of time, Jasmine. We all have work to do. Justin, Jules, Jameson, and even me. We ALL have chores, You’re not alone, remember that.”
Jasmine looked out the window, saw her reflection. A pretty girl of 17, long brown hair and green eyes. She looked beyond the reflection and saw her older brother walking toward the truck. A smile crossed her face.
“Here he comes. Now we can get going.”
Jameson opened the door, got in beside Jasmine and put his arm around her shoulder.
“Hey you. Sorry about Amy. Hope she’s okay.”
“Thanks, they think it’s just a sprain.”
“Let’s roll, Mom.” Jameson pounded on the dash after he checked the truck bed to make sure his brothers were still inside.
The large pickup made its way down the back roads to the 6BarJ Ranch in Ingomar. The day was still young and lots of work was yet to be done. Bonnie and Butch met the truck at the gate with their barks. Dad waved a hello from the tractor.
As soon as Jasmine changed into her chore clothes and muck boots, she headed into the sheep shed. The bum lambs met her with loud shouts, ready for their bottles.
“Hello my sweet things! Did you miss me?” Jasmine took out the apple core from her hoodie pocket and gave it to ‘Little Bit’. “Do you think you can eat this?” The lamb was the first one born that season and the first one Jasmine had ever pulled from a ewe. She was special, even though pets were not really allowed with the ranch animals.
‘Little Bit’ grabbed the apple core and within a second or two it was gone. “Well, aren’t you the little piggy!” Jasmine rubbed the wooly head of the tiny lamb. “Let’s pray that core doesn’t come back to bite us, huh?” Jasmine chuckled at the pun as she put the squirming lamb down. It hopped and jumped and ran over to the herd, soon intent on sucking from the bottle.