It was racing day. The sun was high in the sky ,the dirt on the track smooth and un touched. and the grass was a clean krispy clean with the morning dew drops still on the blades. the crowed was loud talking with excitment,on who will win the big race. it was gonna be a good day out of all the talking a loud shriek was echoed over the stadium from a young black stallion named bird . he fought the ropes wildly throwing himself at the men.
he winnied loudly and reared high. the men shouted and tryed to get him to move but he was scared and refused to move along toward the stables. as all this panic is flowing a young man about eighteen saw bird. he's slender tan skined and hazel eyed with short light brown hair. he walked closer curious and as he watched he suddenly stoped about five feet from the men. they fought and shouted louder and jay yelled " stop this madness! obiously this horse is in destress he added wickedly
the men turned and laughed "boy go home this horse is as wild as waves from the ocean!" bird stops and turns looking at jay. he smiled and walked over and took birds halter and nods "ll take care of this horse from now on." the men laughed and he lead bird to his stable. he looks at him and pets his head slowly in soft strokes, after a few minutes he gave him a bucket of oats and walked to the bidding desk. on the other side of the desk
was a old women about 70 years old. he smiles " i would like to make a bid" she looks up and blushes fast and says quickly "on which horse?" jay nods #five black bird. she laughs like he just said the worlds funniest joke and sighs bird cant even cross the finish line in 7th place. jay looks at her oddly and shrugs its worth a try i have a good feeling about this horse he adds and makes the bid.
jay walks down the pathway to his seat, once there he sits in the clean green velvet seat and smiles he gets comfortable and looks around.
back at the stable black bird gets ready for the race as the groomer shuts the door it slams into his leg and he lifts it fast the groomer ignores his bad deed and walks to the next horse
black bird is lead down the path to mike jays father which is a top of the line jockey.
he climbs onto ruffians saddle and looks around as he gets his picture taken.
the large starting gate is pulled by four large clydsdales there muscles move smoothly under there thick brown fur coat that reflects the sun beautifully.
jays phone suddenly rings and he picks up " hello?" his wife answers crying " i got bad news " she replys and he sighs "what?!?" she crys in a shake ish voice she says "cristies got cancer..."
his eyes suddenly fill with tears they slowly slide down his face . just as he goes to reply
the bell rings.
black bird burst out the gate going full speed to soon and heads toward the front of the horses, he breaths in fast and his hooves pound the smooth dirt ground getting traction
he moves in front of the third horse slowly . the jockey smiles at mike and gives thumbs up
on how good black birds doing and mike smiles and nods and bird pulls all his weight
and runs beside the second place horse. jay shouts cheers and the crowd goes wild.
mike kicks black birds side to go faster and his front leg gets fractured worse every step, he makes it in front of the second place horse and makes it five feet in front the lead horse and
has a moment of victory. his mane flowing like black wild fire in the wind. he breaths in
deep only feet from the finish line. then... his leg just snaps... the crowds cheer fades as
fast as it comes and all is silent beside black birds and mikes body slaming into the ground
his crys are heard far as he struggles to stand. mike slams into the ground and his head snaps back breaking instantly.
jay stands fast his heart pounding hard in his chest. he shouts loudly and runs down to his dad
he leans down and drops to his knees and looks at his dads dead body limp and going cold
he looks up suddenly over whelmed with anger from black bird but when his eyes meets
birds he feels a deep sorrow and pain he stands and runs over the him and shouts " easy! easy!"
" its ok" he says softly and helps calm him as the vet leads him to the vets office.
after eight hours of surgery the vet comes out and sighs"bitter sweet news."
" the sweet news is your colts alive. the bitter news is black bird wont be able to race any longer the healing will takes a year and recovery.... almost three years. " she sighs " im so sorry, i tryed"
black birds owner curses loudly and growls"i cant take care of a worthless beast! he wont make me a penny being disabled"
jay hears this and replys " ill take him" he says softly the owner turns and laughs
he giggles "black bird is a piece of crap he wont make you a dime and so ill sell him to
the slaughter house" jay shouts no! im fine i need a work horse he will do great
the owner laughs fine. hes free. jay stands and walks to the owner and hands him five thousand
dollars and smiles this is just in case...
the owner looks at the other people and laughs yeah just in case.. oooh he says sarcasticly.
jay walks out and puts black bird into his trailor and drives to his house. later that night
he grooms birds mane and coat and sighs slightly. you killed my dad he says softly
he perks his ears and listens and jay nods you let him die. jay nods and sighs but i understand
you. he says softly and pets black birds head for a few minutes and walks inside the house.
he calls his wife and she answers her voice hoarse from crying " hello?" he answers " tell
cristie to be strong and that i love her. tell her daddy will be home and will bring a big surprise."
his wife smiles and answers back " i will i love you i got to cook dinner good night." jay smiles and replys " goodnight my love" and hangs up the phone.
the next morning was beautiful jay walked down out of the house and walked to the stable where bird was waiting for him he smiled and groomed his coat and fed him a good meal of
oats and hay and some vitamines to help his leg heal. he lead him out the barn and unwraped his leg and massaged around the break age to ease some pain from the muscles
he wraped the leg in a white wrap and stands up bird bites on jays shirt as he cleans the wounded leg. he laughs slightly and pats his shoulder. he stands back up and smiles slightly
he leads him to the pasture by the end of the day with the sun set. jay smiles and unlatches the
lead and he trots out into the large field and jay sits on the fence and watches as he bounds around and him smiles and shouts i guess your feeling better. bird bobs his head and rears
jay smiles again and he runs around and jay opens a letter from his daughter. and reads the letter out loud to bird and it says" dad i love you alot, im happy your happy i just wish you were here but i under stand you have your job to do..." his voice was calming and beautiful as he read his voice filled the air with a relaxedness and peace and serenity. after reading jay
looks up at bird his mane like blazing wild fire in the sun sets gleam he runs breathing strong, his muscles moving smoothly under his coat.
jay whispers"you were born a racer..."
after a few hours jay puts black bird back into the stables and walks out side. and a car pulls up. birds old owner gets out and walks fast and nods"hows he doing? i was pretty hard on him and i wanted to come visit." jay smiles he is doing great i just put him in the stable ill show you to him. jay nods and leads the old owner to the stable and he nods im george by the way.
jay nods "im jay" nice to meet you. george smiles " you to" they walk up to birds stall and george sighs he is beautiful but its a shame he cant race anymore.
jay smiles and winks at black bird its a real shame. george nods his mother won the breeders cup and triple crown jay nods " thats amazing".
george nods he will make amazing foals jay turns and nods " thanks for coming. it was nice to get some history now i know what his mother
was like. george nods if you want to sell him back heres my number he writes it down and gives it to jay and him nods ok thanks. george walks out and bird
bobs his head faster and winnies and jay rips up the paper and laughs i wont ever sale you to that mean old man. bird rears and jay smiles a tiny bit. good night and walks to his house and goes to bed after his dinner.-----------
jay walks and gets bird and begins to train him. each and every day his bones and muscles grow stronger, every time he runs he begins to crave the feel and the ring of the bell. before the big race, he wants to race. jay finally is able to get on his back and ride him.
as he climbs onto birds back he, gets eager to run. he takes off as jay is half way on the saddle he yells loudly and grabs onto the reins and holds on with dear life.
bird burst out the gate and runs at full speed down the dirt road and jay hold on hopeing
he wont injure hiimself again and he runs faster and it comes over jay that he's
riding a race horse. he smiles and leans down letting him guide the way. his legs move at a fast pace and his breathing matches the beat of his hooves. his mane whips around like black wild fire in the evening sky. he takes to the wind like a jet unstop able and very fast. his leg holds perfectly barely hurting, he goes for miles before slowly coming to a stop. jay slides off the saddle and laughs i knew it! i knew it i knew it! he repeats. black bird bobs his head and rears
high. jay pats his side and whispers " just a little while longer" . he leads him down the path toward the barn. to get a good cleaning, as they walk he talks to bird like he understands him. as the night weres on jay sits and reads articals about racing and the next big race he calls almost every track to see if he can get black bird into the big race but begins to give up. right before he picks the phone back up he hears a kock at the door. he stands and walks to see, who it is. he opens the door and his daughter cristie runs and hugs him fast and his wife anne looks at him and smiles surprise! jay laughs and kisses the top of annes head and smiles i was just about to cook dinner wanna join? anne laughs we didnt come five thousand miles to say hi, then leave. jay smiles well then i guess we better get your room ready. cristie nods and runs to her room and anne smiles so hows every thing going?
jay nods its going fine i just bought a racer. anne looks at him oddly a racer? yes. he replys his names black bird. anne nods what happend? jay sighs he killed my dad. annes eyes widen jay laughs slightly no not like that... it wasnt birds fault. he was about six feet in front of the lead horse when his leg snaped. anne sighs oh.. how awful i couldnt imagine. jay nods my dad died instantly from a broken neck. anne hugs jay and sighs im sorry for your loss.
jay hugs her back and smiles its fine. god took an angel and gave me one.
the next day jay woke up and yawned slightly. as he slowly began to stand he suddenly heard horse shoes walking the the living room. he narrowed his eyes then they widened and he ran out into the living room. bird stood in the middle of it and was nibbleing on cristies hair as she played the play station. jay sighed and laughed slightly and looked at cristie and nodded "is there a reason my horse is in our house?" she, smiled. "Bird was lonely so i brought him in to visit". jay smiled slightly and nodded again "well black bird isnt lonely. he has other stallions and mares to play with out in the pasture".
cristie sighed "fine... but can i ride him? please!" jay grinned and picked cristie up and replyed are you sure? he is very tall. cristie climbed up onto birds back as jay lead him back out side. its was partly cloudly and the grass was a beautiful lush green and the dirt was even from the winds late last night. cristie held onto birds mane as jay lead him around in the pasture, cristie laughed as bird bobed his head up and down every time jays foot was steped on and jay turned red from pain in his poor foot. he tryed to laugh and lightly smacked birds shoulder and he, winnies and nips jays hip.
after a hour or so jay lead black bird back to the pasture and took cristie off his back and they walked into the barn and grabed some brushes and started grooming captin a large white and black clydsdale thats about sixteen years old retired from working all his young life.
later that night they all sat down for dinner. anne was talking about cristies schooling while cristie messed around with her fork. jay looked up and nodded hey anne. she, replys yes... jay sighs what if i entered bird into a race to see how he will do? anne shot jay a glare and shooke her head no... jay replys why not? he is an amazing racer and is fully healed how about i try and if he fails i wont ever racer him again? anne sighs jay. black bird is a broken horse once a racer leaves the track, she can never go back its a old saying. and its true you cant race her. please dont. she wont make it you just cant. jay replys in a softer tone -cant- never- did -a -thing-.
anne and cristie and jay all stay silent the rest of the dinner and finally they all walk into the living room and play some cards and lay down for bed cristie slowly falls asleep as jay read her a night time story and anne walks up stairs and lays down on the bed and reads her novel. jay walks and lays down and falls asleep instantly.
the next morning black bird falls ill. jay calls the vet fast and she sighs slightly and stands looking un concerned. she smiles and then laughs a little and nods jay... he nods yes... the vet turns and smiles all bird has is a little cold. your really snapy when he gets sick arent you? he sighs and rubs his head feeling embarrased and nods im sorry im just so protective of him because he is part of my family now.
the vet nods im sorry to hear about your dad. jay smiles and nods thanks its ok he died doing what he loved and that was racing and his biggest dream was to race on black bird. and i still cant figure out why. the vet smiles some people just have un break able bonds with there horses maybe your dad loved bird. jay nods and smiles thanks for stoping by the vet nods no problem its a honor your doing awesome at healing his leg she replys and walks out.
bird stands and jay sighs you little trickster making me think your ill how could you he says jokeingly. bird bobs his head again and jay smiles. ill get you into a race i promise he says softly. he walks out side and turns on the tractor and rides toward the corn field. by the end of the day jay has made a small track carved from the corn field, to help train ruffian.
jay knows this is gonna cut down on his money but he doesnt care. all he wants to do is let ruffian race at least once more. jay sits on the fence and sips on a cold beer thinking about what bird will become if he can win the breeders cup and if his leg wont break again. he sits as the sun goes down watching his horses playing and he leaps off the fence and walks back to the house and calls a local track to see if bird can be put in it for a test. although the horses that enter that race are some of the most unpopular in the world. jay doesnt care as long as bird is happy. as he sits there he thinks about his dad and why he picked bird.
the next morning jay tacks up ruffian and leads her to the new track and he, stands still as he climbs onto his back. anne shoots a gun and bird burst out the home made gates and he, burst into a fast run legs pacing fast breathing getting hard and mane whiping. jay holds on and leans down making it easier to go fast and anne times it bird flys down the track fast his hooves beat the ground with a incrediable rythm. jay feels as if hes holding onto a jet. anne cheers and laughs beautiful!
bird slows and comes to a complete stop. jay looks at the watch and his eyes widen and he looks at bird than the watch then again back at bird. he mutters and holds in a laugh as anne hugs jay and nods. fine... you can race him. once, if he does bad we will just retire him. jay smiles and kisses anne and bird snorts and nudges them both apart and winnies a little. jay practices the rest of the day training bird and grooming his coat. he finally puts bird into his stall and retires to his bed for the night.
the next day jay wakes up to his phone going crazy. he walks and picks it up and answers " hello?" a man replys is this jay miller? jay replys kinda confused yes... the man smiles and tells jay to bring black bird down for a practice race with two other older faster stallions. jay smiles and replys ill be there i promise the man hangs up and jay shouts anne! she shouts back yes dear! jay laughs a little and hugs her close and nods there gonna accept bird into a race! anne smiles and hugs jay back knowing if bird wins they could get enough money to pay the bills.
jay walks out and puts a silk white cover over birds back and loads him into the trailor with leg guards. he walks and gets into the front of the car and turns the key, the engine rumbles as jay shuts the door and begins the short journy to there first race.
once there after going through some harsh weather, jay opens the trailor and leads bird to the stables behind the track where five other horses are being held for the race. bird trots proudly his back arched his legs moving rythmically. the snow begins the fall as winter comes and the track is cleaned off so the grass is un covered by snow and the seats are cleaned and every thing is set up for the race as jay grooms and gets black bird ready for the race. he massages birds knees and hips for ten minutes each and puts hot thin blankets around his legs to soften the muscles and relax them.
one of the groomers nod and smile beautiful horse you got there. are you gonna let him fail like last time? the groomer says sarcasticly. jay ignores him and keeps brushing and cleaning birds coat. bird relaxes as jay works on him. his nostrils flare as a larger stallion trots by and he neighs loudly as if challenging bird. bird paws the ground his breath seen from the cold biting wind and tempature. usally they dont race the horses in the winter but this is a uncalled for snow day.
jay smiles and nods birds ready. his jockey dawn walks up and is a thin weak built man with a soft young face and light brown hair with blue eyes. he is shorter than jay and more agressive. the jockeys out fit if black and white checkered and black birds head guard matches and so does his back guard which is a thin silk blanket under the saddle. jay nods hello. dawn nods is this the horse? jay smiles and sighs yep. dawn walks and looks at birds legs and his snout and smiles there in perfect shape. you keep him well healthy. well done jay laughs a little thanks i know im a little obsessive when it comes to keeping my horses in good shape. dawn turns and nods the race begins in five minutes im gonna go get my things be right back is mutters and jogs away.
jay takes black birds bridle and pulls him closer and nods make our family proud. i believe in you and i know theres a fire burning inside you. jay hears dawn coming back and lets go. he helps dawn up onto the saddle and dawn nods it might take me a second to get used to this horse i never really go easy on them. rarely he says and grins and jay snickers yeah black bird has a mind of his own but be carefull his left leg was broken a few months ago. dawn looks at him oddly broken? jay nods yes. but its fully healed dont worry.
dawn guides bird through the crowd of other racing horses and two other men help put him into the gate. every thing goes silent as all the horses are waiting for that loud buzz to begin the dangerous journey into the unknown. any thing could happen. dawn nods and glances at the others and shouts may the best horse win. the buzzer goes off and the gate fly open. black bird shoot out the gate but is behind the rest of the pack. dawn leans down letting bird take the lead as he moves quickly around the two horses in front of him.
dirt flys fast and slams into bird and dawn and dawn mutters im sick of this dirt lets get rollin. black bird seems to hear and dawns surprised as he begins to go faster and passes the third place horse and finally the second place one. they round the last corner. black birds heart pounds hard. his legs burn as his muscles propell him forward his nostrils flare. and his mane and tail whip in the fast harshly cold wind.
dawn holds his breath and prays as bird goes faster moving like a machien. finally bird makes it next to the lead horse admiral. a young dark brown stallion stronger but smaller than bird. black birds hooves pound the ground. barely touching them, admirals jockey sees and shouts faster! pushing the young colt to the limit. admirals heart pounds in his chest, his breathing barely stable enough to get oxygen. he quits admiral slows at a fast pace slaming his thin fragile racing legs into the ground he breaths hard.
once stoped admirals rider and owner shout and kick at him to get up but admiral thinks other wise and lays down. broken, and defeated.
jay sees and races down admirals owner shouts loudly get up! jay runs and pushes admirals owner back fast and shouts leave the horse alone! you broken it! he's ruined! thanks to your pathetic jockey.
admirals owner shouts who do you think you are! jay nods im black birds owner. do you see that big black horse in the front? thats mine jay says proudly. admirals owner calms down a tiny bit and nods take my horse. i can see your good with them. i dont want him adirmal will make good foals use them. they will get you good money. jay nods and hands the man five thousand dollars and sighs use this for retirement you dont deserve any more horses. admirals owner walks away and jay walks to the broken horse slowly.
dawn holds on and doesnt even have to whip bird once to get him to go faster. birds leg holds up perfectly and he crosses the finish line twenty three furlongs ahead of the second place horse. dawn mutters and pats birds neck and whispers amazing. once fully stoped dawn looks around and jay walks up. admiral walks as jay leads him closly the crowd boo's as admiral walks limping from pain. jay stands and gets his picture with bird and smiles you did great.
dawn nods jay i have a question. jay nods yes? dawn nods back and sighs can i be your jockey? jay smiles and pats dawns shoulder sure. he replys welcome to the family. dawn smiles thanks and walks to the jockeys room. jay leads bird and admiral along as the crowd cheers for bird loudly the lights flash from the cameras and bird neighs strongly getting frusterated. jay pats his side its ok. once in the trailor and once back at the ranch anne runs out and shouts did he make it? ! ? ! jay smiles he did wonderful he made first place.
anne narrows her eyes as she sees another horse in the trailor.
whos that she demands. jay nods and smiles weakly thats admiral. annes eyes grow big the admiral?!?!?! jay nods but dont get to excited he says sadly. he's broke. annes eyes fill with slow tears what do you mean broke? jay nods he cant race any more. retired. his owner pushed him to far this time. anne nods and leads bird to his stable. jay walks and slowly helps admiral out the trailor and into a soft padded warm stable and he lays down quickly jay gets warm cloths and soaks them in baby oil and warm water. he sets them on admirals ground burns and sore muscles.
he sighs im sorry you had a bad owner. your safe now. admiral relaxes and falls asleep as jay works on him. in the morning admiral is doing better. he is standing and eating but still has his wounds and bruises. anne walks in and looks at him and nods the doctor said cristie doesnt have long to go. anne begins to sob a little and hugs bird as he grazes on his bucket of oats. jay nods and trys not to think about negative and more toward the positive.
anne walks out and fixes dinner and cleans the house. as jay cleans the stable and fixes some of the barns roofing. the next morning crisities gone. jay doesnt go into the stables that morning but rather to his and annes daughters funeral. tears stream down jays face as a younger girl sings two songs and anne sobs next to the grave site. jay helps anne stand as they drive back to the ranch. once there jay occupies his mind by working with the horses. bird walks around the ranch with out a halter following jays every step and admiral sits recovering as grooms begin to work with him. captain the old stallion gets ill. the vet comes and nods looking woryed and as if she is thinking.
the vet stands and nods jay i hate to tell you this but your old boy is dieing. jay looks at the vet and nods slightly and holds on tears as she walks out slowly and shuts the door. see back then they didnt have all the equipment. like they do now days they had to make logical guesses about the horses. jay walks and puts bird into his stable and takes captian out his stable and leads out side. he lets him run around in the pasture and jay smiles and watches as captian winnies and tosses his head back in a elegant dance. jay sighs as captians shadow dances among the ground.
jay smiles and reads out of a small pocket book poems about, friendship and memories. warm tears slide down jays tan skin as he smiles and whispers his memories with captian into the warm summer breeze as captian flys around the pasture free one last time. jays heart breaks seeing his first horse. and friend so free but dieing. jay whispers i love you my friend. captian winnies and rears. jay smiles but is truely as sad as he could be. his voice catches in the wind as he reads his voice soothing and relaxing.
jay walks captian into the barn and sleeps next to him all night. he wakes up and captian is having trouble breathing and jay pushes his face into captians shoulder and tears flow out his eyes un stop able and the groomers walk out the barn. jay reads a goodbye poem to captian one last time. jay choaks up from crying as he reads and captian lays down slowly and clamly and slowly slips away. jay crys harder and whispers in captians ear before he dies. goodbye my good old friend.
bird watches from his stall and so does admiral. they burie captian facing the sun set in the pasture. anne crys more and jay walks back to the stables and sits in the middle of captians empty stable and sobs. after a few minutes jay stands and wipes the tears away. he walks and smiles as bird trys to cheer him up by bobing his head and rearing. jay laughs as admiral trys to copy bird.