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Posted on 07-29-2012

This is a chapter from my new book that I hope to have published at some point soon.  It is actually a chapter I had to cut from the novel, but thought it might be fun to post here.  Thanks for reading!

Chapter 16

That night he couldn’t sleep. When the first light of dawn peaked through the window, he was tired, but relieved. He slowly made his way to the bathroom. He stood motionless in the shower wondering how he had wound up here. Who was the woman he had barely met, and why was she rattling his brain and emotions so quickly. She seemed to be able to turn him inside out exposing what he had hoped to keep secret. She had the sense of if his truth that each day here was one day closer to getting the hell out of this one horse town.

He stepped out of the shower to find Jasper staring at him. Jasper, the resident donkey had the ability to open the access door between the apartment and the barn. “Jasper, Get Out!” he yelled. The donkey casually stared at him, licked his lips, and slowly sauntered back through the doorway. It wasn’t until Jason began to make coffee that Jason found the surprise on the kitchen floor…

He arrived earlier than normal to work after his disastrous attempt at sleep. The office was quiet as he lay his head back in his office chair, attempting to close his eyes if only for a brief few moments. The office phone rang. He didn’t answer it, but moments later his pager buzzed.

“Damn,” he mumbled as he picked up the phone to retrieve the message.

When he arrived, Jason found the mare streaming milk and not allowing her foal to nurse. The foal was down and not active. His immediate concern was that the foal had not received the proper amount of colostrum from the mare. Colostrum holds the crucial antibodies for immunity of the foal. Without an adequate amount of colostrum, the health of the foal was at great risk.

He explained the situation to the owner stating that the foal needed to receive hyper-immunized serum via a nasogastric tube placed in the foal’s nose that would then enter the stomach. The serum would replace the colostrum for the foal to ensure the needed immunity. He set to work passing the tube through the nose and into the foal’s stomach. He administered the serum and was quietly excited how smoothly it had all gone, and that he was going to be able to save this baby.

He finished, and removed the tube. Stepping back with a smile and sense pride for having done good work, especially so early in the morning; he turned and saw a woman staring at him from the other side of the stall door, her face expressionless.

The owner interjected that the woman was her daughter, and the actual owner of the foal. Jason introduced himself and stated that the foal had received the needed dose of serum and should be just fine. Waiting for a response, he knew that she was going to be so relieved with this news.

She continued to stare at him and then finally asked, “So with this tube up the nose and all. Is that going to negatively impact her imprinting?”

Jason’s mouthed about dropped out of his head as he struggled to come to words for a response. What he really wanted to say was, “Imprinting doesn’t mean anything when the foal is dead.”

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