Heartwind

Sheep Riding

“There are 2 basic pieces to sheep riding. Number 1, you will guide the sheep by the scruff of the neck. Number 2, you will guide the sheep with what is in your heart. Today’s lesson will consist of navigating around this line of trees. You will go inside this tree and outside the next. Each will be timed. Best time wins. Lets head to the corral and pick your sheep or more accurately let the sheep pick you.”
Derbin had heard from his brother’s that sheep selection is most important in sheep riding proofs. He meandered over to the corral knowing that he will be last picked. To his surprise the sheep lined up to be his sheep. He was so excited. “what is happening here?” And just as quickly they looked at him and moved on to other children. “of course. Just my luck. They think they want me and change their mind when they come up to me.” Each one in turn came to him and moved on until every sheep had tested him and moved on. Every child had a sheep but derbin. There was one sheep left. And old, decrepit looking one just laying in the corner seemingly too lazy to get up. The sheep peered at derbin through half open sleepy eyes and gave out a quick almost laughable “baaaaaahhhh,” and shook off a fly.
“great. Sax will definitely win this.” He thought to himself. “look at his sheep!” Sax’s sheep was this giant of a sheep that might be confused with a furry pony. It stood strong with its head high and confident. It seemed to snort steam or smoke of just pure evil. No wonder they called him diablo. derbin was stuck with this old scrawny thing that could barely stay upright. His sheeps name was Roy. I mean Roy? Seriously!? That is not the name of a prize winning sheep that can cut and burn up a course. “oh well, hopefully I can at least stay on him and hopefully he will stay standing. Come on Roy, lets get this over with.” Roy stood up feably and walked over. He was sure to smell every flower along the way.
The course was a good 5 minutes for the best sheep and up to 8 minutes for the worst.
“we will send each of you on the course one at a time 1:00 apart. That will give you time to work through the course and not get in each others way. Derbin, you and Roy probably need to go last. Sax and diablo, you 2 go first.”
Great! thought derbin. Here we go again. already Sax is the favorite. “Derbin, might be faster if Roy rides you. Hahaha” said Sax and all the kids laughed. Derbin thought Sax might be right. Maybe i’ll just run the course and leave Roy here.
“and go!” Sax and Diablo tore off into the distance. One after another after another all the kids raced off with their sheep. And they were all so fast. Derbin was dreading his turn. “oh great!” Her comes Sax and Diablo already. “5 minutes and 28 seconds. Good job Sax, be sure to thank Diablo for a fast race. “Derbin, you haven’t even left yet… Well, I’ll save a spot for you at tonights tree song. Hahaha. If you ever make it.”
Derbin felt about 2 feet tall. And worse it was time to go. “ready Roy and Derbin?” Derbin couldnt answer. “ready go!” And off they went. It was worse then he ever thought possible. Roy had to stop at every flower and nibble on grass as they went. There was no run, not even a trot. it was merely a walk or meander through the trees. “oh brother!” Derbin heard Sax and the others that had now come in laugh histarically. He wanted to just get off and go hide. They had just reached out of sight when roy lifted his head. Derbin wanted so badly just to not embarass himself. “please Roy? Please.” He was about to cry when. Roy stood up a little taller. “thats it! Roy. You can do it. ” he began to stomp his feet. And at that moment Roy reared on his back legs almost bucking Derbin off and began sprinting… Flat out hauling sheep butt down the course. Derbin needed a minute to figure out what was going on. Roy was like a rocket! Derbin had never seen anything like it. He secured his grip as Roy tore through the woods. “that’s it Roy. You got it. That’s it. Keep it strong. You can do it.” Derbins heart began to swell, not only was he happy for himself but he was so proud of this old sheep, Roy. It was amazing how he ripped through corners and accelerated out of turns. They reached the turn of the course where one of the teachers was position to ensure no one cheated. Xxx almost fell off their sheep seeing how fast Roy and Derbin were coming. “comin through!” Yelled Derbin. “baaaaahhhh” squeeled Roy. Roy never seemed to let up. Derbin wasn’t sure how this was happening or whether Roy would keep it up. Derbin began to hug Roy with love and admiration, not just holding on so he wouldn’t fall off. Roy seemed to respond to this with more speed. Sweat began to pour off Derbins forhead. They rose over a hill and could actually see the rider in front of him. It was xxxx and xxxx. Roy and Derbin pasted them as if they were standing still. Xxx almost fell off with shear astonisment. They crossed past the final tree and tore for the finish…the other children just mingled around laughing taking no notice as they approached when finally someone said… “whos that?” Sax had to look up. “thats xxx.” He said confidently. “i dont think so. That looks like Derbin and Roy. ” that’s impossible. Did you see that sheep? he must have cheated.” “no that’s them alright. Look how fast they are goin.” Sax became visibly angry and pushed xxx down to the ground.
“there’s the finish! We did it Roy! Well you did it! Thank you! Thank you!” They crossed the finishline and everyone cheered. Roy immediately went to grazing and smelling flowers. He didnt even seem winded. Derbin didnt even care about his time or what anyone thought. He did however learn not to judge a creature by their appearance. This creature, sheep, Roy, was amazing. Derbin laid there on Roy’s back for a while before finally rolling off. Xxx and xxx finally crossed the finish and no one paid them a bit of attention. The kids finally dispersed when xxx the teacher said, “what was their time?”
“you wouldnt believe me if I told you.”
“try me”
“4 minutes and 47 seconds.” xxxs jaw dropped.
“they did make the turn right?” Xxx just nodded in amazement.

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