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I close my eyes an earthy smell hits my nose. I can hear the barn swallows chirping as they swoop in and out. The sun hits my skin, warm and bright. My eyes water not yet adjusted to the brightness of the early morning. The big doors creak the bolts and wood bend when they are open, old from years of wear and tear. It’s old faithful, the big girl, my barn.
I live on a twenty-nine-acre farm with two barns and lots of animals. I am going to describe the biggest barn I have on our farm. We call it the pull barn because the doors must be yanked open to get inside. To me, the barn is more than storage for old hay and a place for lazy cats to lay. I have raised baby calves and kittens in that barn. No rain, snow, nor heat can keep me away. As I step through the small narrow door to get into the barn I am immediately greeted by the three lazy cats. Fat and fluffy, they live off of cat food and mice. I continue to walk into the barn casting my gaze forward. I see the tattered and faded wood that lines the inner workers of the barn. The tack hangs on an old wooden post with large silver nails. The old cabinet built from scraps is just to the left of the wooden post. The latch is red and sturdy, adding a much-needed pop of color to the barn. Underneath my feet is powder dry dirt, with hay and straw packed into its seams. Square bales line the inside of the barn stacked on each other like an intense game of Tetris. The old john deere tractors line the other half of the barn allowing little space for anything else.
The barn holds a tender memory of the first time I brought my horse Spirit into it. She is short for a horse, only standing at fifteen hands. She is a beautiful paint with her coat being white, with burnt orange that looks like autumn came to life. When I first got her she was very skittish and scared of the barn. She was afraid of the enormous sliding doors for they screech and squeaked when they opened. It was a cool summer evening the sun was still up. The sky was a fiery red with hints of orange scattered throughout the sky. The clouds looked like cotton candy so feathery they seemed to disappear into the sky. I grabbed my teal rope halter and flung it over my shoulder. I walked over to the five-gallon bucket holding her favorite treats. I grabbed a crisp, juicy apple in my palm to entice her to let me catch her. I trudged through the tall lush green grass to catch her. Lucky for me that night the apple did just the trick, allowing me to take ahold of her right away. I put my hands around her neck and slipped the halter around her head. I then stroked her soft face kissing her on her pink nose.
The pasture is close to the barn so the walk is short. I had worked with her for weeks before this to get her to walk into the barn. This was going to be the night that we succeeded. After all the hardships we had done, the hard work was going to pay off. My Mom had come down from the house and was waiting for me by the doors. As I lead Spirit to the barn walking in silence, listening to the thudding of her hooves as they hit the ground. I was trying to get my nerves under control because horses can sense when you are anxious. I am nearing the barn in a soothing voice telling her she can do it and we will be ok. My Mom had the doors open and already backed out the tractor so it would be out of the way. We are now merely seconds away from entering the barn. To my astonishment, she walked right in with me, not trying to pull back at all. She usually would make nervous sounds blowing air through her nose. It sounds very similar if you had an old squeaky toy with water in it.
That night I was so excited and happy with what I had accomplished. The barn holds so many memories for me, making sure not ever to forget that night. Spirit is my best friend, our bond only grows stronger by the day. The old barn may have faded wood and nails sticking out, but it stands and will always stand as a place of refuge for me. It’s my happy place where I can escape from reality. The old girl stands strong and tall like a Mother to a child.
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