You Ainít Santa Claus
by: E Walk

(© 2009 by the Author)
 

The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the author's consent. Comments are appreciated at...

Chapter 21

They Were Lonely

 

I was awakened by a strange noise.  I went to the bathroom and pulled on a pair of sweat pants.  I went to see what it was that I had heard.  I went to check on the boys, and what did I find in Ryan's bed except two young boys, two little puppies and two kittens snuggled up in a ball.  Ryan looked up at me and whispered, "They were lonely."

 

"How do you know they were lonely?"

 

"Daddy, I had to go to the bathroom, and I heard them crying and meowing so I went to see what was wrong.  When I opened the gate, they dashed out of the sun room, and they started to climb the stairs.  It took them a long time to figure out how to get up the stairs.  It was easier for Snitch and Snatch than for Hodge and Podge. I had to help them all get on the bed."

 

I wanted to laugh, but I maintained my composure, "If they have an accident, then you need to clean it up."

 

"Okay, Daddy, I will."

 

I must have awakened Dan when I was crawling into bed, "Where have you been?"

 

I hugged him, "Our sons now have two puppies and two kittens in bed with them.  I can hardly wait to see what happens tomorrow night.  They'll probably have two horses in bed with them, too."

 

The next morning we were awakened by two boys.  I guess I hadn't shut the bedroom door.  Nate was shaking me, "Dads, Home Base just called and wants to know if we are going to be there for breakfast?"

 

I sat up, "Tell Home Base that we'll eat breakfast here.  We need to finish unpacking our things."

 

The boys disappeared and I heard Nate talking on the intercom.  I looked at Dan, "I guess we need to get ready for another boring day at Belle Monte."

 

When Dan and I arrived in the kitchen, the boys were sitting with the animals in the sun room, Ryan was cajoling them, "Look, you gotta eat your food.  The vet said we shouldn't give you much more milk.  Now eat or we won't let you out of the sun room again."

 

Dan and I were laughing, "Guys, what would you like for breakfast?"

 

Nate looked up at us, "Dads, fix what you like and we'll like it, too."

 

I pulled out a can of cinnamon rolls and put them in the oven and then started the toaster and made some toast pieces while Dan made the cream chipped beef.  When everything was ready Dan called, "Guys, breakfast is ready." 

 

The guys went to wash their hands and the animals were trying to sneak into the kitchen.  When Ryan saw what they were doing, he pointed, "If you don't stay out of the kitchen, we'll put the barricade up."

 

The animals sat in the doorway watching us eat.  Nathan explained, "The Vet said we should never start giving the animals any people food or they might get sick."

 

We were just finishing the dishes when the intercom was activated, "This is Home Base.  Nate and Ryan's presence will be required at the Big House in twenty minutes.  They need to sign for some incoming merchandise."

 

Dan went to the system, "We'll be there shortly. Over and out."

 

The boys looked concerned.  Nate asked, "Dads, what did that mean?"

 

Dan shrugged his shoulders, "I guess it means that you bought something that is being delivered and you have to sign for it."

 

Nathan responded, "But, Dads, we didn't buy anything."

 

Dan grinned, "Let's go see what you bought that you didn't know you bought."

 

When we arrived at the Big House, Nate went to lift the knocker.  Dan reminded him. "This is your house so you can just walk in."

 

Nate and Ryan both looked at us.  Nate spoke, "Dads, you told us that we should always knock if a door was closed."

 

I nodded, "Guys, that applies once you're inside a house."

 

Nate started to open the door.  He had it opened a couple of inches and then it wouldn't move.  We heard Shawn yelling, "Dad, there are some people here who look like they're going to try to rob us."

 

Nate and Ryan started to push hard and all of a sudden they were sprawled on the floor of the entry way floor with Shane pointing a water gun at them, "Get those hands up or everyone is going to think you went to the bathroom in your pants."

 

Nate turned around to Dan and me, "Dads, can we fire these two for being cruel to us?"

 

Shane and Shawn helped the two guys up and Shane asked, "Are we going to spend the night here or at the Little House?"

 

Ryan answered, "We need to stay at the Little House so the puppies and the kittens don't get scared."

 

Ryan and Nathan were hugging everyone when the knocker sounded.  Shawn answered, "Welcome to Belle Monte, how may I help you?"

 

We heard a voice saying, "We have a delivery for Nathan and Ryan Holloway.  They need to sign for the delivery and direct us as to where they would like us to deposit the merchandise."

 

Ryan and Nathan went to see what was happening, Nate asked, "What do we need to sign for, sir?"

 

The gentleman had obviously been clued into what happening, "Just sign and I'll explain later."

 

Nathan looked at Dan and me.  We indicated that he should sign.  We watched as Nathan carefully signed his name on the folded piece of paper.  He looked at the man, "Okay, I signed for something, but what did I sign for?"

 

"You signed for four horses.  Where do you want me take them?"

 

Both boys turned to us and simultaneously said, "Dads, we don't have room at the Little House for four horses.  What are we going to do with them?"

 

The Belle Mount express pulled up and Vince announced, "All who are going to go to take the new merchandise where they are to be taken care of, please board the Belle Monte Express.  Mr. Chastain, follow us."

 

Everyone except Tessa and Ian boarded the vehicle.  We made our way to where we were going with Alex providing a commentary.  "The next stop will be the home for Nathan and Ryan's four new horses."

 

We pulled up beside a big building that looked more like a house than a stable.  Ryan was looking out the window.  "Uncle Alex, who lives here?"

 

Alex grinned, "The horses live here.  Let's go see where the four new arrivals are going to be living. 

 

We went into the stable and a big burly guy approached us.  "Good morning people, what brings you here?  No one ever comes here."

 

Vince responded, "We brought you four new horses to take care of and brought the new bosses so you could meet them."

 

The man interrupted, "I ain't taking care of anymore horses.  What new bosses?"

 

Vince turned to the boys, "Don't worry, Andy's bark is worse than his bite. Andy, I would like to you to meet the new bosses, Nathan and Ryan."

 

Andy glared at the two boys, "What bosses?"

 

Vince sighed, "The big, big bosses, so you had better be nice to them."

 

Andy started to walk away, "Well, I ain't taking care of no brats in diapers.  They will have to take care of their own horses, Why do they need four anyway?  Do they have split personalities?"

 

Ryan looked at me and said so everyone could hear, "Dad, what's wrong with that man?  Why doesn't he like us?  We didn't do anything to him?"

 

Andy looked at the two boys, "Let's get the four horses in here so I can show you what you need to do to take care of them."

 

The first horse came off the van and the gentleman handed Nathan  the reigns.  The horse started to push Nate in the back.  Nathan turned around, "Knock it off, your acting just like Mr. Andy."

 

Ryan was sent into the stables leading the second horse and the horse was rubbing its nose in Ryanís ear, Ryan looked at the horse, "Stop that, that tickles."

 

Andy asked, "So the horses' names are Knock It Off and That Tickles? I'll make up signs for their stalls.  What about the other two horses?"

 

Nate answered, "We need to wait until Evan and Chase get back before they get names.  Their Granddad died so they won't be back for a couple of days.  Now what do we need to do to take care of the horses since you are so busy?"

 

The proceedings were interrupted by another delivery truck.  The driver climbed out, "I was informed that I should deliver my wares here.  I have the saddles and bridles and all the things for some horses as well as some clothes and other items for boys.  Where would you like us to put them?"

 

Nate looked at Dan and me, "Dads, did you know what was going to happen?"

 

I shook my head yes, "Guys, Dad Dan and I had no idea what was happening until after it had already happened."

 

Ryan and Nate went to see if they could help unload the things.  They soon found out that there was no way they could lift a saddle.  Shane, Shawn, Alex and Vince carried the saddles and put them where Andy told them to.  The boys carried what they could.

 

Andy was talking to Nate and Ryan, "Now that you know what you have to do, you can fill in for me while I'm gone for four days.  You better do it right, or I'll be able to tell when I get back."

 

Ryan looked at Andy, "Don't worry Mr. Grouch, we'll get our Dads to help us."

 

Andy shook his head no, "That's probably not a good idea.  Your Dads would probably make a big mess.  They probably never saw a horse this close before."

 

Andy hugged the two guys as we went to help the delivery man put the clothing and things into the Belle Monte mobile.  

 

We were just about finished with lunch when the knocker sounded.  Ryan went to answer and came into the dining room with a gentleman, "Everybody, this is Mr. Forester, he came to give us an estimate for the fence to keep the puppies and kittens safe."

 

Everyone except Tessa and the two mothers were back on the Belle Monte express.  When we arrived at the Little House the boys' first priority was to check on the puppies and the kittens while the adults were outside talking to Mr. Forester.

 

When Dan and I and the boys joined the group, I heard Bruce say, "Greg, make it as big as you can without detracting from the natural beauty of the area."

 

My Dad suggested, "Mr. Forester, it would be nice if you could include a covered area so that the animals could take care of their business out here even in bad weather."

 

Mr. Forester looked at the assembled group.  "I'll get back to you on the third.  Ian, I thought that this was going to be a simple job."

 

Bruce spoke up, "Greg, we want a first class facility here.  Do whatever you need to do to make it so."

 

All of sudden Nate started to cry, "Uncle Bruce, please stop spending money on us. We just want a small place so the puppies and kittens can get out and get some exercise when we're at the big house."

 

Dan's Dad put his arms around Nate and Ryan, "Guys, you need to accept what people are doing for you gracefully.  They wouldn't be doing these things if they didn't want to.  If Snitch, Snatch, Hodge and Podge are okay, we probably should be heading back to the big house."

 

Shane, Shawn, Alex and Vince helped the guys carry their new clothes and other items into the Little House where they put them on the sofa for the time being.

 

When we arrived back at the big house, the guys wanted to go check on their new horses.  Vince and Alex took them in the golf mobile.  We were to find out later that Andy really had taken a liking to the two boys.

 

Vince and Alex took the guys to check all of the other operations areas as well to make sure that everything was in order."

 

When they arrived back at the big house, it was just about time for dinner.  Vince and Alex went to their apartment to get cleaned up and Ryan and Nate went to their bedrooms to wash their hands.  When Nate and Ryan returned, Nate suggested, "Dads, we probably should keep some clothes here at the big house in case we need to change while we're here."

 

Bruce smiled, "I think that's a very wise idea." 

 

As we were eating, Ryan looked at Ian, "Uncle Ian, how can you remember how many animals live here at Belle Monte?"

 

Ian laughed, "Ryan, I can't remember.  I just have to rely of Vince and Alex to make sure everything is running properly to make sure that none of the animals is missing."

 

Nate was looking at his plate, "Uncle Vince, are Ryan and me going to really have to take care of the horses by ourselves, while Mr. Andy is gone for four days?"

 

Vince grinned, "I guess so.  Alex and I can probably help you, though, if you think you need some help."

 

Nate nodded, "We'll probably need a lot of help.  Those horses are pretty big, and we haven't been around horses before."

 

Alex answered, "Okay, but it will cost you."

 

Nate looked as if he was going to cry, "But we don't have any money."

 

Alex put up his hand, "I didn't say anything about money, did I?  I was thinking that maybe you would have to clean our apartment for us for a year."

 

Shawn giggled, "Be careful what you agree to do, Nate.  Vince and Alex will probably make you clean the floors with a toothbrush."

 

After the dishes were done, we agreed to meet at the big house at eight o'clock so we could carpool to the club.  We took Shawn and Shane and their gym bags to the Little House with us to save someone from having to make an extra trip. 

 

While Dan and I were taking a shower, I put my arms around him and was playing with his hotdog and his golden nuggets.  I laughed, "I wonder if George and Bruce make love?"

 

Dan turned around and kissed me. "You nut; you're sounding just like our sons.  If you really want to know, why not ask them?"

 

I hugged him, "I just might."

 

To be continued...

 

Editor's Notes:  I wonder if he will ask the question.  Well, I am sure that the next chapter will give us some answers.  The only thing is which answers will we get?  I am eagerly waiting to read the next chapter and find out.

 

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher

 

Posted: 12/18/09