Jake Kyncade woke with the sunrise and slipped on his jeans, a flannel shirt, and boots. He went down to his home office and started the computer. Come on…why is this always so slow? When we get more money, we need to upgrade. When the computer was up and running, he opened the e-mail program.
He couldn’t believe his eyes. There were over one hundred messages in his inbox. Jake poured over each one. Most were interested in his ranch and the program. Some were newspapers, and others were magazines who’d heard about it. Several came from parents, corresponding about their children—each of those, he starred to contact later for a tour of the facilities. One message caught his attention. As he read it, a pang of sorrow settled in his chest. I wish I knew how to help every one of these children. He typed a reply to the woman whose pain called to him then headed out to the barn to start his day.
The warmth of the early morning sunshine burned the dew from the grass. Perfect morning for working. After bringing down three bales of hay and feeding all the animals, he looked forward to a cup of coffee. Too bad he didn’t have any in the house. Maybe a trip into town is in order.
The sound of a pickup truck rumbled up his drive—his best friend and foreman, Johnson O’Neill. Wiping the sweat and dirt from his forehead, Jake smiled and walked over to the man climbing down from the truck.
“Morning, Johnson. Looks like a light day today. We have the Smith’s family coming out for their monthly visit.”
“I love Keith. He’s got spunk. That youngest Smith has been through the wringer with the teasing at school over his autism symptoms. I can’t believe kids flap their hands behind his back and laugh at him.”
Jake shook his head. “I know. I don’t get it. After all, the flapping was a way for Keith to cope with the inability to have a ‘normal’ conversation with children his own age. You know what our dads would have done if we’d have done that.”
Seven men as tough as the west…
Gator Girl Extraordinaire