Milton Korn had no real reason to feel jealousy, but ever since Honey Bloom said that she wanted to get two horses so she could ride with a friend, he felt uneasy. There was really nothing in what she said, but it revealed to Milt that his feelings are serious toward Honey. He knew it, really, but was in denial. The twinge of discomfort he felt from even this very obtuse imaginary threat woke him up to the importance of Honey in his life. He feared her magnificent beauty, her tall, lean, well-shaped body and long legs would act like a magnet for men more desirable than he.
All of this angst that Milt was suffering was totally unknown by Honey. She had been sincere when she said ‘just friends’ to him when speaking of riding companions. She was not plotting to have a secret lover or anything like that. She would probably have preferred to ride with Milt, but if he refused to get onto a horse, she had no choice. In all probability she’d ride with Shawna, who had attended the same riding schools as Honey. Ignorant as she was of Milt’s unwarranted anxiety, she went off and acquired two beautiful, genuine Vermont Morgan geldings.
It didn’t help Milt’s frame of mind when the slick-looking two-horse trailer rolled up the long driveway into the stable yard towed by a huge Dodge Ram pickup truck. Lettering on the door of the truck read; “Derrick Hendrickson Morgan Stud Farm”, repeated on the matching trailer, with the words “Johnsbury, Vermont”.
Milt was sitting at a picnic table reading. They’d placed the table in the shade of the trees in the old apple orchard as a place they’d like to sit and read. When the rig rolled up into the stable enclosure it was just across the back lawn from him. He watched as Honey leaped out of the truck cab, flushed with excitement. She waved at him and shouted for him to come see the horses. Milt rose to go to her when the driver of the truck stepped out. He was a giant of a man, broad shoulders, a well-trimmed beard and mustache and hair down to his collar. He wore neither a Stetson hat nor a baseball cap and his hair was dark, thick and tousled. He didn’t even wear high heeled cowboy boots; he had well-worn Kodiak boots on his feet, with Wrangler Jeans crumpled at their tops.
Milt had no desire to stand next to that stud, so he stood in the shade of the orchard and watched as Honey backed one of the beautiful chestnut-coloured geldings out of the trailer. The man went into the trailer for the other horse while Honey held on to the halter of her Morgan. Derrick’s horse – Milt assumed he was Derrick – kicked up a bit of a fuss as he was backing out of the trailer. It caused Honey’s horse to kick and rear a bit. He shook his head and lifted it high and pulled the halter and lead out of Honey’s hands. Freed, the big horse ran just a few metres into the orchard and stooped to feed on the lush grass that Milt was hoping to make lawn-like.
Honey was beside herself with shame and Derrick was occupied holding the other horse. It was still acting up a bit. Milt didn’t want the huge hooves of the big horse to chop up his lawn, so he approached the animal very slowly and gingerly. He spoke softly and with a calming tone as he inched forward. The horse kept its head down and plucked the grass happily. When Milt got very close, the horse stepped away. Milt kept up his soft talk and again approached the animal. On the third try, he was able to catch on to the halter and lift its head up to lead it into the corral. Derrick brought the other horse along at the same time and Honey shut the gate with both men and both horses inside the corral.
“You must be Milton,” said Derrick Hendrickson. “Miss Bloom told me you were her partner.” Milt didn’t like the word ‘were’, because it sounded so past tense. You were her beau, but no longer.
“Yes,” said Milt, “We live here together and we bought this place together.”
“Well, it’s a real nice place you have here,” Derrick said. “It heaven for horses, the way they have freedom of movement, shelter, grazing water… it’s just perfect.”
“Well thank you,” Milt said. The horses had begun grazing calmly so the two men let themselves out of the corral. Derrick declined an offer of a drink or coffee from Honey, just got his truck turned around and went off down the road, a billowing cloud of road dust thrown high and wide by the large truck and its larger trailer.
Honey joined Milt at the picnic table. They sat side by side on the table top, their feet on the bench seat. They watched the horses, side by side, grazing happily. Honey leaned over to Milt and put her arms around him and her cheek on his shoulder.
“I’m so happy,” she said. “You were wonderful, sweet talking that horse. It was brave of you, and you instinctively did exactly the right thing. I love you.” They kissed under the apple tree and went into the house where they made love in the living room. Honey stripped down and knelt on a chair facing the wall, her white butt out. Milt jumped out of his clothes and entered Honey from behind. They made love with energy and passion. Afterward they showered together, dressed, and went out to stable the horses for the night. Milton Korn had a lot to learn in the coming days.