The Mailorder Bride

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The Mailorder Bride

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Farmer Brown had worked the family farm, where he was born, for all of his fifty years. His parents had long passed; he had no siblings, wife, or children. Most of his years had been spent alone.

He decided it was long past time he started a family. He didn't know any single women nearby and, after weighing his options, decided to get a mailorder bride.

On the day she was scheduled to arrive, Brown hitched up his mare to the wagon, and began the hour-long journey into town (clip clop, clip clop, clip clop). He arrived at the train station about fifteen minutes late, and most of the passengers had already left the area. Standing by herself, with a suitcase on either side, and an uncertain look on her face, was a young woman of about twenty-five.

Brown walked up and introduced himself and, yes, this was his bride Sarah. Brown picked up Sarah's suitcases, carried them to the wagon, and loaded them in. Then he helped Sarah into the wagon, and turned it around to head for home.

Along the way they talked, and began getting to know one another. Sarah was just beginning to get comfortable when, suddenly, the horse reared up on its hind legs, whinnied loudly, and pawed at the air. This shook the wagon such that if Farmer Brown had not caught Sarah and steadied her, she would have surely fallen from the wagon.

After a few seconds, the horse calmed. Brown apologized to Sarah. Then he got down from the wagon, walked up to stand directly in front of the horse and, looking it square in the face calmly said, "That's once."

Brown climbed back into the wagon, and they were once again on their way (clip clop, clip clop, clip clop).

Ten or fifteen minutes passed, and the incident was almost forgotten. Lost in conversation they were startled when, once again, the horse reared up, whinnied loudly, and pawed the air. Again, Brown held Sarah tightly so she wouldn't fall. One of her suitcases fell from the wagon and landed with a thud.

When the horse calmed, Brown got down, reloaded Sarah's suitcase, and once again looked the horse square in the face. "That's twice," Brown calmly told the horse. Climbing into the wagon, Brown apologized to Sarah, nudged the horse, and they were once again on their way (clip clop, clip clop, clip clop).

This time the couple rode quietly along the road, Brown watching the horse to see if there was some explanation for its behavior. When just ten minutes later it reared up again, Brown could see no reason for the horse's actions. After making sure Sarah was okay, Brown climbed down and stood in front of the horse. This time Brown didn't say a word. He calmly took a pistol out of his pocket, and shot the horse in the head.

Brown walked to the wagon and unloaded Sarah's bags. Then he helped Sarah down from the wagon.

Shocked, Sarah walked up to get a closer look at the horse. She could plainly see it was dead. After a few awkward moments of silence, finally Sarah couldn't stand it any longer. She turned to face Brown and loudly exclaimed, "Are you out of your mind? That was a perfectly good horse!!!"

"That's once," said Brown, calmly.
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