Home On The Range

Charlie takes a sip of her coffee while gazing out at the sunrise from on top of her horse. It’s been a year now since she came to work for old man Huston and his wife. They had taken her in and made her feel as if she was their own child. Her biology parents had disowned her after finding out she was transgender.

Charlie could remember the day as if it was yesterday. Her parents were supposed to be gone for the day. They were supposed to be going to an important meeting at the church they were members of. Her parents were part of the upper echelon of the church they belong too. Which meant she had to always appear proper and a good lad. She hated the fact that she had been born as a male. She knew since she was little that she wasn’t supposed to be a boy. She tried to make her parents understand that she was supposed to be a girl, but they wouldn’t listen. They forced her to behave like a boy and enrolled her in an all boy school. During birthday and Christmas, when she was given toys and clothes for boys, she would refuse to play with them and throw out the clothes given to her. Which made her parent mad and punish her for acting out.

When her mother got pregnant again and had her little brother. It took some of the pressure off her. They showered attention and gifts on him. Which she didn’t care. When they made her work at the church. She would go through the donations of clothes and toys that the members of the church donated to find clothes for herself to wear. She had been caught a few times by her mother and then by her father. They took the clothes away and made her attend a gay conversion camp supported by the church. She couldn’t believe how many other families had sent their children to the camp, all because they felt different then what they were born to be. Because she was the child of one of the officers of the church. The person in charge of the gay conversion took it upon himself with her parents’ permission to do whatever was necessary to turn her straight. So, for a whole year he tried brain washing, starving and public humiliation to make her change her way.

She finally got tired of it and escape from the camp along with a few other kids. A few kids managed to get other family members to take them in and a few decided like her to make it on their own.

The first few weeks were hard because she had no identity cards or her birth certificate to prove who she was. On top of that she was still consider underage. She managed to get jobs under the table cutting grass and doing yard work. A supervisor for a construction site hired her and a few others to clean-up around the construction site and to clean the apartment unit they had finish building.

When the rodeo came to town, the construction contractor talked with his friend and got her and the other workers jobs working the rodeo. Charlie loved working the rodeo and meeting all sorts of people. A few of the riders treated her like their little sister and didn’t mind teaching her how to ride horses and take care of them. One of the female riders taught her how to use a lasso and how to barrel race. Also, how to do tricks on a horse and other things.

Charlie traveled the rodeo circuit with a Native American rider who took her under his wing and taught her how to work a cattle herd and break horses. Running Dog managed to find her a job working as a ranch hand for the Huston’s. They didn’t care she was transgender and the rest of the ranch hands didn’t care either. As far as they were concern she was just another hand to work on the ranch. Mrs. Huston gave her clothes that her oldest daughter had left behind when she went to college to study law. She also insisted that she stayed in the main house instead of in the bunk house. Their own children had families of their own or were in the military stationed far away from the ranch. Mr. Huston was a hard task master, but fair. He would never ask her to do something he wouldn’t do himself. Charlie glances around at the herd and just smile. Everything was turning out just fine this morning. The cattle were happy and it was going to be another hot scorching day.

“God, I’ll be glad when today is over.” Billy wipes the sweat from his forehead. He couldn’t believe how hot and humid it was today.

Charlie looks over towards Billy “I rather it is this hot then being out here during a cold snap.”

Charlie’s first weather on the range had been a learning experience. She didn’t know what to expect and nearly froze her ass off. If it hadn’t been for the thermal underwear, thick socks, wool gloves, scarf and heavy jacket Mrs. Huston had given her to wear. She would have had frost bites.

“I don’t like either one really. Still, I think your right about the hotter weather.” Billy rides over and steer one of the cows that had wonder off from the group back towards the group.

“Who’s cooking tonight?” Charlie wonders who their cook was going to be tonight. She had it a couple of days ago.

“Not me. I think it’s Fred.”

“Oh, boy. That means everyone is going to be sick tomorrow.”

“Maybe, if he makes his famous Mexican chilly. Not only will we be sick and filled with gas, but when it comes out everyone is going to want
some sort of relief from it.”

Charlie could remember the first time she had Fred’s chilly. She had gas all night long and when she went to the bathroom. It had burned
coming out of her ass. She thought someone had rubbed hot sauce on her anal opening.

“Do you miss the big city Charlie?”

Billy knew a little about Charlie and didn’t care if she was a T-girl. She was one tough cowgirl and willing to help any one that needed help.
Mr. Huston treated her like a daughter. The other cowhands that worked for Mr. Huston took Charlie under their wing and was teaching her everything she needed to know.

“Nope, I like the big blue sky over me during the day and at the night seeing a sea of stars shinnying down on me. Plus, the freedom I have here on the range and the people I work with.” Charlie liked the guys she worked with. They were down to earth type of guys and treated her with respect.

“But, don’t you ever miss your birth parents? I mean family is family.”

Charlie looks at Billy and she could see that he meant no harm in asking.

“Billy, if my family was more open minded about my choice, then yes I would welcome them back into my life. The last time we had the holidays off I decided I would go and visit my family to see if anything had changed. My own brother called me a faggot and my mother slammed the door in my face after saying she had no son or daughter. Just before I left, my father came out and said I didn’t exist anymore to him and the next time I came around the house they would call the police on me. So, no I don’t miss my birth family. You guys and the Huston’s are my family now.”

It had been hard on Charlie when they did that and she had cried on the bus on the way back to Montana. She realized then that the only family she had was right here on the ranch and range. She had changed her last name from Brunt to Huston with Mr. And Mrs. Huston’s permission. Mrs. Huston didn’t mind and welcomed her as a daughter to the family. They had gone through the adoption process so, she was officially a daughter of the Huston’s. Since none of their children were interesting in continuing the ranch and she was. They wanted her to inherit the ranch and continue the cattle business.

“I’m sorry to hear that Charlie. You’re a good kid and if I had a daughter, you would be a good role model for her.”

“Thanks Billy.”

“Now, let’s go and do our job before dad decides to dock our wages for goofing off.”

Charlie slides her coffee cup into her saddle bags and ride off towards the herd with Billy right behind her. As she predicted it was another scorching day out on the range and everyone dunk their heads in the cool mountain lake to cool off. Everyone was happy it wasn’t Fred cooking tonight. It was old Dancing Cricket that had that pleasure. His specialty was a deer stew. They had hunted down a mule deer and saved its skin and given its organ to the other critters in the area.

Charlie helps with cleanup and lays her bedroll down near Billy and Thomas. She’s traveled with them the most and felt safe around them.

She stays up and play a few hands of poker with the rest of the guys and around midnight, turn in to restart the same thing tomorrow morning. She does think about how things could had turned out if she hadn’t been so lucky to find someone to take her in and teach her how to ride horses and do tricks on horseback.



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This story is 1668 words long.