Kentucky. The home of Stephen Foster, Fort Knox and Colonel Sanders.
Once a year horse racing fans from all over the world arrive to see the Kentucky Derby.
A lesser known race involves ponies...but not the four legged kind. That's where Minx and I come in.
"Michael, we're going to Kentucky tonight. I have been asked to judge a race, and you are going to be the guest of honor.", Minx said late one morning.
"A race? What kind of race?", I said putting down my load of paperwork.
"Do you remember our trip to England?"
"It's not likely I'm going to forget it. That was one of the strangest things I have ever done." Then it sunk in. "But I don't want to be a guest of honor.", I said quickly.
Minx just smiled, an evil witchy smile and pulled the fox mask out of her desk drawer.
"May I at least travel in the passenger compartment, rather than the hold?", I sighed.
"Yes you may."
The trip was uneventful, except for the look on the security guard's face as Minx's toy bag went through the X-ray machine.
My collar didn't bother her at all. I could see the hesitation in the guard's face as she thought about stopping us, then decided that the best course of action was none at all.
We arrived at the Louisville airport and were picked up by a driver. The trip to our ultimate destination took about an hour on the main road and then twenty minutes more on a side road, ending in a stop at an iron gate that was clearly marked as NO TRESPASSING.
The sign over the top of the gate identified the place as "THE SAPIENS RANCH".
The gate swung slowly open and the driver pulled through and pulled up in front of a well lit ranch house. As the driver opened Minx's door I could hear the sounds of a party going on inside the house. I started to follow Minx but was stopped by the driver.
"Animals are not permitted inside the house. You'll be quartered in the barn."
I had learned early on that protesting was not going to be effective so I followed the driver to my home away from home. The barn was clean and the stalls were filled with fresh hay. I was led past the horse stalls and to a kennel attached to the barn by a walkway.
I was ordered to strip and placed in a cage with a blanket for padding. Another "pet" was in the cage next to me. She was small and dark haired, and wore a bunny tail and rabbit ears. She looked at me momentarily , smiled, and then curled up in a ball again. The driver left after locking my clothes in a cabinet, and turning out the light.
The next morning I was awakened early by a young woman in coveralls switching on the light. She was well tanned, tall, and red haired. She was pulling a cart behind her with bowls on it. I started to greet her, but at the first sound of a human voice her expression turned to stone. I choked back the human speech and barked sharply in appeasement.
She slid a bowl into the bunny cage filled with dry cereal and into mine she slid a bowl of chopped steak. I guess Minx must have given orders for my feeding because the steak was tender and well done. There was even a little A-1 on it. The woman passed us and went into the back of the kennel through a door. I heard sounds of barking and snarling as she entered.
There were definitely some very hostile critters on the other side of that door.
I focused on eating and didn't notice when Minx walked into the room with a tall man in blue jeans. When I did look up all I could see was cowboy boots and then as I scanned up, blue jeans, and blue jeans and blue jeans. This man was TALL!
"Good morning my pet. I wanted our host to meet you.", Minx said as soon as I looked towards her. "This is James Dean, the owner of the ranch. Jimmy, this is M-5, the guest of honor."
He smiled down at me cheerfully, and patted the top of my cage. "W'al I'm happy to meet you M-5. Minx, here has told me all about you. Seems you gave the girls at the Institute a bit of a challenge. I like that sort of spirit. Of course , here we use paint ball guns, none of that laser tag stuff.", he said.
Obviously Minx hadn't told him the whole truth of that little exercise. Like the live ammo that Mistress Simel was using.
I barked sharply in agreement and nodded. He grinned and left, leaving me with Minx. She opened the cage and pulled me out by my collar, then using a leash pulled from her pocket she led me outside on all fours.. I blinked in the early morning light, and then looked out over the scene. I could see the mists rising from the grass and hear birds in the trees. I saw to my left a corral and farther off to the right a grove of trees. Minx walked me to the horse trough at the corral and let me drink, and then led me towards the main ranch house.
When we arrived she tied my lead to a tree and went inside leaving me outside with another "pet". He was lean and well muscled, and had the look of a greyhound. And I don't mean bus. If I was running from him, there was no way I'd beat him. At least not without a head start.
About a week's worth would do.
He regarded me disdainfully, and snorted. I felt like sneering back, but decided not to bother. A fox uses his brains not brawn. Minx came back out with a cup and led me off again. We walked until we were hidden from view then she told me to sit. I sat and she released the leash.
"I thought you might like some coffee.", she said handing me the cup." We can talk here if you like."
"Thank you Mistress.", I said drinking gratefully." May I ask some questions?"
"What am I doing here?" She laughed softly at the question.
"Michael, I am here to judge the pony races. And you are going to be the fox again. Only this time, you won't have to worry about being shot for real. This time it's not dangerous."
"That's what you said the last time." I responded.
"I did not say that. In fact I warned you that you could get your balls cut off. Jimmy has these races every year so that people can show off their pony girls and boys. This year he's added a fox hunt and a rabbit chase. "
"And I'm the fox again."
"Of course. "
"What if I lose?"
"I would be unhappy."
Unhappy Minx was usually followed by unhappier Michael. I guess my expression betrayed my thoughts because she stroked my head and reassured me that she knew I would do my best.
"I do have a reward for you if you win. Something special.", she comforted.
With that she took the cup and led me back towards the kennel. With a short delay to water a tree. You don't buy coffee;you rent it.
She placed me back in my pen and left after making sure my water bowl was full. My neighbor, the bunny , was sitting up in her cage gnawing on a carrot when I returned. She stopped chewing long enough to wiggle her nose at me and wink. I nodded and settled back in my cage to wait for the call to hounds.
Michael Flanders and Donald Swann wrote a song about the elephant and his views on life: "An elephant's life is tedious, laborious and slow...I've been an elephant all me life so I bloody well ought to know..."
Well, a fox has about the same sort of life. I spend too much time in cages waiting for someone to let me out to run. I hate the wait. And there are times I hate the chase; I'm getting too old for this sort of thing. But when I'm in the costume and the time for the hunt comes all my objections fade away.
I become the fox. Quick, cunning, vicious when cornered. They'll never outfox the fox.
Although sometimes I feel more like Wile E. Coyote.
It was afternoon before Minx came in and fitted me into my costume before leading me out to the field. The fox feet and tail, the mask, then the paws.
I flexed my paws and stretched out after my confinement. I saw the pony girls, bare breasted and harnessed to their carts with the drivers standing next to them holding the reins. The pony boys were saddled and they stood tethered to a hitching post, waiting for their turn.
I was led to a horse exercise ring and my leash was hooked to the restraining bar. Minx stepped out of the pen and then cracked a buggy whip over my head and I started running.
Round the rugged rock the ragged rascal ran, the tongue twister says. And I ran in circles , spurred on by the crack of the whip behind me.
Ten, twenty, thirty times I ran the circle until I was sweating like a pig and my bad leg was throbbing. As I started to stumble, Minx ordered me to stop. I slowed down to a walk to take the strain off and finally stopped. She unhooked my leash and led me back to the trough for a drink. I was so hot at that point I laid down in the cool water to the annoyance of the real horses in the corral. Minx just stood and watched until I climbed out. I shook myself like a dog to shed the extra water and then stood dripping.
Minx had stepped back when I started shaking, but the young woman I hadn't seen standing behind me wasn't as careful and stood dripping from head to toe. She was wearing full leather and the water was beading up nicely on it., but her long black hair looked like an ill used mop and her green eyes were narrowed to almost cat like slits as she slowly walked around me, examining my costume. She flexed her riding crop in her hands and reached out with it and touched my muzzle with the tip.
"If you weren't a dumb animal, I would beat you senseless.", she said in a low angry tone, like the rumble of distant thunder.
Minx stepped forward at that point and picked up my leash. "Take care what you say. I'm his owner and no one beats him without my permission.", she said in an equally challenging tone.
"Then keep him on his leash and away from me.", the woman snapped and walked past us, still dripping. Minx looked down at me and shook her head. "No matter where we go, you make some new friends don't you?"
She ordered me back on all fours and led me to the track where the pony girls were practicing. I saw more pony girls there then I had ever seen before, of all sizes and colors. And then I saw an old friend on the starting line for the course.
I looked up at Minx and whined. She looked down at me and smiled. "Yes, Mistress Sheba and Jen are here. And Jen wants to spend time with you."
Minx could see the blush around the edges of my fur mask. Jen and I had been together once before and shared a few secrets that even Minx didn't know about.
I yipped at Minx and watched as Jen pulled the cart with Mistress Sheba faster and faster down the track, with her Mistress snapping the whip to drive her on. She slowed to a halt at the far end and I saw the Keeper walk over to them and speak to Sheba and then start rubbing Jen down with a towel.
Minx led me towards them as I scrambled along trying to keep up with her rapid pace and in the process I accidentally bumped into Jimmy as he talked with two other men dressed in leather. He looked down and laughed at the sight of me in my fox apparal.
"Minx told me about it, but I didn't really believe it until now. You are the strangest looking fox I ever saw, and the biggest.", he chortled. One of the men looked down at me and spat on the grass. "If that's the fox we're here to hunt, I've been cheated. He doesn't look like he could outrun a lame pig."
Jimmy just smiled at him. "Put some money on that opinion son?", Jimmy drawled.
"Fifty bucks I bag him in an hour."
"No guts? Why not a hundred?"
"A hundred. You're on."
Ok Elmer Fudd , catch my rosy red tail.
Minx smiled at the bettor and winked at Jimmy, then tugged me along until we met Jen and Mistress Sheba as they walked back up the field. Mistress Sheba bent over to scratch my head before hugging Minx. Jen stood head down waiting for permission to speak... or whinny at me.
"I see that the fox is dressed for action.", Sheba said." A lean mean running machine"
If you ignore the belly I developed with daily doses of Hagan Daas Vanilla Swiss Almond, I suppose so.
"He's a bit nervous about the hunt. Considering the last time, I can't say I blame him.", Minx commented.
"Well this time he doesn't have to worry about being shot. Did you tell him what his reward for winning is?"
"I thought I'd let you do that."
Mistress Sheba knelt down so she could look into my eyes.
"Jen is very fond of you. If you win, I will put the two of you in the same pen for the night."
I looked towards Jen and she was nodding her head in agreement. I scratched at Minx's leg and opened and closed my mouth.
"You may speak.", she said.
"I am honored Mistress. But I really , well, I ...", I stuttered.
Sheba bent over and whispered in my ear. "That's her reward for winning."
I turned to look at Minx and saw her gentle loving smile as she nodded.
"Yes", was all I said, as I looked towards Jen.
That night after I had been returned to my pen and locked in, the bunny spoke to me for the first time. My first reaction was laughter.
"What's up fox?", she said as she munched on a carrot.
"Well,", I said after I stopped laughing, " not much. Just waiting for a starting time."
"I'm running tomorrow morning. I just wanted to talk to you. I'm Babs,", she said.
Great. I'm talking with Babs Bunny. Arrgh. "Well, I'll take care not to call you Barbara Ann. I'm M-5.", I said.
"That's an interesting name. How did you get it?"
"It's a long story. Let's just say M one through four were not entirely successful."
Our quiet discussion was disrupted by the Keeper rolling in the food cart.
"Animals do not talk!", she snapped.
My mouth moved faster than my brain, as usual. "How do you explain Mr. Ed?"
The Keeper's only reaction was to place a food bowl in Babs' cage and a bowl in mine. It was when I started to eat that her true feelings were revealed. As I put my head down to eat, I was jolted by a dose of high voltage current that threw my head into the bars causing me to collapse onto the floor. I heard Babs scream as the Keeper applied current to her cage as well,sending her to the floor apparently unconscious.
"There will be no more talking animals in my kennel.", the Keeper said coldly, placing the cattle prod back on a hook.
I laid there with my head throbbing and waited for her to leave before trying to rouse Babs. As soon as she did I slipped my arm through the bars of the cage and tried to wake her. She didn't respond to my touch, but she was breathing OK. I finally used a mouthful of water from the bottle mounted on the side of the cage to wake her. She rolled over when I hit her with water and looked at me with tears in her eyes. I wanted out there and then. I like to play, and I don't mind playing rough sometimes,but a cattle prod for an innocent infraction was way over the line. I decided that I would extract the Keeper's teeth one at a time with rusty pliers if I got a chance.
I didn't speak but I snarled at the closed door. Babs wiggled her nose and we both settled into a restless doze waiting for morning. Morning came and so did the Keeper with her food cart. She said nothing as she replaced our bowls with fresh food, but I snapped at her hand when she reached inside. She stepped back, glanced towards the cattle prod and was just starting for it when Minx walked into the room. Minx saw the movement and glanced towards me.
I nodded and then nodded towards Babs. "If you ever use that cattle prod on my slave again, I will shove it up your ass and pull the trigger. Is that understood?", Minx said in a tone guaranteed to fuse steel.
"I am in charge of the animals in this room. And I will take whatever steps are needed to maintain control.", the Keeper replied not giving an inch.
"Were you attacked?", Minx asked sweetly.
"No. Animals don't talk and your pet was somewhat flip in his tone when told to be silent."
Minx looked at me as I shrugged then shook my head.
"If you had given him a direct order, he would have obeyed. As to his tone, there is no excuse. He is a smart mouth. But a muzzle would be more productive. And was the bunny disrespectful to you as well?"
"She was talking, yes."
Minx just shook her head and opened my cage to pull me out.
"This discussion is not over.", were Minx's last words to the Keeper.
As Minx led me towards the track I could see that bleachers had been setup for spectators and cars parked near the house. I hadn't realized exactly how popular the races were. There must have been at least a hundred people milling around the stands along the track. Part of me wanted to slink back into the cage in embarrassment.
No way was I good enough to compete in front of this many people. My pace slowed and Minx had to tug on the lead to get me to catch up with her. I resisted and she stopped and walked back to where I was standing.
"Is there a problem Michael?", she asked sharply. I pointed my muzzle towards the crowd and whined. "Don't worry about them. I'll protect you.", she said stroking my head. I knelt down and covered my eyes with my paws and whimpered.
"What's wrong Michael?", she whispered into my ear. "I'm not sure I can do this. All those people watching. I guess I've got stage fright.", I murmured.
"I know you can do this Michael. Remember who you are and who owns you", she said."Now take a deep breath for me and let it out slowly. Think of who you are."
I did as I was told and let my mind roam. I was M-5. I was the beloved slave of Mistress Minx. I was the fox in the hunt. I had evaded hunters before. Speed was not my asset. My intelligence was my asset. The number of hunters was immaterial. The number of spectators was immaterial. I pushed the doubts and fears into the back of my mind. Failure was not an option.
Minx saw the change come over me and led me forward again and I followed, head high. As she led me towards the track I saw Jen being harnessed by Mistress Sheba to a cart. Although cart is probably not as descriptive as chariot. Picture the chariots from the old gladiator movies and you have it. Sheba looked up and waved at us and Minx led me to her. I knelt in respect as she smiled at me.
"I never thought I'd see you in that outfit again after the last time", she said to me after hugging Minx. I shrugged my shoulders and she understood.
"I know. You're only following orders." Minx looked down at my kneeling form and mentioned my nervousness. Mistress Sheba looked down at me in surprise.
"You're worried about this? The last time you had to worry about me AND being shot. Here it's just a game. And I know you're going to win, even if you don't. You trust Minx don't you?", she asked.
I nodded quickly.
"Good. She trusts that you'll do your best to win. If you don't, it's not the end of the world. Just do as well as you did at the Institute , and you'll do fine."
Well I did survive, and mostly intact at that. Well ,except for the bullet crease across my head. Minx led me over to where Jen was waiting and attached my lead to her chariot.
"Sheba and I are going over to the house for coffee. You stay here ", Minx said as she and Mistress Sheba walked away", and practice your Doctor Doolittle impression.".
"Are you well?", I asked Jen.
She snorted in response.
"When Minx says to do my Doctor Doolittle impression, she's given me permission to speak. After all he could talk to the animals.", I said.
The smile I had first seen many months ago and half a world away blossomed.
"I wanted to see you again. You were so kind to me at the Institute.", she said softly.
"And you fed me and risked punishment to warn me that someone wanted to kill me. Could I do anything other than protect your secret?", I replied stroking her head with my paw.
" I thought about what you said about disrespect and I told Mistress Sheba that I had been sneaking out of my stall. You were right;she knew all along."
"And what happened?"
"She made sure the stall was secured so I couldn't get out anymore, and she had the Whipmaster punish me."
"I'm sorry." , I said examining her back to see the faint scars of a whipping a lighter color against her tanned skin.
"I'm not. I deserved it. And I know how much my Mistress loves me now."
She opened her legs slightly and indicated two rings in her labia with a small lock through them. "She doesn't want me with anyone except her.", she said proudly.
I just looked. I'd seen piercings before, even labia piercings, but this was certainly different. "Jen, why do you want to spend time with me as a reward?", I trailed off.
"Because of who you are. You made me realize what being a good slave could be like. You love your Mistress and she loves you. It's not sex with you two, it's more. I've never seen anything like that before."
"If you had met me when I was married you would have. Denise and I loved each other very much. And when she died I blamed myself and withdrew from the world.
"Then one wet night I stopped to help a young woman with a flat tire. Minx took me and made me her slave. She made me realize that I wasn't at fault and forgave me when I couldn't forgive myself. She returned my life to me. ", I said quietly.
"Have you ever ... "
"If you are asking about what I think you're asking about, the answer is no. " I felt like I was doing a scene from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. You mean she? ..uh huh.
"A long time ago. I'm not exactly a studley type of guy you know." Jen smiled again, a warm sweet smile.
"But you are lovable. " I started to blush as she kissed me, getting a mouthful of fur in the process. "How charming, a dog and pony show.", said a sarcastic voice behind me. I dropped to all fours and said nothing keeping my head down. My head was pulled back sharply to reveal the woman I had soaked the day before.
She was wearing riding clothes and held a short riding crop in her free hand. "I can see you have a real problem with staying in character, as well as poor timing in when you shake. Didn't your Mistress teach you anything?" This was obviously a rhetorical question, not deserving of any answer. My abuse was halted by the arrival of Minx and Sheba
"Is there another problem here?", Minx asked coldly as Sheba untied my lead and led Jen towards the start of the track.
"Your animal was talking to her animal. Obviously you have a problem training your animals properly.", was the sneering reply.
I could see Minx count to ten under her breath. Then count again in Greek.
"My dear," Minx said in a sweet tone that belied the fury," May I have your name?"
"I'm Mistress Cynthea. And you are?"
"I am Mistress Minx. I am also known as Minx the Controller. Perhaps you've heard of me?"
"Should I have?"
"I suppose not. After all you haven't been doing this quite as long as I have.", Minx said airily. You could see Mistress Cynthea's blood pressure climb at those words.
"You are a child. I have much more experience than you do!", she snapped.
"Is that so? Then who taught you to interfere with another Mistress's training? I gave him permission to speak to the pony." , Minx said cuttingly. Mistress Cynthea turned and walked away, face flushed in humiliation.
"Now Michael, shall we go watch Jen's race?", she said with a look of triumph. She's small, but she's mean. And defends her slaves with all of her might.
I followed her on all fours to the small set of bleachers that had been marked for the judges, and she tied my lead to a post. Jen and Sheba were waiting at the starting line with three other pony girls,each in harness. with colored plumes attached to their heads. Jimmy stood at the starting line with a pistol and after a three count, fired it.
The four pony girls ran down the track like the devil himself was after them, the drivers snapping their whips driving the ponies faster and faster. The speed increased from a trot to a sprint, the chariots rattling over the clay of the track. Then there was a crack and the wheel broke on Mistress Sheba's chariot and spilling her to the ground in a heap and dragging Jen down in the process. I quickly tore off my collar and loped to where Sheba was laying dazed in the wreckage of the chariot with Minx not far behind me
.I cursed the clumsiness of my fox pawed gloves, as I pulled Sheba from the shattered wood and laid her out on the ground as Minx unstrapped Jen. Sheba had a large bruise on her forehead, and a pretty deep cut on one leg, but was breathing normally. Jen was a bit cut up from her fall and limping a bit, but otherwise fine. The Keeper ran up with two slaves bearing a stretcher and I gently placed Sheba on it. She was carried off towards the main house with Minx following,while I assisted Jen back to the stables ,helping her as she limped along. I helped her into her stall and started wrapping her slowly swelling ankle with an elastic bandage from a medical kit on the wall of the stables. She winced as I tightened the bandage then relaxed.
"Well, I guess I'm the funniest looking St. Bernard rescue dog you even saw. Sorry, no keg of brandy either", I said lightly as I finished. Jen giggled nervously at the lame joke.
"Is Mistress Sheba all right?", she asked anxiously.
"I think so. Minx went with her, and she seemed all right when I put her on the stretcher. A bit dizzy from the fall, and a nasty cut, but I'm sure she'll be fine after a good nights rest."
"What about the race?"
"You just worry about yourself. I'm sure we can get another cart , and I'm sure that Mr. Dean will give you another chance. It's not your fault the cart broke. "
"But..", she started to object. I took the fox mask off and dropped it on the stall floor, then kissed her. She was startled at first, then relaxed into it. When I released her she let out a long sigh.
"That was wonderful.", she said snuggling against me.
"I'm glad.", I said as she relaxed against me. I was very comfortable with Jen snuggled against me. I like to cuddle, and when I saw her close her eyes and drift off to sleep, and thought how lucky I was.
When I woke up the next morning Jen and I were snuggled together under a blanket. I wondered only momentarily how the blanket had appeared, but knew in my heart that the fine hand of my Mistress had been involved.
"You two make a very cute couple when you're sleeping together.", Minx's voice said softly , breaking into my thoughts.
"Thank you Mistress.", I said in a low voice." You are always so kind to me."
"And you are a gracious liar Michael. But I thank you for that lie. Get up and come with me.", she directed. I slipped from under the blanket taking care not to wake Jen and followed Minx outside.
"Mistress Sheba is going to be just fine, but she can't participate in the race today. Jimmy is willing to let Jen try and qualify again today, but someone will have to drive."
"Mistress,why don't you do it?"
"I have thought about it. But one of the reasons the ponies run is for their owners. I'm not sure that Jen will run for me as well as Sheba." I thought for a long moment.
"Mistress, she'll run for me."
"You can not drive her in the race. Period.", Minx objected .
"But I can sit at the end of the track."
"Do you really think that will work?", she said skeptically.
"Can it hurt to try?"
The proof of the theory came two hours later as Minx and Jen waited at the starting line and I waited at the finish. Jimmy fired the gun and I sat waiting for Jen and Minx as they rushed towards me. If it was possible Jen ran even faster bad ankle and all as I sat waiting , Minx's hair flying in the wind behind her. When they crossed the line I could see the Keeper standing with a stopwatch, shaking her head in amazement. She walked back towards Jimmy and they talked briefly , before Jimmy walked back to where Jen stood panting, while Minx wiped her down with a towel.
"That was the best time so far. If she runs like that in the finals today, you've got a real winner.", he exulted.
As he walked away Jen tossed her head back and whinnied and I howled in reply while Minx watched us and laughed.
It was time though for me to prove myself again to be the cunning fox. I waited while Minx escorted Jen back to her stall and considered my tactics. It would be a bit harder to reach the woods this time, and I had some serious hunters to deal with. Including one that had every intention of collecting on a bet.
By the time Minx returned to where I was chained, I had a basic idea of how I wanted to play the game. She led me proudly towards the starting line of the hunt and when we got there she carefully checked my paws and tail and made a final adjustment to the mask. I also discovered while I was being checked that Babs would also be in the game
Well so much for my plan to see and avoid. Most of the nimrods with the paint ball guns couldn't hit the broad side of a barn anyway, so I had figured on making them waste ammo. But with Babs in the game It would be a bit harder to do. Unless - -.
Minx also looked a bit annoyed at the change in the game, but said nothing I could hear, but I could feel the tension. Babs and I lined up at the starting line of the hunt and Jimmy announced the basic rules of the game.
"I don't want no head shots. The hunt will last an hour, and the animals get a five minute head start. Everybody has ammo of different colors, so I don't want any arguments about who shot what. "You all have one ammo pack with ten shots each so make each one count." He held up an air horn and continued his lecture.
"I'll sound the horn every fifteen minutes during the hunt and when you hear it four times in a row the hunt is over. "I'll count the number of paint blots on the animals and the hunter with the best score wins. If anyone can get the bunny's ears or the fox's tail and bring them back before the hunt is over, I'll pay five hundred dollars."
Well, I've never had my tail priced that high before. At least not in the spirit of good sportsmanship anyway.
"Any questions?", he asked before raising the starting gun. I looked at Babs, and then at Minx and nodded.
"He's ready.", Minx advised.
WHAM! And I was off like a herd of turtles (which makes an incredible clomping sound) , while Babs sprinted far ahead. Obviously she had never read Aesop's Fables. I won't say I took my time, but I certainly conserved my energy until just before the tree line. Then I ran at full speed to the left of the trees and dived into the bushes just as I heard the horn sound.
I laid there and watched until the first hunter approached then continued creeping slowly to the left of his path. Most people scan to the right with their vision, so I was counting on instinct to help avoid detection by my enemies.
When I reached a bare patch of dirt I made sure to walk backwards across it so that anyone trying to track me by my prints would head the wrong way. Of course if you looked closely enough, the pattern would show that I'd been walking backwards, but hey..I gotta have some fun.
The fun decreased for me a few minutes later as the hunter who doubted my abilities, you know, Elmer Fudd, got into firing range and let off a round that missed me and painted a tree purple. I ran to the right and then turned back to get behind him as I heard him thrashing his way through the brush. That path took me back towards three hunters working together.
I waited until Elmer was just about in range again and shifted position to keep pace with the other three hunters. Just before he fired I deliberately thrashed the bushes back and forth and ducked down. Nimrods one,two, and three all charged into the bushes and met Elmer with a most colorful result.
Jackson Pollack would have been proud.
Me, I didn't stick around to watch. I ran across the path and deeper into the woods beyond. In fact almost too deep. Like the old joke goes, how far can a fox run into the woods? Halfway. Then he's running out. A horn blast in the distance. Ok, that's one. Three more blasts to go. Then I felt a thump and saw yellow paint on my chest.
Damn! I looked up to see Mistress Cynthea with a gloating look on her face. "Got you smart ass!", she called.
I would have flipped her off, but fox paws were not built for that. We can't hitchhike either. The fur covers up our thumbs.
Before she could fire again I ran into the bushes with her trying to follow me. After leaping over one fallen tree I laid down to hide against it and waited for her to jump over me. She jumped, turned and fired at my prone body. And missed. I rolled into her legs and knocked her down then got up and ran again and I didn't stop until I reached the edge of the woods.
Another horn blast. Another half an hour. And where was Babs? I hadn't seen hide or hare (sorry) of her since we started.
I managed to stay out of harms way until I heard a third horn blast, then started creeping back towards the leading edge of the woods. It was then I spotted Babs crouching in a thicket a little way from me, and completely untouched by paint.
I could hear some of the hunters ahead of the two of us. If I startled her, she'd probably get shot at least once and I could salvage a draw if not a win. Did I really want to win that badly? Damn I'm stupid.
I crept towards her and hissed for her attention. She turned and waved a paw in my direction.
When I got closer I could see that she hadn't totally escaped as she had a green splatter across her belly fur.
"Looks like you had a close one. I thought the Easter Bunny was a bit more careful with the dye", I said softly
"You too. You look like you got hit with an egg."
"Yeah. Mistress Cynthea got me. She tried again, but I knocked her on her ass."
"You didn't! She's gonna kill you when she catches up with you.", Babs exclaimed softly.
"Hey, the last time I did this, someone used real bullets, so I feel safe by comparison."
"Are you serious?" I looked around to check on the progress of the hunting party before I continued. "If I didn't have the mask on, I'd point out the scar on my head."
There was a rustling ahead of our hiding place and I threw myself on top of her. That stopped the conversation for a moment until the sounds died away.
"Do we want to try for the finish line?', she asked looking around carefully.
"You feel like getting shot? I'm waiting until the final horn, and then I'm still sneaking out of here. I have a price on my head.. or at least my tail."
The bushes parted at that point and I found myself looking up at Elmer.
"Surprise.", he said pulling the trigger as the horn sounded. Babs threw herself in front of the shot and was spattered in purple as Elmer cursed. He started to shoot again and was stopped by the arrival of Mistress Cynthea.
"If anybody is going to take his tail, I will.", she said shooting me in the ass. As Elmer protested, she reached down and yanked the tail out of my ass hole and walked away with it.
He emptied the rest of his gun into my body making me look like a furry grape and stomped away. Babs and I slowly walked out of the woods towards the finish dribbling paint behind us. When we got there, Mistress Cynthea was just collecting on my tail bonus as the crowd applauded. Jimmy looked at the two of us and turned away, then he looked back more closely.
"Hold on there. Who had blue paint balls?", he asked the hunters.
As they checked their loads, he examined both Babs and I. Mistress Cynthea claimed yellow, and another man said green, and a third had red, and so on but no one had blue paint balls, but there was a blue stain on Babs.
"How did that get there?", he asked me. "Speak up."
I admitted having thrown myself on top of Babs to keep her from being shot.
"Then why isn't there more purple on her than that?", he demanded.
Jimmy should have been a detective. In fact I don't know that he's not one.
He turned towards Elmer who was just arriving on the scene.
"I told you I'd get him. Pay up!", he crowed.
Jimmy frowned at that and took a moment before speaking.
"If you shot him, then how did she get blue paint on her. Nobody used blue. ", he said softly.
Jimmy towered over Elmer and started backing him up against a tree. "If you had shot him first, she'd have purple everywhere rather than just one place, and the yellow on him wouldn't have been able to mix with her green to make a blue stain," he continued.
Jimmy picked Elmer up at that point and held him in midair while everyone else watched stunned.
"Ok! I cheated!", Elmer screamed
Jimmy dropped him onto his ass and turned towards Mistress Cynthea who was still holding my tail. She looked him right in the eye and with her whole attitude dared him to question her. She was a bitch, but she had more or less won fair and square. Or at least at the final buzzer. I barked sharply at Jimmy and shook my head no. He took the tail from her and handed it to Minx who had been watching the whole affair with a grim expression. She reattached my leash and led me off to the kennel.
When we got there she stripped my fox costume from me and threw it into a corner , leaving me nothing but the collar. "What in the hell did you think you were doing out there?", she snapped. "You should have won without any trouble at all." I thought about answering, then decided against it. There was no point anyway. She pushed me roughly back into the cage and slammed the door, locked it and walked away. I reclined against the bars and considered the fate that awaited me. I felt terrible about everything. About the only thing that had gone right was Jimmy had won his bet. I had disappointed Minx terribly. I hadn't even done anything wrong.
Jimmy came in with Babs, removed her costume and locked her in her cage as well, before addressing me. "Well, son. You want to tell me what really happened out there?", he asked seriously. I started to speak and then looked towards Babs. She nodded at me, so I took a deep breath and told him what had happened. Jimmy listened to the story, nodding now and again, just to show he was listening I guess. When I was done I leaned back in the cage again and closed my eyes.
"You know, technically she did cheat taking your tail like that. If the horn had sounded, the hunt was over."
"Sir, " I said respectfully," she got it on the horn. If she'd waited for another second, it would have been cheating, but not on the horn. I failed my Mistress, and disappointed your guests.
"If anything, Babs deserves the real credit for blocking Elmer's shot. You would have lost the bet if she hadn't." He smiled at that.
"You know, I heard a lot about you before I invited Minx and yourself here. I knew about you playing in England, but I don't know all the details. And I'd heard from another couple of Mistresses that you were something special.
"The one thing they all agree on is that you are almost too honest for your own good."
I snorted at that pronouncement. "With all due respect Sir, my basic honesty is one of my major assets. Ask Jen about Horton the Elephant and the egg." Babs snickered softly as she recalled the story from her childhood, and Jimmy looked at her sharply. "You find something amusing in that Barbara Ann?", Jimmy said with a menacing undertone.
She winced at the use of her full name and sat mute , not responding to the implied challenge of his authority. He turned and started to leave, then changed his mind. "I'll consider what you said. It's my place and my rules, and if I think someone cheated, they cheated." With that he walked out of the kennel taking the animal costumes with him.
The day passed slowly with nobody to talk to, Babs not being inclined to talk any more. I must have slept most of the day because when I woke up I could see the red tinged light of sunset peeking through the windows. The Keeper came in and switched on the lights as I lay there in the near darkness.
"They want you in the main house.", she said as she unlocked my cage. I crawled out and she unlocked the cabinet with my clothes and handed them to me. I got dressed as she watched impatiently, tapping the palm of her hand with the cattle prod and when I was done she ordered me to follow her. I did so, fearing the worst.
A public humiliation and then being stripped of my collar . She led me into the main house and through a set of double door to a large living room full of people. The Keeper delivered me to Minx and I knelt head down, eyes closed, waiting for the executioners sword to fall.
"Michael, you have not pleased me at all with your behaviour at this event. You did not do all that was asked of you." I stayed mute and I could feel hot tears forming in my eyes from the scolding. I already felt bad enough about losing. I felt her touch my face. "Look at me Michael.", she ordered.
I looked up teary eyed and waited for my punishment.
"You have done better than was asked of you and I am especially pleased." I didn't know what to say as she wiped the tears from my eyes and my confusion showed in my face. Jimmy walked up at that point and grinned down at me. "I asked Jen about Horton the Elephant. And since you were de-tailed on the buzzer, I declared it a draw and canceled all the bets." , he said. Then he turned to the rest of the room. "Anybody have a problem with that?", he demanded.
There was a general sound of agreement with him and the party went on around us. Minx led me to a quiet corner of the room and sat down in a large wicker chair and ordered me to kneel next to her. I sat and watched the party , watching intently as slave girls and boys served drinks and food to the guests. My greyhound looking friend was crouched next to Mistress Cynthea, and had a rather dissatisfied look on his face. His Mistress looked almost as annoyed at the turn in events, and I guess my being dressed was a problem for her. Mistress Sheba, leaning on a cane, hobbled up to Minx and I and sat down in the chair next to Minx. I automatically assumed the position of a foot stool and placed myself under Sheba's bad foot. I could see Mistress Cynthea sneer at my actions, before she knelt down and spoke to her dog slave. The dog slave walked over to me, cocked up his leg and pissed all over my head.
I wanted to get up and slug the son of a bitch but I knew that was exactly what Mistress Cynthea was trying to get me to do. Some of the guests were shocked, others amused, and Minx was outraged and started to rise.
"Mistress, " I said quietly, "it's not worth it. Laugh please." Minx stopped, then sat back again. "I suppose you needed a shower.", she said tightly.
Jimmy was far less amused by the dog slave's actions and ordered Mistress Cynthea to take him outside. "If your dog isn't housebroken, then he stays outside.", he ordered and gripped the dog slave's collar and started dragging him across the polished wood floor. And I hope he got splinters in his ass.
I stayed in position, dripping piss and waited for someone, anyone, to get me a towel. When Jimmy came back in he had the Keeper with him and ordered her to take me out and wash me. A slave girl rushed over to wipe up the mess and replace me as Sheba's footstool, and the Keeper led me away. I expected to be led outside and a hose turned on me, and I wasn't disappointed. At least the Keeper used the tap from the Jacuzzi outside so the water was warm. After a few minutes of hosing she ordered me to strip and then she poured dish soap on me and started scrubbing me with a stiff brush.
The scrubbing was worse than a flogging. I could feel my skin starting to peel slightly like a bad sunburn and the soap burned as it flowed over my body. When she started doing my hair I wanted to scream as the brush pulled it. It was a relief to be hosed off at last laying on the damp concrete feeling like I had been flayed alive. The only thing that hadn't been done was to have salt poured in my wounds.
She took my damp clothes and left me there pink and tingling on the concrete of the patio. I was a bit cool from the breeze blowing across the grass, and I could see a bit of steam rising from the Jacuzzi as I laid there shivering, waiting for her return. I crawled over to the side of the Jacuzzi and curled next to the heater to wait for her return. It seemed like she was gone a long time , but when she returned she picked up my leash and led me back inside naked and returned me to Minx.
I reassumed my position as Sheba's footstool releasing the slave girl for other duties, as Minx inspected my somewhat flushed body. "Lost a little skin did you?", she said running her fingernails over my shoulders making me cringe from the sensation. She noticed my reaction and commanded me to stay put. Mistress Sheba removed her legs from my back to expose more area for Minx to tease with her nails. With each slow stroke of Minx's nails I wiggled and moaned from a mixture of the pain and the tickling sensation of her touch. She deliberately kept her touch light and I tried not to move as I became more and more sensitive. Her touch was maddening as I tried to maintain my position and not move away. The pain from the sensation finally became too much and I collapsed slowly face down on the floor weeping in frustration. I felt her place her booted foot on my head in triumph
"Too much gentleness can be a torture too.", she said.
With that she called for the Keeper and I was returned to my kennel for the night.
Early the next morning I was awakened by the Keeper, who unlocked my cage and handed me my clothing again. While I was getting dressed Minx came in and dismissed her , and after I finished dressing, escorted me to the main house for breakfast. As we ate in the kitchen, Minx explained why I had been released from my animal role for the time being.
"I need you to talk to Jen. She seems somewhat uncertain about what I expect from her. I think if you speak to her as a fellow slave, she might be more open."
I paused in my eating in surprise. "Excuse me Mistress. Open about what?"
Minx sighed. "She doesn't seem to respond to me the way she does Sheba. I would ask Sheba to speak to her, but I really don't want to cause a problem for Jen. If Sheba thought Jen was willfully disobeying an order from a Mistress, she would be punished."
I sat thinking about the things that Jen and I had discussed the day Sheba was hurt. Did Minx need to know that Jen and Sheba were lovers? What sort of reaction could I expect if I told her and she didn't know.
"Mistress, I will find out what I can. But I don't really like being a spy."
Her response to that was to slam a hand down on the table and ordered me to my knees. "M-5, you go too far. You WILL carry out my orders regardless of your personal feeling in this matter. Is that VERY clear!"
Anytime Mistress Minx refers to me by my training number, I know I've crossed a line and I instinctivly return to my early training
"Yes Controller!", I snapped from my kneeling position on the floor.
"Then get out of here. The race is this afternoon and I want her ready to run. Make sure she understands what I demand of my slaves." I scrambled to my feet and left the room, headed for the stables. I reached the stables and went to Jen's stall. She was still sleeping with only the swell of her breasts rising and falling betraying any sign of life.
Unlocking the gate, I went in and sat next to her, gently stroking her head and calling her name softly. She opened her eyes and smiled gently, then the expression turned to fear. "Don't worry. Minx knows I'm here. "
"I'm glad you came to see me. My Mistress hasn't come since she fell.", she said sitting up.
"I saw her last night. The cut on her leg is making it hard for her to get around. But that's not what I came here for. We need to talk, slave to slave." She looked a bit unsettled than nodded.
"Are you afraid of Mistress Minx?", I asked.
"No. Well, yes. I just don't know what she wants from me, so I'm nervous."
"You should be. She demands the best from her slaves. And I have the marks to prove it. I have failed her on occasion, and have been punished for it. She corrects me with love, but when punishment is called for, she does it without mercy." Jen shuddered slightly, so I could see my lecture was having the desired effect.
I just hoped wind of this conversation never got back to Minx or I'd have the whip marks for weeks to come.
"What does she want?", Jen asked, shaking slightly.
"She wants to win. I need your help. What drives you the hardest, what makes you want to win?"
"My love for my Mistress. Just like you.", she said.
"You ran very fast on your bad leg for me. Why?"
She blushed slightly. "Because you believed in me. You didn't blame me for the accident."
I snorted. "Murphy's Law is no respecter of other peoples plans. Has anyone blamed you?"
"Then leave it at that. But Minx sent me to find out what would make you perform. I told her I didn't like being a spy and was scolded for it. I didn't tell her that you and Mistress Sheba were lovers. She doesn't need to know. "
"But what can I do?", she asked.
I believe in you, and so does Mistress Sheba. But are you willing to suffer pain to prove yourself to Mistress Minx?"
There was a long pause while she thought about it. I knew what was in her mind. I had faced the same question over and over during my time as Minx's slave. But my reasons were different from Jen's. Mine was a matter of an unpayable debt of gratitude. Jen owed only Mistress Sheba her loyalty and love.
"I will do anything that you ask of me. I trust you."
"This is not for me. This is for Mistress Minx."
"I will offer that . . . sacrifice to her. Please tell her I want to see her." I started to get up, but she pulled me back down beside her. "Just one thing before you go. Please suck my nipples for me. I want them hard for ...."
I took her firm breast in my mouth and sucked gently on it, feeling the nipple harden. A gentle nibble made Jen quiver as I switched to the other one and repeated the process.
"Now go and tell your .. our Mistress, that I would like to see her." , she said as I finished. I left her sitting, nipples erect, waiting for Minx to come to her.
I reported to Minx that Jen would like to see her and followed her back to the stall where Jen was still waiting.
"What do you want to speak to me about?", Minx asked severely.
"I wish to prove myself to you Mistress.", Jen said , with her head down.
"And how would you do that?"
Jen looked up at Minx and said in a soft, yet proud tone. "I wish to have my nipples pierced by you. Then you could attach the reins to my nipples to drive me harder."
Minx looked at her, then looked at me.
"Is this one of your ideas M-5? Because if it is, I'm going to....", Minx started to say.
"It was my idea Mistress.", Jen interrupted.
Minx examined her critically, looking deep inside Jen's soul, searching for falsehood or deception.
"You know only your Mistress has the right to do that.", she said coldly." What makes you think I would pierce someone else's slave?"
"Because you are my Mistress right now."
Minx said nothing for a long moment, then directed me to go back to the main house and fetch a small black case from her room, and to have Mistress Sheba come back to the stables with me. A few minutes later we were in the stable when Minx stood looking down at a silent Jen.
After the slaves that had carried her to the stable had been dismissed, and Minx had explained the request, Mistress Sheba ordered Jen to crawl to her on her belly like a worm.
" I expect you to do you best for any Mistress that I have you serve. I want you to apologize to Mistress Minx for having offered yourself like a common whore to her.", Sheba scolded.
Before Jen could speak, Minx intervened. "Mistress Sheba, I am aware of the influence of my slave on yours. I suspect he had more than a little to do with this situation.", she said.
Mistress Sheba hesitated and then looked at me criticaly.
"What steps would you like to take in this matter?", Mistress Minx prompted.
"I had intended to pierce her at a time and place of my own choosing but now would be as good a time as any. You may pierce her if you wish.", Sheba replied.
"There is an examining table in the other room. That will do just fine for her piercing.", Minx observed
."You heard her slave. Get your filthy body off that floor and go lay down on the table.", Sheba ordered Jen, prodding her with her cane. Jen scrambled from the floor and I followed carrying the black case.
The table was cold stainless steel, with nothing to pad it and Jen moaned slightly at the touch of the cold metal on her naked flesh.
At Minx's direction I tied Jen's hands and feet to the corners and waited kneeling for further orders. Minx uncapped a bottle of rubbing alcohol and poured it onto a sponge, and washed Jen's shivering naked body with it. Jen's nipples erected from the cold and shock and her areole contracted, then returned to normal. Minx ordered me to watch as she opened the black case and laid out the piercing implements for use.
"This was your idea, so your punishment is having to watch me do it
I cringe every time I have to watch one, and it was very evident that I wasn't going to get a choice. Minx sterilized the piercing needles and rings with Betadine solution and stepped back to wait while Jen started panting from the fear and excitement. Mistress Sheba stroked her head and whispered to her and then turned to me.
"Slave, pick me up and place me over her face.", she ordered. I hesitated before moving, then lifted Mistress Sheba in my arms placing her over Jen's face. I knew the smell of her womanly juices under the leather skirt must have been maddening to Jen, and I could see her nipple start to erect again, only this time in total arousal.
Minx ordered me to hold the tray with the sterile needles as she pulled on a set of latex gloves and pinched the right nipple. Jen squirmed under her Mistress and I could see that Mistress Sheba was beginning to become aroused herself.
"Breath deeply slave. Breathe your Mistress's aroma and hold your breath.", Minx ordered. As Jen held her breath, Minx swiftly inserted the needle into the pinched nipple and then attached the first ring. Jen's moans of pain were smothered under the skirt of her Mistress as Minx pinched the ring closed. "Breathe again and hold it when I tell you to.", Minx ordered taking a grip on the other nipple.
I watched as the other nipple became distended from her pinch and then the command to hold her breath. The needle slid swiftly into the second nipple and the ring followed quickly. "Breathe, slave." Mistress Sheba raised herself up just enough for Jen to exhale in a shudder sigh, then smothered her again. "Pleasure me slave. Thank me for permitting your piercing with your tongue.", she ordered.
As Jen lapped her Mistress, Minx removed her gloves and we softly left the room. When we returned a little while later, Jen was sitting on the floor examining her new ornaments and Mistress Sheba was napping on the exam table. Jen knelt head down at Minx's feet and waited silently for her to speak.
"Michael, " Minx whispered softly," take Sheba back to her room. I wish to speak to Jen alone." I picked up the sleeping woman and carried her back to the main house. I slipped her into the bed and as I started to leave I heard her murmur Jen's name.
By the time I returned to the stable, Minx had Jen in her harness and was placing the bit in her mouth. She threaded the reins through the bit, looped them once then ran them down and clipped them to Jen's nipple rings. As Minx jerked the reins, Jen moaned as the rings stretched her newly pierced nipples.
"Good. Nice and sensitive just like I wanted. If I pull like that, You'd better run like you life depended on it. Or at least your sex life.", Minx teased.
Jen nodded her head in understanding, then waited as Minx put her pony ears and plume in place. The final touch was the insertion of Jen's tail. Minx pulled on a glove and lubricated Jen's tight ass hole with a bottle of lubricant with a nozzle on it, pumping the thick lubrication up her ass hole, then withdrew the tube and slid the tail into place and strapped it in . Jen wiggled and then relaxed as the lubricant warmed up and Minx directed me to take her outside and attach her to the cart. I walked her out using the gentlest pressure I could on her reins and harnessed her to the chariot. "Michael," Minx called from inside the stable," I want you to get her warmed up. I'm going to the house to dress for the race."
"Yes Mistress", I called back walking Jen towards the track. She pranced happily as we approached the race course. I could see other pony girls and boys warming up with their trainers as well. Mistress Cynthea was there with a new slave, a muscular black woman I had not seen earlier , harnessed as a pony girl and her dog slave, also in harness as a pony boy. Her eyes hardened as she saw me clothed and escorting Jen. I walked Jen back and forth down the length of the track warming her up. At length Minx came out dressed in her riding leathers and carrying a buggy whip. As she walked towards us I knelt in respect and waited for her. She took the reins from me and ordered me to rise.
"It's almost time. Are you both ready? ", she asked. Jen and I looked at each other and both nodded. Minx led Jen towards the starting line as I followed. The Keeper was arranging the girls for the races, while Jimmy oversaw the pony boys. Jen would be racing against four other girls for five laps, while the pony boys would run ten laps. The stands were beginning to fill with people and I saw that Mistress Sheba was sitting in a wheelchair waiting for me. I knelt next to her as Minx drove Jen to the starting line as waited for the signal to begin. It wasn't very long before Jimmy walked to the judges stand and announced the start of the race.
"Gentlemen and ladies, this is what you have all come here to see . This is the pony girl event of the year, and you are all privileged to see it at my ranch. If you need a pony girl or boy trained, or just want to buy one outright, you come see me and my Keeper. We'll fix you right up. This is a claiming race for pony girls, five laps around the track.", he called into the PA system. "Are the racers ready?", he yelled.
All of the Mistresses raised their whips as a sign of readiness. I saw Minx look towards where Mistress Sheba and I waited and salute with her whip. Jimmy raised the pistol and fired. The girls started running slowly at first, then faster as their drivers urged them on with the whip. Mistress Cynthea's pony girl took the lead and started pulling away from the rest of the group. Jen increased her pace and was soon on her heels with Minx snapping the whip across her shoulders driving her on. The first lap passed with Jen and the black girl keeping pace with each other, and no one else even close. During the second lap one of the other girls stumbled and fell spilling her Mistress to the ground as the others passed around them. Two laps left and I could see that Jen was starting to tire as the black girl started pulling ahead by a half length. Minx drove her harder and I could see the welts on Jen's back as the lash cut deeper into her flesh , then I heard Jen scream in fury and start running in blind anger past the leader and around the turn for the final lap. Her opponent was no less driven by Mistress Cynthea and soon closed the gap with Jen maintaining a small lead as Minx swung the lash harder. Shoulder to shoulder they raced down the final stretch and with a last burst of speed Jen crossed the line and then slowing to a walk, collapsed to the ground.
Minx jumped from the chariot casting her whip aside while I ran towards the two of them. Blood was trickling from the wounds on Jen's back and I saw that the reins had torn open her nipples so that they too were oozing blood. She lay there on her side gasping for breath and then fainted. Minx and I looked into each others eyes in mute horror at what the girl had endured in the name of love.
Love for her Mistress and for Ay'esha. She had proven herself, but at what cost? I took her broken body in my arms and started to weep as Minx waved for help.
I looked towards Mistress Cynthea as she laughed heartlessly at Jen's fallen body and then turned to lash her slave viciously for her failure. The laughter enraged me.
Was this woman without feelings at all? I almost wished I could put her and Lydia together to see who would come out on top. The Keeper arrived and with surprising gentleness took Jen in her arms and carried her towards the house. I started to follow but was restrained by Minx.
"I need you here right now. I'm going to take Sheba to the house to be with Jen.", she ordered.
I nodded and wheeled the cart off the track and parked it near the stands. The preparations for the men's race continued around me and I saw Mistress Cynthea harness her pony boy to the cart.
"You'd like to beat her wouldn't you?", said a voice from behind me. I turned to see Barbara Ann standing behind me, dressed in blue jeans and a flannel shirt.
"Yes.", I snarled, " I would like to beat her."
"What are you willing to do?" I looked at her in surprise.
"What are you really asking me?"
"If you had the chance to run against that slave of hers, would you?" Would I? He looked faster than I did, and I knew he was in better shape. I tried to think it out rationally, but my mind kept going to Jen's bleeding body and Mistress Cynthea's laughter.
A few minutes later I was naked and in harness and Barbara Ann was lubing my ass hole for the insertion of the tail. It hurt going in, but I knew it would hurt more coming out. She drove me to the line with the rest of the pony boys and I heard Mistress Cynthea protest to Jimmy about my entry.
Jimmy cut her argument short with one word. "Afraid?", he drawled.
She walked away with only an angry look towards Babs and I.
"Gentleman and ladies, we now have the pony boy race for your amusement. And it seems that we have a bit of a grudge match today. Mistress Minx's slave will be running today against Mistress Cynthea's slave. You saw what happened last night, so this promises to be interesting.", Jimmy announced. I waited and focused my energies on the task at hand. This had now become a matter of honor. Jen had paid with her blood; it was my turn now.
The gun sounded and I felt the first touch of the lash across my back as Babs drove me forward. Mistress Cynthea pulled ahead easily, her pony boy striding well ahead of me. I was clumsy having never pulled a cart and driver before but I quickly adjusted to it and by the end of the first lap I was running easily with the main group of pony boys. Nine laps to go and I was already feeling the pain in my legs from the effort to keep pace. My knees were hurting from the effort of running full out and I could feel my ankles starting to bind up.
By the sixth lap I was feeling the blood run down my back from the whip lash of Babs, trying to spur me on to more speed. My legs got even heavier with each moment and the pounding of my feet into the clay of the track sent waves of pain through my whole body and I was beginning to grey out from the effort.
I was not alone in my agony as some of the others had failed and the field was reduced to only four of us. At the end of the ninth lap I didn't care anymore. I was exhausted and beginning to stumble. I knew it was hopeless, as the greyhound like body of Mistress Cynthea's slave drew ahead even more.
But still I couldn't quit. I couldn't give her the satisfaction of seeing me quit, I had to keep going. For Minx and Jen and Sheba, and even Babs. I had to keep going as long as I could. Die trying maybe as I felt my heart pounding wildly in my chest.
Then as I watched in amazement I was passed by one of the other carts and saw it pull ahead of Mistress Cynthea. I was going to lose but so was she. A hollow victory, but a victory was within my grasp. I stumbled across the finish line last and collapsed in a heap as Babs leapt from the cart before it turned over.
As I laid there panting after my failure, a shadow fell over me. "You ran a good race.", a womans voice said. I squinted my eyes and looked up at her. She was short, and blonde and wore her hair in a pony tail.
"Thank you.", I wheezed.
"No, thank you. If you hadn't forced Cynthea to drive her slave so hard, I wouldn't have won. You wore him down for me.", she said in a cheerful voice. I started to sit up but the whole planet decided to orbit around me and I fell back again.
"Are you all right?", she said, helping me to sit up and unhooking my harness, as Babs came towards me with a bottle of Gatorade.
"I think so, but I'll never be quite the same again. I don't even think I can walk.", I said, still trying to get my breath. I sucked at the Gatoraid bottle greedily and then without warning, vomited it all back up and fell back again.
"I'm going to get a litter for you.", the young blond woman said. "Babs, you stay here and keep him still."
I guess a perfect description of her would be short,loud, and bossy. She scurried off and I laid there exhausted and embarrassed. When the blond returned she had the Keeper and Minx with her as well as two of the house slaves. They rolled me onto the litter and carried me towards the stables at Minx's direction with Minx scolding me every step of the way for my stupidity.
"I have never ceased to be amazed by the things you do. I have told you repeatedly not to try and do things other slaves have been trained to do. You could have hurt yourself severely." , she raved. I just laid there and didn't say anything, just thought of the song Streets of Laredo.
When they placed me on the exam table, and after dismissing the Keeper and the two slaves, I just laid there waiting for Minx to stop scolding me.
I guess the little blond knew what was on my mind because she interrupted Minx to ask how Jen was.
"She'll be fine with a little rest Kitten. I didn't need to stitch up anything, just removed the rings so she could heal up a little. But as for this fool.....", Minx said finally running out of things to say about my stupidity.
"May I say something Mistress?", I said quietly.
"What could you possibly say about this whole affair? I'd really like to know."
"It was a matter of pride."
That stopped her and amused the blonde Minx referred to as Kitten no end.
"A matter of pride? Who's pride, Michael?", she said pointedly.
"I couldn't let that Amazon ...woman and her pet piss all over my pride as well as my head . Jen ran her heart out and Mistress Cynthea laughed. I had to try to beat her. And I did in a way. She and I both lost. And from my point of view, that's a win. MAD. Mutualy Assured Destruction."
Minx shook her head in annoyance at me and turned to Babs and the blonde. "Kitten,would the two of you mind leaving us alone? I think I need to have a little talk with him in private.", she suggested.
They both left, but not before the blonde kissed me on the cheek as she left.
"I'm glad that Mistress Kitten won the pony boy race.", Minx said watching the blonde leave." She is a very good Mistress. And you are lucky that you didn't hurt yourself more than you did. I think a long hot soak in a jacuzzi and a massage will fix you right up. But if you ever do anything like this again without my permission, I will make sure that you hurt even worse than you do now. No more foolishness." , Minx chided.
"Mistress, I have run my last race and done my last fox hunt. Please retire my costume. I'm tired of being a fox. I think I'd like to be something else. Something more sedate." I said tiredly. She smiled indulgently at me and nodded.
"We'll talk about it later."
A few hours later after a massage, a two hour soak in the Jacuzzi, and a few stitches , Minx and I were on our way to the airport for the trip home. "I'm sorry that you and Jen weren't able to spend more time together.", Minx said, "but I'm sure you'll get another chance sometime."
"Well, we did get to sleep together. And Mistress Sheba said she would let Jen come and visit me .That was very nice of her.", I replied looking out the window of the car at the passing scenery. Minx was noncommittal and said nothing more until we reached the airport. When we arrived she ordered me to assist the driver in carrying the bags to the check in counter only to discover our flight had been delayed for an hour. Minx decided that we would wait in the coffee shop and I excused myself to use the mens room.
When I got into the rest room I found an old "friend" grooming himself in front of the mirror. I considered pissing on his leg, but decided that was alittle childish. I did what I needed to, but made it a point to follow him at a discreet distance. I spotted him and Mistress Cynthia waiting for a flight to Miami. I had an idea. Not a real nice idea, but an idea. A quick stop at the airport gift shop for a can of baby powder and a package of jerky in a zip lock bag and I was ready.
I wandered towards the waiting area for Mistress Cynthea's flight keeping my eyes on her flight bag as it sat on the floor. I was aided in my endeavors by the PA system making an announcement about her flight. Instinctively she and her companion turned towards the sound, giving me the time I needed to drop a small plastic bag in the side pocket and walk away. A quick stop in a phone booth and I rejoined Mistress Minx where she was waiting in the coffee shop. "It took you long enough.", she complained,as she signaled the waitress for service. "Had to see a woman about a dog.", I said casually.
It only took a few minutes before I heard a commotion outside and saw Mistress Cynthea and her dog slave being escorted away by two large security officers. "I wonder what that's all about?", Minx asked as she watched. I didn't say anything, just looked as innocent as I could.
It was after dinner and when we were walking towards our flight that Minx dropped the other shoe. "Wipe the powder off your shoes", she directed as we approached the metal detector. Oops.
She didn't ask any questions. She didn't need to. It was after we landed at home and were on our way back to Minx's house that she asked what animal I'd rather be, if I didn't want to be a fox or a pony anymore.
"Well, I thought about being a pig. A nice fat pot bellied pig.", I told her.
"I don't see why not." She paused and the smile that I knew meant trouble appeared on her face. "By the way, I'm having a luau tomorrow."
A luau !? Poi vey!!