Prompt: Baby, it’s Cold Outside
Characters: Bernd, Blitzkrieg, Louis, Sausage, mention of Amber
Word count: 661
Summary: Bernd goes out on a winter’s morning to do his chores…
Genre: slice of life
Author’s notes: Thanks go out to my beta, Kat, for pinking this for me.
Baby, it's cold outside… Bernd thought as he shoveled a path from the house to the stable. Snatches of the song that had been on the radio, when he turned it on in the kitchen as he made a quick breakfast of cocoa and toast, rang in his head, forming a rhythm as he shoveled. It was a lot colder than he had expected, but Bernd liked to dress lightly whenever he went to muck out the stable. The sheer work of shoveling used bedding out of the stall, tended to quickly warm him up. Amber had told him numerous times that he smelled like “horse shit and sweat,” despite a quick shower, before crawling back in bed with her whenever it was his turn.
They had an unconventional marriage, but it not only worked for them, it strengthened their already strong bond. Thankfully, when he was finished mucking out Blitzkrieg’s, Sausage’s, and Louis’ stalls, it was his turn to be with Amber. It was with warm thoughts of snuggling up with her again, that he made short work of shoveling snow.
Bernd stepped into the stable. There was a warm horsiness to it that he loved. “Hey, Blitzkrieg,” he said as he approached his horse’s stall. The old Friesian whinnied in reply. He walked over to Bernd, when he stepped inside his stall. He nosed him, looking for treats. “Later, Boy.” Bernd took hold of his halter and led him out of the stall. He clipped him to the wall and gave him a slice of apple, before getting the wheelbarrow and shovel. Bernd spent the next half hour shoveling the used bedding and dumping it outside in the dung heap/compost pile. When he was finished, he spread new straw down on the floor. Bernd changed the water in Blitzkrieg’s bucket, filled up his hay rack, as well as a bucket with oats. Before turning the horse back into the stall, Bernd groomed him. He would come back after lunch to let him loose in the indoor ring, he and his father had built a couple of summers ago, now that horse was getting too old to be ridden in the snow.
After he tended to Blitzkrieg’s needs, Bernd repeated the process with his son’s pony, Sausage. He swore to himself that next time he would wake Fritz up to come help him, and just like he did every morning, Bernd took one look at the sleeping boy, and let him sleep. When he had finished with Sausage, he went to muck out Louis’s stall.
Bernd liked the miniature donkey. He scratched between the donkey’s ears as he groomed him. Louis blew warn donkey breath on Bernd’s legs. As soon as he was finished with Louis and had him back in his stall, he fed the stable cats and the chickens that lived there. Unlike his father, Bernd never knew where they made their nests, so he was never able to find any of the freshly laid eggs. Not that he minded, as his father would be out here soon enough to get them. After making sure everything was okay, Bernd left the stable and headed back towards the house. He shivered, the warmth of the stable quickly leaching from his bones in the early morning light. Bernd was reminded of the song that had played in his head as he made his way to the stable. The earworm picked up where it had left off, in a never ending loop.
Baby, it's cold outside… Baby, it's cold outside… Baby, it's cold outside…
“You’re damn right it is!” Bernd said to himself as he hurried inside. He basked in the warmth of the mudroom, before hanging up his coat and taking off his boots. He padded downstairs for a quick shower, pulling off his dirty clothes as he went. As soon as he was clean and dry, and dressed, Bernd hurried back to bed and the warmth that was Amber.