Life in the Country
My mother was adamant that I move with her. When she split from my father, I did everything I could to try and stay in town, where my friends were, and where I had lived for almost all my life. There would be no getting out of it.
It wasn’t my issue that she had met this guy who owned this huge ranch. Hell, I didn’t even like the guy. Oh, he was nice enough, and seemed obsessed with winning me over by buying me things. That, in itself, kind of bothered me.
So, we were moving to Montana… not cool. I think I complained all the way there. I had never even heard of this place, and it sure wasn’t on any map. Oh, the ranch was easy to find on Google Earth. I just had to look for the most isolated place that was the farthest it could possibly be from civilization. Unbelievable.
I had to laugh when my mother said we needed to fill the tank all the way, because we might run out of gas before we saw another station. It just drove home what I was heading for.
Now, I wasn’t a complete jerk. I was the first to say how beautiful the country was around the ranch, as we drove down the five-mile-long driveway. The cloud of dust we kicked up could probably be seen for miles.
The ranch sat in a valley, with huge mountains all around it. Apparently, everything that you could see, belonged to this guy. Oh, he does have a name. Brant. How’s that for cowboy? Oh, and I think I forgot to mention, my name’s Kat, short for Katrina. My mom, well, she’s just Mom, but her name is actually Kelly.
I have to be honest, the place was not as impressive as the land around it. It was big, like five bedrooms, but nothing like I was expecting. Brant was there to help us unload the SUV, of course, and was more than welcoming.
The way he carried on about how happy he was that we were there, it was almost creepy. He was the one who showed me to my new bedroom. Let’s put it this way, it was not small. The best part, I had my very own bathroom.
Slowly, I started unpacking all my stuff, my music, my clothes, and my high school diploma, which I had just received two weeks before. I guess it was a good thing that I didn’t have to go back to school in the fall, because who the hell knew where a school was, let alone a town or a restaurant, or… anything!
There was light at the end of the tunnel. I turned eighteen at the beginning of August, so if I wanted to leave, there wouldn’t be a lot anyone could do about it.
I stood in the bathroom mirror, looking at myself. My hair was long, like to the middle of my back. My mother wanted to say I was a blonde, but I was more of a mousey brown. I was blonde when I was younger, but it changed when my hormones kicked in. I tried to think of a reason not to just cut it all off. It wasn’t like I would be trying to impress anyone out there. The hour a day I spent washing, conditioning, and brushing it was a little bit of a pain, one that was well worth it when there were boys to impress. I’d have to give it some thought.
After a few days, I came to realize that we were not alone on the ranch. It turned out Brant had about twenty people working for him. Most of them stayed out in what Brant called the bunkhouse. It looked more like a barracks than a house.
Most of the guys stayed to themselves, for the most part. I wasn’t sure if Brant had instructed them to steer clear of us, but I’d be damned if I was going to sequester myself just because a bunch of young men were hanging around. Hell, a couple of them were even my age.
Alex was about a year older than me. He was the youngest of the ‘hands’ and took a lot of grief for it from some of the more seasoned cowboys. He was shy, and I wondered if he’d even seen a girl before, the way he acted around me.
To be honest, it was refreshing to be around a guy whose prime directive wasn’t getting into my pants. Alex was the first one to get me onto a horse. Brant didn’t seem to like the idea, but I’d be damned if I wasn’t going to at least try and have some fun.
Over the next few weeks, Alex and I grew closer although he was insistent on keeping anything between us a secret. He’d get razzed by the guys about spending time with me, but it didn’t seem to stop him.
When we’d go out riding, I would tie my hair into a ponytail or braid it. He seemed to feel sorry for me that I had to deal with it.
“Wouldn’t it be easier to just cut it?” He asked, one day.
“Why? You don’t like my hair?” I asked, sliding my braid through my hand and flipping it back over my shoulder.
“Naw, I like it just fine. It’s just it seems like you’re always pissed off at it.”
“All girls get pissed with their hair. It’s all part of being a girl.” I explained. “It’s a love, hate relationship.”
“That’s just weird. You should come on down to Bailey Bridge Farm with me next Saturday. Janny Right cuts all the boys’ hair. I bet she’d cut yours alright.” He smiled, slipped the hat from his head and ran his fingers over his grown-out crop.
“I think I’ll pass, if that’s alright, Alex. Nothing against buzzcuts, but I’m not sure I’d look too good with one.” I chuckled.
“Well, you’d probably be a hell of a lot more comfortable.” He suggested.
“What’s at Bailey Bridge Farm?” I asked, curious.
“Old man Right, he’s a sheep farmer. Janny’s his daughter.” Alex pointed over a long hill that was only just visible for the haze. “About ten miles, that a way.”
I wasn’t sure what happened that day, but I think that Alex had planted a seed that seemed to be growing inside me. The more I thought about letting Janny Right cut my hair, the more I seemed to want it.
Of course, my mother would probably wig out if I came home sporting anything even resembling a boy’s haircut. Then there was the idea of having a bunch of ranch hands laughing it up watching me get my hair cut off. Still, the idea was enticing, and it even gave me a bit of a twinge down there whenever I would think about it.
Saturday came and went, but I wasn’t ready to have some farmer’s daughter have at my hair. I’d see Alex sporting a neatly trimmed head every other Sunday and it bugged me that I didn’t have the courage to go through with it.
My eighteenth birthday had come and gone in the meantime. Everything was pretty low-key. Not like we could go out to supper anywhere.
One thing that did seem to be happening, was that Alex and I were growing fond of each other. When he had free time, he’d be knocking on my window for me to spend time with him. It was all pretty innocent, although I kind of wished it wasn’t.
I’d grown fairly proficient on a horse, thanks to Alex, and I loved to go riding on my own. It was on one of those rides that I managed to get my hair snarled on a low-hanging branch. The horse didn’t want to hold still while I wrestled with it so when he reared up and I fell off, my hair stayed caught, yanking out a good clump.
I wasn’t hurt or anything. Looking up and seeing my hair tangled in that branch, seemed to be the last straw. I was going to see Janny Right, but I was going alone.
The following morning, when everyone but my mother and I were out with the cattle, I went for a ride. I grabbed one of the myriad of hats that were hung by the door, and threw it on over my loosely braided hair.
I followed the road east for a good nine miles until I came to what must have been the border of Brant’s land and the Right’s. Over the next rise, a modest house sat prettily in a valley. “That must be it,” I said to myself, out loud.
It felt a little weird riding up to the house, but I was determined to get this over with. Knocking on the door, a young woman answered. She may have been a little older than me.
“Hi, my name’s Kat. I live on the next ranch.” She gave me a weird look, like I was high or something. “Are you Janny?”
“Yeah. I’m Janny. What can I do ya for?” She asked, tersely.
“I was hoping, well… can you cut my hair?” I had said it, and it just sort of hung there in the air for a minute.
“Who told you I cut hair?” Janny asked.
“Alex. He’s a friend of mine.” I explained.
“Hmmm. From what I hear, y’all are more than friends.” She opened the door wider. “Come on in, then.”
I wasn’t sure about anything at that moment. There I was, about to allow this girl that I didn’t know from Adam, cut my hair, knowing that the only cut I’d seen that she’d done was a buzzcut. For a moment, I thought about just turning around and leaving.
“Have a seat here. Lemme get my stuff.” She insisted, indicating a chair that sat all by itself by the fireplace. I heard her coming back and was turning to speak to her when the most incredible pain shot through the right side of my head.
When I woke up, everything was dark. I wasn’t sure how long I’d been unconscious, but I knew that it had been a while. It was about then that I noticed that I was in a barn of some sort, and I wasn’t alone. Not only that, but whoever put me there had taken my clothes.
My head hurt, and I was scared. I began to realize through the pervading darkness that the presence I felt in the barn with me wasn’t human. They were sheep. Well, it was a sheep farm after all. I thought to myself, not laughing but just not believing my situation.
I must have dozed off again, because when I woke up, the sun was just beginning to rise. There were maybe half a dozen sheep in with me, and they seemed to be keeping their distance. I was grateful for that.
I could hear people outside, working, and thought about shouting out that I was there. Then I looked down and wondered what a bunch of sheep hands might do with a naked girl, and I kept my mouth shut.
I was assuming that Janny had done this to me. Why, was anyone’s guess. Just as I was coming up with some reasons, Janny showed up through the side door of the barn.
“Kat, right?” She hissed.
I nodded, embarrassed over being naked in front of her. “Why…
“I’ll tell you. Alex and I, well… you just stay the hell away from him.”
Everything was becoming crystal clear. I opened my mouth to speak but she rushed forward and stuffed a wad of twine between my teeth and pushed me onto my side. She was incredibly strong. Wrapping a length of the same twine, she managed to essentially hogtie me.
“I want you to watch something.” Janny grabbed one of the sheep, forcing it down onto its side. Reaching up for an implement on a hook, she held it up for me to see. The thing whined to life, and she set to work sheering the sheep. I couldn’t help but watch, she was so efficient and quick. In less than a minute she had reduced the wool on the lamb down to the shortest fur. “I wonder how long it’ll take me to sheer you?”
I struggled against the rope that tied my wrists and ankles together, moaning against the ball of twine that abraded my lips with its roughness. All to no avail. With long smooth strokes, Janny ran the sheep clippers over my head. If the entire process took ten seconds, it was a lot. The most puzzling thing was, as traumatic as the event had been, I was so aroused that I was worried Janny might notice. Being naked, there was nothing to disguise the moisture that gathered between my tightly bound thighs.
Then, as if to confirm my humiliation, I saw her sniff the air. A smile ran over her face as she looked down at me, still roped on the floor of her barn. She swiped one gloved hand through my sex, and I saw it come away coated in my wetness.
“I underestimated you, Kat.” She stood, hanging the clippers back on their hook. “I’m gonna make you an offer, girly girl. I’ll give you back your clothes and let you ride on back with a little dignity. That’s if you stop hanging around Alex, and, and, you show up here once a month so I can sheer you. Something tells me I’m not even going to have to tie you up.” Janny laughed, swiping a hook blade through the twine that bound me. “Am I?”
“I’ll be here,” Was all I said. I gathered my clothes and dressed while she watched intently, and I wondered if maybe she might not be more than just interested. I’d never had feelings for a woman in my entire life, until that moment.
With the hat falling down over my eyes, I rode away from Bailey Bridge Farm wondering what on earth I had gotten myself into.