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The Carriage Driver³ - Wendy

Updated on February 24, 2017

Wendy knew everybody in her adopted home of Granbury, Texas. She knew Robin over at the feed store and what ailed her. At the Nutt House Hotel the proprietor Melinda had become her friend. Jim at the garage, who limped after 3 p.m., kept her 1974 Chevrolet truck running. Plenty of time was spent at the local hardware store. Dennis’ wife was ill and Wendy shared in the lament. Her friends worked at the candy store and the movie house. That was just how Granbury, Texas operated. Wendy’s place in all this; well Wendy is their carriage driver.

Tuesday, she seemed to have over booked. The Peterson’s wedding scheduled for 11 a.m. ran late. She loaded her horse, Bubba into his trailer and rushed miles away to her next event. She arrived, parked and dropped the trailer ramp. She stepped inside the trailer to guide Bubba out. It was a shock when Bubba stumbled. People would say, just a common accident. But there was nothing common about it.

As the news spread, barouches, broughams, buggies, coaches and wagons made their way toward Granbury from all directions. Each carriage loaded with angels wishing to help.

One of the angels, that had adopted Griffin came in and placed her hand on Griffin’s shoulder. “We have a special assignment. Get ready.” Then she left the room.

Griffin climbed out of his warm bed, dressed and went down to prepare Nuelle and the carriage. He looked at the last page of the book, but the page was blank. The angel’s were not known for their practical jokes, so he cleaned the carriage and hitched Nuelle and brought them into the street.

“Sir, I know you just returned from the countryside, but something has come up. Bear with us. There is a carriage driver in Granbury. She took care to help those that stepped inside of her carriage. There has been a terrible accident and her steed took a spill. She tried to steady the animal and was injured in the process.

Nuelle put her weight to the harness and began the journey. “Hold up Nuelle. You three coming with me?”

“We have been with you since you first journeyed to the South. So, yes.” The three of them climbed into the carriage. “Carry on driver.” The three giggled.

When they arrived in Granbury they were amazed at what they encountered. The buildings, and street lamps, had all been strung with white lights. The streets were clean and the buildings seemed freshly painted. All the signs that were worn or faded had been made new. Griffin had never seen anything like it. Waves of nostalgia swept through the little town. Senior couples walked arm in arm, leaning toward each other as they had done in their youth. Children laughed as they enjoyed the company of others. The people smiled and waved to their neighbors.

The angels that arrived earlier had been busy. Robin at the feed store had been cured of the things that ailed her. Jim, who, when tired, had a noticeable limp for years, no longer had pain in his left leg. Dennis’ wife had been cured of her cancer. Even the 1974 Chevrolet truck looked like it had just been driven off the showroom floor of, Classic Chevrolet Buick GMC in Granbury.

Texas Health’s, Harris Methodist Hospital was empty besides the staff. Operations were cancelled as patients stood from their beds, not having felt this good for years. The aches and pains of the world were being held at bay by a troop of angels that had come from villages and boroughs within driving distance from Granbury. Jim Gunderson the local sheriff, sat in The Firehouse Café and ate blueberry pie, his radio had made no announcements since the first buggy arrived in town.

Griffin parked and climbed down. The angels climbed down, “See you later,” they called. “We are off to see if there is anything to fix.”

Griffin walked over to Nuelle. He reached into his pocket and produced an apple. He cut it into four pieces and gave two to Nuelle and ate the other two. “This is an unusual fare my friend.”

Just then a woman with a big smile on her face walked over to Griffin. “Griffin, I heard of you. Thank you for coming. I never dreamed that the response could be so big to my small troubles in this big old world. First one carriage arrived, and then a wagon pulled by two beautifully matched roan horses. Then a reddish-brown bay trotted in as proud as any horse I have ever seen.” Wendy glanced at Nuelle. She walked over to her and gave her a good looking over. “She is a mighty fine looking beast.”

Nuelle waved her head and shook her tail.

“Your name is not in my book,” Griffin told her.

“Well, maybe not yet. We all have our work to do. Not like the Seven Dwarfs, you know what I mean.” She scratched Nuelle behind the ear. “I bring a sense of peace to people. For a few minutes they can step up into the carriage and leave all their worries behind. They can suspend the logical part of their brain and be whisked away to the fantasy land of their romantic imaginations. Young or old, those that step into my carriage step down with a smile on their face and warmth in their heart. I don’t think it is just a Texas thing.” See gave an attentive eye to Griffin. “You aren’t from around here, are you?”

It was Griffin’s turn to smile. “I am from here, this evening.” He looked out over the magical setting. The normal hurry and shuffle had left the steps of those on the sidewalk. No horns were honking. People were taking their time. Window shoppers, greeting those that passed by, as friends not with suspicion.

“I have to go and visit my friends while I can,” Wendy told Griffin. “I want to share in the miracles that are happening tonight. Seems everything I ever wished for is coming true tonight.”

Griffin climbed up into his seat. He surveyed his surroundings and felt things could be good. He leaned back and got comfortable. Many angels went this way and that. He was in no hurry for the night to end.

The end


Parts of this story are true. My friend Peg Cole shared the link below with me on Facebook.

It is a video about three minutes in length.

It tells the same story I just told.

Wendy’s injuries are real, as are the expenses incurred in her medical treatment. This is a link to a GoFundMe page in support of her. I am not asking that anyone donate.

Ride Captain Ride Blues Image Music Video with lyrics

Association - Windy (1967)

Thank you Peg Cole. This 'The Carriage Driver' well seems empty at times. Your suggestion came in the nick of time for this week.

© 2017 mckbirdbks


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    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 5 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Mike, first of all, your story is beautiful and filled with hope and people or off-worlder types who care for their fellow human beings. What a nice touch you've given to this news story that reminded me of your fabulous Captain Griffin and Nuelle. Thanks so much for taking the writer's prompt and giving it such a delightful touch. I'm listening to the chosen music right now and smiling. Best of all, I'm thrilled to be counted among your many dedicated and admiring friends.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 5 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Great story, and I have a friend who lives in Granbury. Is that the actual location? If so, I'll see what he knows about it.

      BTW, Windy was my little sister's theme song when it came out. She was 16 and all her friends said it was about her.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 5 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Peg - Thank you. This story had a little different slant. But it seemed to work once some of the details worked themselves out. It was a heck of a writer's prompt and I thank you. I was struggling with another concept, that one still sits pretty much blank.

      Thanks for the note about the link. I think it is corrected.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 5 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Will - thank you. The story has indeed sprung from Granbury. The story came to me the long way around. Granbury to Dallas, to Facebook and now back here fictionalized.

      Windy, by the Association, was a favorite of mine in the early days. I preferred Bread, and The Association over The Rolling Stones and Grateful Dead. Time has allowed The Rolling Stones to take the lead over the rest of them.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 months ago from Southern Illinois

      That's why I love living in a small town. Everyone knows their neighbors' and help is just around the corner. This is a sweet story, and I love to read that angels giggle. Another heart warming piece of writing.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 5 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Ruby - I am not sure I would like small town life. Saying hi all the time. Knowing the names of your neighbors. Knowing every face in the move theater. Knowing the guy at the garage knows all about your particular car.

      Yes, it was refreshing to hear angels giggle.

      Thanks for your continued support.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 5 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      It takes a wonderful imagination and character to write like this, Mike. And thanks to Peg for her suggestion, the video and FundMe page link. The videos are more than perfect, by the way, Mike. :-)

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 5 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Genna - Thank you, you are very kind. Peg posted the story to my Facebook wall (hey, look at me and the Facebook lingo). It did not take long before I thought that I could turn the real life story into a fictional piece. (Like I have not spilled my entire family history in the pages of the Carriage Driver stories.) I appreciate you and your continued support.

      I can't get over Russian flag waving at CPAC. I am stunned.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 5 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      "He (Griffin) was in no hurry for the night to end."

      And I am in no hurry for this series to please remove "The end" from the end of this story, dear Mike.

      I'm also grateful to Peg for giving you this inspiration. "Wendy" is quite a lady. I'm hoping her wishes continue to come true and that she has lots more time to spend with her friends.

      Happy Friday (what's left of it) and have a great weekend. Hugs, mar

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 5 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello mar - Thanks for the weekend wishes. My imagination has been stretched thin with Carriage Driver stories. Had Peg not provided a writing prompt I doubt there would have been a story to submit this week. But she did, and here it is. 'The end' not likely, but I can see the finish line right down the road aways. This marathon series writing is ..... well, it just is.

      I appreciate your kind comment and continued support of this series.

    • profile image

      Dianemae 5 months ago

      I enjoy reading stories with true facts. Hope things work out and funds help.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 5 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Dianemae - Thank you. I share your wishes that things work out for Wendy. Thanks for taking a moment to read my story and comment.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      This brought back great memories of Charles City, Iowa, where my parents were raised..small town, people knowing everyone...great down-to-earth folks...and a great story, of course.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 5 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Bill - Thanks. I never lived in a small town. Urban sprawl is where I grew up. I appreciate continued support.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 5 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      I too was raised in Iowa and have been in Charles City many, many times, BillyBuc!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Will, if I knew that, I'd forgotten. What a small world it is. Let's toast to Charles City!

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 5 months ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Here's to Charles City and to all Iowa Hawkeyes, BillyBuc!

    • rebelogilbert profile image

      Gilbert Arevalo 5 months ago from Hacienda Heights, California

      I liked the way you weaved imagination and background story, Mike.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 5 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello rebelogilbert - Thank you. This story came into being through a writing prompt. With that platform given, the writing went much easier.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 4 months ago from South Africa

      That kind of miracles - no horns honking, people taking their time, window shoppers greeting those that passed by as friends - are forever something of the past. So sad!

      Heartwarming and well-written story. Thank you, Mck!

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 4 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Martie - There are still pockets of kindness here and there. The amount of trust in the world seems to be getting smaller and smaller. This is an example of the relying on the 'kindness of strangers' and I don't think that counts as a plan. But I am old.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 months ago from Central Florida

      What a wonderful, although tragic, story! I watched the video. Very touching.

      I love the way this series has gotten its inspiration from real life events lately, Mike. Keep 'em coming!

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Sha - Thank you. The suggestions help, as my imagination it turns out does have its limits. I appreciate your support of this series.

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