Three Musketeers

They were kind of the “Three Musketeers” at both West Texas & Tri-State. At West Texas the three were pitted against each other in showmanship. The judge was clearly dismayed at having to choose among these three friends, but no one volunteered to help him out. Someone had clearly coached Madeline to smile at the judge because she grinned ear to ear at him as if he were Santa Claus every time he glanced her way. And each time he passed her animal, she added a comment: “I like your hat!”, “What a pretty belt buckle!” But she wasn’t above helping a friend out in need; when Emilee’s calf wouldn’t walk, Madeline obligingly poked it with her show stick. Emilee won, and all three celebrated.
At Tri-State they spent all day Saturday selling back copies of our “free” MHN magazine to everyone in the barn, including the Shorthorn breeders. Barrett Howe is about their age, but quit even trying to keep up after a while. I asked them what the money was for and they told me “for the poor.” When I asked, which poor specifically? they answered “All the Poor! In China and that other place, Africa – everywhere!”
About the middle of the afternoon they came around my stalls, excited because they made a bunch of money – four $1 bills, a $5 bill, two quarters, a penny, and two fair tokens – which they told me came to a total of $17. When I asked how they were going to get it to the poor, they responded that they had changed their minds and were just going to split the money among them. Madeline had already taken her “cut” of a little over a dollar, and Emilee and Aubree asked me to help them divide the remainder. When I pointed out that I had brought the magazines, so they really had been selling my materials, they were crestfallen. So I suggested that we split it three ways, to which they happily agreed. Justin Marshall offered five $1 bills as change for the $5. So I gave one dollar to Aubree, one dollar to Emilee, and one dollar to me. We went around three times, which took care of the bills. I asked how we were going to split the two quarters and the girls each offered to take one. That left the penny for me. Ryan Evans “bought” the tokens for a dollar each, and the girls were each willing to take one of those, too. Then I suggested that, since they were members of the Miniature Hereford Breeders Association, perhaps they had been raising money for our organization? They agreed, and we decided the proceeds should go as a premium to the winner of the Pre-Junior Showmanship class the next day, where they were all entered. Excited, they ran off.
The next day the Pre-Junior Showmanship class was large, with eight kids ages three to eight in the ring. There were a couple of new-comers, but several of them were experienced and the competition was stiff. Finally the judge made his choice and walked over to Barrett Howe to shake his hand. Taking his well-earned buckle in hand, Barrett also received the premium money, which had magically turned into a twenty dollar bill overnight.

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