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Careful

wagons

He woke before dark, grabbing his bundle, trying to leave the house without anyone having an opportunity to talk him out of what he was about to do.

"Careful," she said in a whisper out of the darkness.

He turned in the dark as his grandmother lit a match, lighting the lantern.

"Careful."

"Ma'am?"

"Great men speak of manifest destiny until they get out there where the grasses spread horizon to horizon for weeks on end. You should see the men that run back here like cowards to this civilization after a couple of weeks west. They come back completely broken, ruined for anything but a life acknowledging that they weren't careful.

Careful to keep your eye on the present moment and how it's leading you the new life. That new life, and your children's new life, that is the only reason to do this. Once you head out there - do not stop till you reach the new life. Do not look backwards, miss nothing here."

"Yes, Ma'am."

"When I was your age, son, I boarded a ship and crossed the sea, to create something new, to find it for myself - for your mother, your uncle. They have," she paused with a small, sad laugh, "Well, they have squandered it. Now you must go - and grasp that new life. The only way to is to only look west and worry yourself little about what's happening here. As we turn to dust here - you shall be planting a new life in Orygone. But you'll only reach it if you are careful. Don't let it swallow you whole, come through it, boy."

His instinct was to reach out to her, but they both knew if he didn't go right now, he'd lose this opportunity. As the dawn started to stir, he arrived on his father's horse to join Master Richmond and the rest of the caravan. He'd be an asset here, a smart boy who already understood horses and riding. He smiled to himself, having successfully evaded the punishment for being on this horse of all of them. He wouldn't miss his Father's anger.

He leaned down along the horse's shoulder, and affectionately whispered in it's ear, "We're both free now, boy, we're both now free."

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