The True Adventures of Jay B R Wokky, Web Serials

Jay B. R. Wokky Ch. 40.6 — Bernie Volunteers

Ch. 40.6 — Mr. Dumfries crept into the royal stable. No one was about, but music and laugher drifted down from the apartments above the stable.
He snuck along the row of stalls until he came to Bernie, who stood munching on a rack of hay. Bernie’s family hadn’t been able to do anything to reverse his enchantment, and he had become tired of being the source of their jokes. At last he had decided to go back to the stable where he could hide among his furry friends.
“Hello, Bernie.”
Bernie put up his ears and looked out the door of his stall. He snorted in surprise.
The old man patted his nose and fed him a lump of sugar. “Good to see you too, Bernie. I always said you were the smartest donkey I ever owned.”
Mr. Dumfries scratched Bernie behind the ears. “How are ya, boy? Are they treating you right? How would you like to be a hero?”
Bernie shook his head and brayed.
“Shh. Not so loud.” Mr. Dumfries listened for a moment, but the music from upstairs kept playing, and no one came to investigate.
He opened the stall door. “Come on, let’s go.”
The donkey shook his head. Mr. Dumfries grabbed his halter and pulled, but Bernie just planted his feet.
Mr. Dumfries looked into the donkey’s eyes. “Bernie, a terrible enemy has invaded the Tulgey Woods, and they’re heading for the dragon’s cave. They plan to take over the kingdom. I can’t quite remember who they are, but I know it’s the worst danger Nelsonia has faced in a hundred years. I need your help.”
Bernie snorted and again shook his head.
“But… Prince Ezra is in danger.”
Bernie’s ears went up.
“That’s right, your cousin Ezra. Just think, if you rescued him, you’d be a hero. This is your chance to do something noble with your life. What do you say, old friend? How about if we make one last run to the dragon’s cave?”
Bernie nodded. He stepped out of the stall. Mr. Dumfries grabbed a blanket and a saddle from the tack room, and soon he had Bernie ready. He led the donkey along the corridor until they reached the practice yard.
They hurried across the wide, dirt area. Mr. Dumfries slid the bar on the gate to the left and swung the heavy gate open.
“Hey!” said a man. “What are you doing with that donkey?”
Mr. Dumfries looked up. One of the stable hands headed towards them, carrying a whip. “Oh, oh. Come on, Bernie.”
They dashed towards the opening, but the stable hand got there first. He cracked his whip.
Bernie brayed in pain and leaped backwards. A second stable hand appeared and began to swing the gate closed.
Mr. Dumfries gathered his courage. He yelled and punched the stable hand in the face. To his surprise, the man collapsed.
Bernie lashed out with his back hooves and kicked the second man. Down he went.
A horn sounded from behind them. Flickering torch light lit up the practice yard as men poured out the stable door, shouting angrily.
Mr. Dumfries scrambled aboard the donkey. His knuckles throbbed. “Let’s go.”
They squeezed through the gate, galloped across the meadow, and entered the dark, still woods.

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