Word Count 833
#5 in the Christmas Gifts Series
Murdoch sat watching his youngest son as gifts were given and received. Johnny was still learning about Christmas traditions, and he seemed to enjoy the thought of giving and receiving gifts. Giving gifts he chose for his family seemed to thrill him more than receiving gifts himself. While his son loved getting gifts, Murdoch noticed each time Johnny received a gift, he would drop his head in that shy way he has, as if he thought he did not deserve it.
Murdoch was very happy with his new hat he had gotten from Johnny. His son’s smile as he handed his father the gift meant more than the gift itself.
Sipping his drink, Murdoch thoughts were of Johnny. ‘It was never easy in choosing a gift for my son. The boy asked for so little. The only thing ever really asked for was a chance to start a horse breeding line. How we fought over the idea. I insisted this is a cattle ranch, not in the business of breaking and selling horses. When I gave him that section of land last Christmas, it was like our relationship grew for the better. He did prove me wrong, and he is doing nicely starting up his horse business. I had to put a lot of thought into his gift this year. I know he likes practical gifts, but I thought I would get him something a bit more showy. Well, here goes.’
“John, don’t you want your gift from me? I noticed you eyeing that large package all morning. I guess your curiosity is getting the best of you about now.”
“Aw come on. You’re not saying that big box by the window is for me, are ya?” Johnny was shocked. He made no move toward the box.
“Yes John, that’s exactly what I’m saying. Come over here. Lift the box off and see my gift under it to you.”
Teresa left her seat to move closer. “Oh Johnny, do open your present. We want to see what you got.”
“Okay, okay, I’m gonna.” Johnny lifted up the large wrapped box. He stopped when he saw what was displayed before him. There was a beautiful hand crafted saddle. The tooled leather was very intricate, and the Lancer ‘L’ was on each fender.
“Mine? It’s really mine? This is great, but it’s too much. This must have cost a lot. ” Johnny was unconsciously rubbing the saddle’s fender.
“Yes Son. It is for you. You deserve it. Don’t you like it? I had it made special for you by a friend of mine in Stockton.” Murdoch began to worry Johnny would not like the saddle.
“I love it. I never seen a saddle this fancy. I wonder if Barranca will like being under this beauty. This is going to be my dress saddle. I won’t use this for working. This’ll be used when you send me on business, and for Saturdays in town; things like that.I really want to thank you for my saddle, Pa. This is the best saddle I ever owned.”
“I remember the first one I had. I worked at a livery for a while. The old guy didn’t have much money, but he had an old worn out saddle he let me have. Before that, I used to ride my little pony bare back. Boy, I really thought I was something. Later on, I had to sell my pony and the saddle for money to get food, but I never forgot either.”
Murdoch’s mood changed from happy, to one of sadness. He longed to know more about Johnny’s past than what the Pinkerton reports gave, but these bits shared were hard to hear. “Son, I am so sorry that you had to live such a life while you were still a child.”
“Oh no, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset ya. It wasn’t your fault. That ‘s in the past. Now we are all together as a family, and nothing can destroy what we have. I have a great big brother and a little ‘sister’ who is sometimes a pain but I love her. Most of all, I have my father in my life, and to me that is the best thing in the world.”
Murdoch reached to Johnny and pulled him into a fierce embrace. Johnny melted into his father’s hug, and they remained as one. Scott and Teresa watched the embrace and shared one of their own. Johnny seemed to sense he was being watched and he broke off the hug. He looked up into his father’s face noticing the tears freely trailing down. Johnny was brushing away tears of his own.
Noticing it was time to lighten the mood, Scott spoke up. “Well, I think a toast is in order. To our family, may we never grow apart.”
As the family lifted their glass, Johnny smiled, and raised his glass again. “Merry Christmas to all.”
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5 thoughts on “Johnny’s Gift – Barbara V.”
this was a nice series
Thank you so much for reading and commenting on my series. I am glad you enjoyed it.
Enjoyed your Christmas Gifts series.
I love all the story.thank you for writing them.they made my day.
Thank you very much. I am glad you enjoyed my series. I am glad they made your day.