Ten Years Old
18 Emre 1420 yp
Late Winter 1418 px
"Perhaps we should try the Embassy schools again." Mom switched her glower from Dad to to him.
Exzy hunched his shoulders. It wasn't my fault! Mostly.
Dad gave him a resigned sigh.
At least he had to work hard at it. Bit I did catch one little flash of laughter.
Mom, on the other hand, looks frazzled. And Dad sees it too, giving her a hug.
"You crazy Oners and your elections! Go fuss and worry about Izzo. I'll ride herd on Exzy, and we'll come back every weekend to lay on some extra, in person, TLC--unless you're in Paris helping Izzo."
Dad looked down on him. "Rumor has it that you have finished all the fourth grade classes, and have started on the fifth. Which I suspect means you're well into the sixth grade stuff. Why don't you collect all that and clothes, while I talk to your mother?"
Exzy slunk off.
Maybe Bronzing the School Bullies wasn't a good idea after all.
Since Jess the wonderful Nanny had retired to live near her own grandkids, and help with her great-grandkids, his laundry had turned into his chore. Not that it was much of a chore, until it came to the fold-or-hang up part. But it made packing easy, just dump the full laundry basket into a bubble. Add a pair of riding boots, which reminded him to grab the riding pants out of the dresser, and some short sleeved shirts, because Embassy was way south and barely had a winter at all. His computer that had everything on it, the reader that had the next five (sixth grade) lessons on it. And he was ready to go.
Oh. Toothbrush, tooth paste, hair brush . . . Dad's house has everything else I'll need, and we'll be back in a few days, anyway, for the weekend. He trotted back to the stairs . . . tried to be really quiet . . .
". . . point in trying a normal school. I'll let him do the sixth grade as fast as he wants, then get him into grid based Middle and High School. All the while keeping him busy with horses, and his rats, and maybe some other science projects. There are plenty of other kids around, some of them are pretty sharp. It would be nice if he found some friends."
A sigh from his mother. "Can't argue with that."
Exzy winced. I'll just avoid school, then I won't have to worry about doing things . . . that seem like a good idea at the time.
If I just can't stand it, I'll go Across and have an adventure, instead. That will work.
"The main problem with Embassy is a lack of kids that I can really talk to." He leaned and patted the black geldings neck. "Not that I can't talk to you. But you don't talk back."
The horse cocked an ear back his direction, but Exzy could tell there was no comprehension. Percy was just a nice amiable smallish horse. Reasonably good looking, a good reliable mount.
I need to ride more. I mean, Percy's nice but the Smart Horses . . .
"And the rats are still scared of me, even though they are learning English. Just telepathy, so far."
He spotted a small herd of the Smart Horses that roamed free out here, southeast of all the Embassy buildings, and veered their direction. "Destiny is my cousin and, apart from being a girl, she's fifteen years old, give or take time spent in a bubble.
"And where I sped myself up, Aunt Q slowed Dizzy down, bubbling her every time things got busy or dangerous, which was pretty often, around here." Exzy sighed. "But you probably don't understand a word of that."
He looked at the Smart Horses. "Hi, Flame, Hi Spooky!
"Wow Spooky! You're really fat!"
Spooky laid one ear back and waved the other his direction.
"Oh, getting kicked a lot?"
The big mare nodded. Turned and laid her ears back at her distended sides.
:: I'm never going to have a foal! :: Flame tossed her head. :: No matter how cute they are. ::
Flame was one of Pyrite's foals, and her dam's sire was Sun Gold. Talkers, both of them. Spooky, on the other hand, was Phantom's full sister, and like her brother, understood everything, but wasn't telepathic.
A big pinto mare trotted up, her two year old filly bouncing alongside.
:: Hi, Carousel, hi Circus. ::
:: Hi, Exzy Foal. Did Rael come too? ::
:: No she has to teach, and she's doing a lot of worrying about the election. ::
An equine snicker from the filly. :: Xen told us about it. They should just fight it out like stallions. It would be a lot faster. ::
:: Well, people's lives are more complicated. So we do it the people way. :: Exzy sighed. :: But it is . . . tedious . . . Do Smart Horses fight it out? ::
Flame snickered. :: Yes, and they don't like it when us mares do the choosing. Poor Spooky was tired of the Old Dun always using magic so 'his' mares came into season so often, without getting pregnant. So she came here and talked Pyrite into breeding her so she could have a nice small foal. ::
All the horses looked at Spooky's sides.
"I don't think that worked." Exzy frowned. "Do you know when you're going to foal, Spooky?"
The big mare shook her head. Sighed.
"Soon, I hope."
A glum nod. She dipped her head and grabbed a mouthful of grass.
Then Circus reached over to nip Percy. :: Race you! ::
Exzy grinned and turned Percy and galloped the other direction. But even having to turn around, the filly beat them easily.
All right. I'm going to ride every day and get good enough ride any horse, Smart or Ordinary, on Embassy.
:: Oh No! Here come the idiots! ::
:: Idiots? :: Exzy looked around and spotted the other riders. "Are the idiots the riders or the horses?"
Circus's muzzle wrinkled. :: They think they must master their horses, who are nervous wrecks. We go away, when they come. They are not nice to us. ::
Exzy scowled as he watched the four horsemen gallop up to the small herd, lassos swinging.
:: Xen warned them. :: Circus edged around behind Exzy. :: I don't think Spooky can outrun them any more. ::