Listen to the wind howl across the wide open plains and farmlands of the south. Country music was born here on these hills and so was Jason the mule. Jason loved everything about the countryside he lived in, even if he was awfully lonely, the only thing things keeping him company was his acoustic guitar, and his life long friend Max. Max was a well built white-tailed deer who had a beautiful voice for Country music, however he was deathly shy and rarely wanted to sing, Jason always encouraged him to do so, but he always shrugged it off. Jason was unlike other mules and was rather small, at first glance one could pass him off as the ass that gave birth to him, however closer inspection reveals a much stockier build, and a bigger self-esteem. Jason and Max really don’t have a home and simply walk from place to place as they wish, for they have no parents or guardians to tell them otherwise.
Now I’m going to stop the story here and tell you guys a little more about these two. First off they share the similar ambition to have one of the best country records out, however Max’s shyness will prove to be an obstacle in this course, Jason also has his own weaknesses one of them being addicted to drink, which has caused a whole slew of problems for the both of them, ahem, once again I find myself prattling on, forgive me, back to the story.
“Jason are you sure we haven’t gone this way yet? This road looks awfully familiar.” Max looked around in disdain, for as much as he trusted his friend, it appeared that they were heading to somewhere they have already been.
“Yes I’m sure Max don’t get your tail in a twist, look over there, thats the valley farm I told you about and I’m sure someone there will be able to help us find a town or someplace to practice our song for the rehearsal in Tallahassee (not the actual place just the name of the town they are going to sorry for lack of originality) so lets go and say hi.” Jason turned around and was walking backwards looking at Max’s disdainful look when he noticed something rather bad. A storm was brewing and it was heading in their general direction. Jason frowned and when Max saw his face and turned around and looked his tail and ears drooped.
“Damn it Jason now we are going to be walking to the place in the flipping rain, ugh I hate it when my fur gets wet.” Max made a very cross face at Jason and Jason reproached by saying, “Well I’m sorry I’m not mother nature, I can’t tell her to not rain today or to tell her to give us some sort of transportation to the farm now can I?” To the surprise of both of them, as if mother nature was listening, the wind began to pick up and blow, and it was towards the storm.
“Well well looks like mother nature was in a good mood for us after all.” When Jason smiled at Max, Max gave him the “fall in a hole and die” look and Jason laughed, which caused Max to get a slight smile to his face.
-2 hours later-
Jason knocked on the door to the farmer’s house and nearly jumped out of his fur when the door swung open and the angry farmer was holding a shotgun towards them.
Max stepped forward and said, “Wait, wait we don’t mean you any harm, we are just looking for directions to a town.”
The farmer relaxed and said, “I’m sorry its still unusual for me to have animals I use to run my farm and go hunting for knocking on my door.”
Jason retorted rather hotly, “Excuse me? Animals? We are protected by laws you know, we are considered to be an individual race thank you very much.”
Max shot Jason a look and said to the farmer, “Sorry about that, but do you happen to know where the closest town is and if you could spare us some supplies to get there?”
The farmer sighed and said, “Look I’m sorry about insulting you, come on inside I’ll help you with some things.”
Jason and Max waved goodbye to the farmer who decided to help them, and walked in the direction that the farmer had said, following the game trail that will supposedly lead to a road, then turn left and follow the road all the way to the end and you should reach a town. When Jason saw the town off in the distance, he prodded Max and took off full sprint towards the town, jumping over holes and other hazards in the road on the way there. Max realizing that he had been “tagged” took off after Jason at full speed, and being faster then Jason was caught up with about half a mile out from the town.
“Tag you’re it Jason.” Jason just collapsed and laid on the ground laughing and gasping for breath.
When Max offered him a hand up he took it and Max helped him up to his feet and then Max said, “OK we’re here you want to explore the town or call it a night and sleep in the hotel?”
Jason looked around the town and said, “Well, I don't know about you but I could go for a drink right about now and no I don't mean alcohol, I just want a nice fizzy soda in a quiet place right now.
Jason pointed out a pub in a quiet corner of the town and they went over there and went in. Somewhat tired they both ordered a glass of soda then went over to a booth and sat down. Jason looked around the quiet pub and liked its old, used feeling.
Jason said to Max, “This place reminds me of when me and you first met, remember?”
Max nodded, “Yeah how long ago was that? 2 to 3 years ago I think.”
Jason shook his head and said, “Nah this is September right? That means its the beginning of the 4th year you and I have been on the road together, speaking of which those 4 years flew by fast because I still remember you only had spikes for antlers.”
Max embarrassed retorted back, “Yeah and your ass was a lot smaller then it was now too, I think you should lay off a couple of those veggie-burgers or something.”
Now it was Jason's turn to be embarrassed and instead of saying something smartly back he just sat there and crossed his arms. The waitress walked up and handed them their drinks with a raised eyebrow giving them both an odd look before walking away.
Max broke the silence by saying, “Sorry Jason, I didn't mean it like that I was just trying to be funny, I really didn't mean to hurt you.”
Jason just sighed and said, “Look, its nothing alright? Lets just not go on about each other like that, I'm sorry about making fun of you as well, lets just finish off our drinks and spend the night at the hotel, then hit the road in the morning.”
To both Jason and Max's surprise they heard a somewhat familiar voice say their names into the air. When they both flipped around to see who it was, their jaws hit the floor when they say Jason's mother standing there in a waitresses uniform. When she walked over Jason and Max couldn't say anything because its been 4 years since they've last seen Jason's mother.
Jason stuttered, “M-m-mom? What in the world are you doing here?”
She replied, “Working hon, I never actually thought you would wind up here so tell me, why are you here?”
Jason replied, “Well we are stopping and spending the night here, then continuing on our way to Tallahassee concert hall, where Max and I are going to hopefully play our new song for the contest they are having there.”
Jason's mother gave a sideways look at Max and said, “Max you can sing? My oh my I'm going to have to listen to you one day, however Jason good luck on your travels dear, oh and your father says he's sorry.” She walked up and gave them both a hug then walked away.
Jason muttered under his breath, “No good rotten two-timing fat ass horse.”
When Max gave him a questioning look Jason said, “I've never told you about my father have I?”
When Max shook his head Jason said, “Well it works like this, my mom over there was a farm donkey and he was a breeding stallion. They were never supposed to meet up however when my mom was taking a break he just so happened to be right there. She was in heat, he was horny, so yeah the outcome of this mess is right here in front of you. After my dad got his pleasure and relief out of the way he left my mom to raise me by herself. He came by one day to see how I was and boy was he surprised to see that I looked more like an ass then I did a horse. He stayed a few nights then left. I never saw him again. When I turned 18 I told my mother I'm going to go roam the countryside, and that I love you and you will always be my mother. A few days after that I met up with you and voila, here we are now.”
Max sat there with his mouth hanging open because he never heard the story of Jason's father, he just knew about his mother. Max asked him, “Your father doesn't sound all that bad, why do you hate him so?”
Jason looked off to the side and said slowly, “I can't tell you, not here, not now.
Max realizing that he stepped over the line to really sensitive material, changed the subject, “Say Jason, what song are we going to play for the contest, seeming you lied to your mother about having a “new” one.
Jason replied, “I didn't lie, I just didn't tell her everything, if I told her we had the song ready to roll, she would have asked us to go on the stage and sing it for everyone in here.”
When Max looked over at the stage and put together what Jason was thinking, he smiled and said, “Thanks, I just now caught on to what you were thinking.”
Jason winked and said, “Your welcome, come on lets pay for this and get to that hotel, we got a long day tomorrow.”
-the next day-
Jason was sitting in the lounge drumming his fingers and looking at the clock, for Max was supposed to be down there with him almost 30 minutes ago. When Max came around the corner and paid for his room, he turned and saw Jason and motioned for the door.
Max saw Jason's withering look and said, “S-sorry I had problems in the shower, I mean with the shower.” Max blushed deeply and Jason rolled his eyes and kept walking.
Ahem, I hate to interrupt this story again but I feel I must interpose to share some information with you. Jason and Max are about 20 miles out from Tallahassee, however with no vehicular transportation, its going to take them a while to get there, so I'm going to speed things along a little bit if you don't mind, oh I almost forgot, mother nature is a fickle person and now she's playing a joke on Jason and Max as you will soon find out.
-3 hours later-
Max frowned, he could smell the rain coming and he could hear the rolls of thunder behind them as the storm that Jason pointed out from yesterday was once again trailing them to their next destination. Jason was walking with his face pointed down towards the ground, the only thing that seemed to be guiding him forward was magic, for he wasn't even looking forward. Max concerned about his friend wanted to say something, but instead kept his mouth shut and kept walking making sure that Jason didn't drift off course.
When the storm finally hit them they were about 2 miles out from Tallahassee and both of their moods reflected the storm: gloomy and dismal. Jason still had his face to the ground deep in thought seemingly ignoring the pounding rain and trudged on. Max had his ears laid flat and his tail tucked and he had a scowl on his face, when a bolt of lightning flew through the air he stopped and flipped his middle finger out and pointed it up at the storm. The storm seeming to have seen his hand gesture, made the wind blow against them in strong gusts.
Max yelling over the storm to be heard told Jason, “Hey, you think we should find somewhere to stay until this storm blows over Jason?”
Jason replied curtly, “No, it could take hours for this storm to blow past and we are about a mile out from the city.”
Max sighed and said, “OK but once we get there lets find someplace to stay, because I don't know about you, but I need some time to warm up after being in this drenching rain.”
Jason agreed with Max and the two of them trudged through the storm towards their destination.
-1 hour later-
The rain had let up and the wind stopped gusting, and the storm overall was starting to lose its strength, which was to the enjoyment of Jason and Max, who had arrived at Tallahassee. Max, who has never been to a large city like this before stood awestruck at the gate. Jason laughing shoved his friend in and motioned to a pub off to the side of the main street.
Jason told Max, “Thank god thats finally over, I think I have water all the down to my toes.”
Max shot Jason a reproachful look and replied, “Don't start with me, it was YOUR idea to go trudging through the rain to get here.”
Jason started to laugh and said, “Relax we're through it, lets buy a nice hot drink and take some time to recover shall we?”
Max nodded and asked, “What do you want? I'll go up and get it.”
Jason thought for a second then replied, “I'll take a hot tea.”
Max nodded and walked up to the counter conversed with the bartender then came back with two drinks, one of which had steam billowing out of it. When Jason raised a curious eyebrow at the second drink Max smiled sheepishly and slipped it into a cup with a lid and hid it from sight in his bag.
Jason asked Max, “What was that?”
Max replied, “Nothing, pretend you never saw it.”
Jason scrunched up his face but decided against asking, instead he asked about the plans for today.
Max replied, “Well the bartender said there was a place down the road that loves country music, so we might be able to get lucky down there.
Jason asked, “You up to singing today?”
Max replied in a chipper tone, “Yep, might as well get it out of my system now then have to worry about it later no?”
-at the country diner-
Jason looked around and whistled, for this place was somewhere the both of them had dreams over. Everyone had that familiar style and smell to them, and they all had a warm demeanor to them that made Jason and Max feel just like they were at home. When the crowd noticed the newcomers, they all cheered and beckoned them in.
I am sorry for I must interrupt the story again, so that I may tell you some important stuff. First off Jason and Max are educated as they both graduated at the top of their respective high schools, and that the crowd here doesn't have a very good vocabulary, so instead of going through conversation and dialect with them, which would be difficult for me to make heads or tails of, I'm going to skip this part and go straight to where Jason and Max hop on stage and sing their song. Second I am not going to write the lyrics to the song itself but for those of you who must have a reference they are singing “toes” by the Zac Brown Band.
Jason pulled out his guitar and tuned up the strings while Max practiced some lines from the song. Max looked over at Jason and gave him the not ready sign and Jason stood up and walked over to Max.
With a curious look on his face he asked Max, “Is there something wrong?”
Max replied, “I can't get the melody right it sounds way to flat to me.”
Jason laughed and said, “Let me hear it then, remember the crowd isn't going to make out a mistake if one is made, they are here to enjoy the music.”
Max sung the part to Jason and Jason shrugged and said, “Well I don't think it sounds like a problem, as a matter of fact I like it, it makes the song appeal more in my opinion.”
Max laughed and said, “You would say that even if I sung something completely wrong, but whatever lets go do it then.”
-after the song-
Jason put his guitar into his case and took the money that they had received and put it into a container and slipped the container into Max's bag. Max was smiling and waving to the crowd for they were all yelling encore, or again, or stuff along those lines.
Max grabbed his pack and whispered into Jason's ear, “Lets go before they drag me onto the stage and make me do it again.”
Jason rolled his eyes grabbed his stuff and held the door open for Max, who walked out it with his ears high and his tail fluffed out. Jason rolled his eyes and followed him out the door. They walked down the street to the hotel they wanted to stay at and paid for their rooms and went to bed.
-the next morning-
This time it was Max's turn to be waiting, and he twiddled his thumbs and watched the clock until eventually Jason came out from the hallway.
Max gave him a smile and said, “Did we have troubles in the shower this morning?”
Jason catching the joke snorted and paid for the night and walked up to Max and said, “Nope I just woke up, besides the showers here didn't look very inviting.”
Max replied, “You didn't shower?”
Jason retorted, “I didn't bathe no, I just rinsed and ran, but anyways today is the big day are you ready to do this Max?”
Max looked sideways and then back at Jason and said, “Yeah I'm ready, of course I'm ready...”
When Jason gave Max a withering look Max shrugged it off and motioned towards the door.
“Lets go Jason the contest starts in 2 hours and we are on second.”
Jason snorted again and replied, “Lovely we get to go early then sit for 2 hours waiting for everyone else to finish.”
-Tallahassee concert hall-
Jason and Max stood waiting in the stands for the final band to finish up. They were both nervous for they might have gotten the crowd popular vote, it was still a very close contest. The final band stepped off stage and the announcer stepped up and did all the time filler stuff until a runner with a envelope ran onto the stage and handed him the results of the contest. Jason and Max were on the edge of their seats in anticipation to hear what they got, and Max had his fingers crossed. Jason and Max were devastated to hear that they had won 7th place overall, however Jason got 4th place for best guitar and Max got 2nd place for best singer.
Max let out his pent up breath and looked over to Jason and said, “Well we didn't win the competition, but we still did really well.”
Jason smiled and said, “You kidding me? We did way better then I thought we were going to, I'm just happy we didn't get last place, there were some good people who played today.”
Jason and Max walked up onto the stage and received their rewards and they smiled and waved at the crowd who was cheering for them.
“I tell you what Max today was actually a fun day, I never actually thought events would play out the way they did for you and me.”
Max replied, “Well Jason you know what I'm thankful for?” When Jason just looked at him Max said, “Being able to spend this time here with you.”
Jason smiled and walked up to Max and gave him a friendly hug and said, “Well we got a long walk to the next town, you ready to go?”
Max replied, “Yeah lets go.”
The two of them walked together out of the town and back into the countryside where they came from, walking to the next town where they could share their music.
Hahaha, oh this story never gets old, and I never tire telling it, I hope you enjoy this story as much as I enjoyed creating it.