Stud farm

“This one here,” the rancher pointed to a nearby specimen, “he’s older, sure, but he’s a proven breeder. Can’t go wrong with one like him.”

The rancher’s customer nodded thoughtfully, looking over the indicated creature. She moved closer, intending to inspect him more carefully when a younger stud trotted past.

“Ooh, what about that one?”

The rancher smiled, “That one’s quite a bit younger and, as yet, hasn’t produced any offspring. But, then again, he’s only been offered once…no, twice…to stud since we got him.”

“I like his coloring. But he’s not proven, you say,” she asked. “How much is his fee, since he hasn’t produced yet?”

The rancher chuckled, happy to discuss prices for her animals.

“He’s quite a bit cheaper than the prime stud. I do have to warn you, though, there’re no refunds on stud fees at my ranch. No guarantees, either. Either he produces or he doesn’t, that’s your problem. I just supply the stud.”

Her customer nodded once again. “I understand. I’m willing to try him. But I have a need for two studs. Any way we can make a bargain on him and another stud? Maybe not your prime, but another known producer? Maybe a golden?”

The rancher took the other woman’s arm and guided her to another enclosure. She pointed out a fine stud, flawless and golden in the late afternoon sun.

“That one, he’s a producer. Twins, sometimes. But he’s hard to control. I mean, none of them are what you’d call sedate, but that one’s a little bit meaner than the others. He’s gotten restless lately. No one wants to offer for him because of his temperament. But I’ll let him stand for the same as the young one…if you want to try him.”

The breeder looked at the stud, taking note of the broad chest, the long legs, and the firm musculature.

“I’ll do it. I’ll make offer on both.”

The two women strode into the ranch office to finalize the papers.

“One more thing,” the breeder said, “your manager told me you have facilities? For the breeding?”

“Sure do.” The rancher pulled a glossy pamphlet from her desk drawer. “This is our facility. We’ve found that, in this day and age, many breeders don’t have the facilities to take care of business. Or, they’re too uncomfortable in taking a stud alone to a small farm or home. It’s complimentary with paid offers. Would you like me to set up a reservation?”

“Yes,” her small-framed customer answered. “I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to handle either of the beasts alone. It will be me and my sister. I’ll take the dark for myself and my sister will have the golden.”

The large-boned rancher typed into her computer, logging the reservations and stud offer. “And when would you like to arrive?”

“Oh, let’s see,” the young woman said, pulling up a calendar on her watch. “We’ll both be ovulating on the third. So, sometime between the second and the fourth, I suppose.”

The rancher grinned. “Yes, ma’am. I can put you both in for the third. I’ll have you in room one, with your sister in room three. I’ve tested both those studs, personally, and trust me, you don’t want to be in adjacent rooms.”

She winked at the now-blushing young breeder before escorting the woman to the office door. “I’ll see you and your sister on the third.”

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