Andrea knew it was bound to happen sooner or later, but not that day! She had just finished riding Taffy up a trail she had found earlier that week. On the way back down, she noticed a wagon in front of their house. That’s odd, she thought, letting Taffy have the bit and go towards the barn.
Chad met her as she was giving Taffy a rubdown. He looked at her clothes and grimaced. Andi gave him a puzzled look, glancing down at her overalls and old blouse. It was what she usually wore around the barn, so why was he so upset? She didn’t have to ask. Chad spoke up.
“You had better change before Aunt Rebecca sees you.”
Andi’s hand flew to her mouth, and she let out a squeak of dismay. “Aunt Rebecca!” she shrieked.
Chad nodded. “Yeah, and Mother was just going to call you when I decided to make my escape and run out to the barn to find you.”
Andi groaned. “Why can’t she ever warn us?”
Chad shrugged his shoulder with a grim smile. “We can only stay so long out here,” he said, somewhat reluctantly. “We’d better head back to the house.”
Andi looked down at her overalls. “Like this?”
Chad chewed on his lip thoughtfully. “You wait here.”
Andi almost told him to not be so bossy but bit her tongue and did as she was told.
Chad took off towards the house, but went around to the back instead of through the front door. Puzzled, Andi watched him until he was out of sight. She turned to Taffy.
“So, now what are we going to do?” she asked her horse. Taffy nuzzled her affectionately, and Andi smiled. She patted taffy’s nose gently. Whenever she was with Taffy, trouble seemed to melt away.
A frown returned when she thought about her Aunt’s visit. Last time she came it was with a brilliant idea to make a lady out of Andi, and she didn’t want that to happen again! Hopefully it was just a visit to her mother, but Andi knew better than to even have the slightest hope.
Chad suddenly came around the side of the house with a bundle under his arm. Curious, Andi watched him. He had a broad grin on his face. Once he came closer, Andi realized the bundle under his arm was her second-best dress.
She gasped, unsure whether to be overjoyed to escape at least one of her aunt’s reproving looks, or to be exasperated that her brother might wrinkle one of her only dresses. She decided when Chad handed it to her to be grateful to escape the look, and threw her arms around him, nearly sending him onto the barn floor.
He gave a smothered yell of surprise and gasped for breath. “Whoa!”
Andi let go, and relieved her brother of her dress. She grinned up at him. “Thanks!”
He shrugged. “I knew I would want you to do the same for me.”
Andi snuck into the outhouse quietly and slipped into her dress. She redid her braids, capturing some of the fly-away wisps that always escaped some way or another. Once her preparations were complete, Andi carefully made her way back to the house, trying to stay clean. Chad helped some, and they both made it safely to the house.
Taking a deep breath, Andi stepped inside and came face to face with her Aunt Rebecca.