Three On A Match

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Fit Pigmy Owl Gump on her shoulder

Briar was at the barn, she didn't ride a lot lately but she loved grooming the horses here at the barn and a rather massive horse had her attention. She was told it was a Budweiser type that was retired as a horse pal now to other horses in the pasture.

A content humming left her as she stood on a step ladder, dragging the brush down his neck as Gump sat on Samson's head.

“Man...I wish I could see what you looked like, you feel so soft and handsome big guy, ” she told the horse as he snorted at her. Briar just smiled as she dragged the brush along his neck slowly, her free hand dragging behind the brush to feel if it was smooth.

Hearing footsteps, her head turned some, “Hows he look? ”
Silas was trudging through the barn while carrying a pail full of water when he'd heard a soft hum in the near distance. Turning his head in the direction of where it'd come from, he spotted the source immediately.

He'd seen the redheaded girl several times before, though she didn't appear to officially work at the stables. He'd yet to speak to her and thought now would be a reasonable time to change that.

So the pale man approached her from behind, setting the pail at his feet once he was at a close yet comfortable enough distance. The young lady had asked him how Samson had looked. In turn Silas offered her a rather fortunate response.

“Quite healthy for his age, I would say...”
“He's a perfect gentleman, ” she said with a happy smile as her hands rested on the horse as she shakily lowered herself on the step ladder.

She disliked these things, getting down left her feeling like she was about to fall and with that last step she slipped and stumbled, cursing softly under her breath, “Sorry...grace of a newborn foal when it comes to those things, ” she joked as she moved it to the middle of him so she could keep up.

“You know, I've heard your voice but never caught your name, Sir ” she told him. The only clue he'd get she couldn't see was the fact that as she spoke, she didn't look at him as she slowly climbed the ladder again to start brushing his belly.
His lips twitched into a very faint smile at the sight of old Samson making a friend of this girl, only to fade away instantly as the young lady attempted to descend from the stepstool.

Made anxious by this unexpected turn of events, he attempted to reach out and help hold her steady. He was hesitant to actually grab her, and as a result he had little choice but to watch her stumble.

Silas let out a shaky breath of relief as she returned to her feet, apparently not too affected by the fall. “N-no need to apologize. We all must start somewhere...”

A frown did fall over his face as the redhead moved the stool, seemingly ignoring his concern and moving straight to introductions. He couldn't ignore her request for his name but all the same he wasn't oblivious to how off something seemed.

“...I am Silas. I don't believe this is your very first visit here. I am fairly certain that I've seen you around...” Silas moved up closer behind the determined yet clumsy one, preparing to catch her should she trip again. “Do you need a hand with that, Miss...?” He waited to hear her name.
Briar was used to people trying to help her out; it was human nature honestly but she had a feeling he wasn't trying to be strange about it as she felt him come close but thankfully let her find her feet again. It was sweet though that he was there in case things went south.

“I hate step ladders but if I'm to make sure this dashing man is all handsome... it's a sacrifice I'll make because I love this big guy, ” it was true, she gave him more attention than the other horses just because of his gentle giant status.

“Briar- it's lovely to meet you officially Silas, ” she told him sweetly as Gump flew from Samsons' head to rest on her shoulder. A soft hoot had her head turning to try and face him, her pale blue eyes trying to focus in on him a little as her head shook, “No thank you- also yes, I'm here almost every week. They have a great program here for those with certain disabilities and this is apart of one of my tasks here- though the instruction suggested a smaller horse I sort of refused- very horse is bigger than me, ” she joked easily, not at all bothered by anything.
What a very sweet and caring girl. It was endearing to watch her tend to the old stallion, and even more so to hear how much she enjoyed doing so. It brought quite a smile to his own face, and he found himself dipping his head shyly to hide his expression behind the mess of his raven hair.

He looked back up to the young lady as she introduced herself as Briar and told him what a pleasure it was to meet him. That wasn't something he was particularly used to hearing, and it had him for a loss of words for a short moment. “Oh..? Hmm, yes. Likewise...”

The hooting of the owl got a hold of his attention next. His pale eyes followed the bird from the horse's head to his new friend's shoulder. When she finally did turn to face him, at least the best that she could, the pieces finally moved into place. What she said next locked them in.

“Ohh...” His tone wavered with a hint of sympathy. “I see now...” Perhaps not the best choice of words, or so he thought just a little too late. To make up for what might have been a blunder, Silas offered warm words of encouragement.

“You are incredibly brave, you know. There are others who practically shrink while working with horses much smaller. Samson has mellowed with age but the mere size of him can intimidate the very best of us.”
Briar smiled hearing that as she scratched the small owls head as he gave her some silent guidance for her feet as she got herself settled on the step ladder again. She kept a hand on Samsons back, thee horse snorting and shifting but as if sensing she couldn't see where he was, he didn't move too far for her.

“See what now huh? ” she asked looking innocent before giggling a bit, “Sorry, if you can't make silly little comments about yourself, what else can you do? ” she asked him in a rather playfully relaxed tone as she went on to brush his back. She followed it with one of her hands trailing over his back to make sure she was getting everything.

“Even if I could see, I'd pick him. I think he's always had a gentle soul; you can just feel it that he'd never cause harm to anyone- even when he was young and feisty, ” she told him as she kept brushing the massive beast. “It honestly takes a lot to intimidate me...have you worked with him? ”
She was full of cheer and humor. The type who surely wouldn't let a little bit of an extra challenge bring her down. All the same, Silas couldn't help but wonder if those self-deprecating remarks she was willing to make did still hurt to a degree. His own insecurities forbade him to do the same about himself.

Regardless of Briar's confidence, Silas did watch with some apprehension as she got back up on the stepladder. She seemed to do well enough, though. Again his eyes fell onto the small owl with curiosity, breaking contact with it as soon as the red haired girl explained her reasoning for feeling so attached to Samson.

“You have a keen intuitive sense...” Silas mused, unable to help but slightly smile again. “Samson has always been a warm-hearted beast. He is one of our oldest residents here, at twenty-three. Though I am certain he still has a few good years left in him. I have indeed worked with him in the past. A playful young thing he was. Foolhardy at times. But never aggressive.”

His attention once more fell on Briar's avian companion. “It seems that the very same can be said for the bird on your shoulder. Does your friend have a name?”