| Morgon Michaels sat in his wheelchair staring blankly out of the window of his bedroom in his parents big house. Morgan was 20 years old and had dark brown hair blue eyes and was very well built. he was around six foot four and his arms and legs were pure muscle. His smile however hardly came anymore due to the accident that had recked his life two years before. Morgan had been a top student but his main subjects were music and sports. All the top colleges had been scouting him and he was about to get a massive scholarship to one of the major schools. However one night after a game of soccer he'd gone out with his friends to celebrate there win. he'd stupidly got in his car and driven home drunk. he'd suffered a major accident which left him blind and unable to walk talk or move anything apart from his arms and head. Morgan had been allowed home after rehab had done all they could. His father julian unable to handle his disabilities walked out leaving Heidi his mother to take up the slack herself. Morgan was an only child as Heidi had needed a hysterectomy after Morgan was born due to the birth being very difficult she'd suffered two much bleeding and it had been the only way of saving both there lives. They had discussed adopting another child however Julian refused saying if they could not be his own children he was not interested. Heidi had a very successful business which she ran from home, it was an online bookstore which she'd started not long after Morgon's third birthday. Julian had called her a fool for taking that kind of risk but it had taken off like a rocket. she'd now even extended her business to selling ebooks and that had really taken her to the next level. however since Morgan had his accident she'd sold the company for a massive sum of money allowing them to be comfortable where they lived. She now did some free lance music teaching from home and her business from that was enough to allow her and Morgan to have everything they needed.
Every day since he'd come home was the same for Morgan now, he just sat there in his chair unable to do anything. The doctors had said that there was a slight possibility that some of his movement could be restored but a lot of it was Morgan himself giving up. his sight could not be restored but the doctor had said if he was determined enough he may walk again and maybe speak. Heidi had spent hours on the internet trying to find a program that might give him the chance to recover. she was searching the internet when her phone rang.
"Heidi Michaels speaking, how can i help?"
"Hay babe how's things." her sister Holly asked. Heidi side and just shook her head then remembering they were on the phone spoke "No change, he's just given up completely there's nothing i can do anymore and i've had no luck." Holly who was a doctor smiled and was glad she had now phoned. "Can I come round straight away theres something i'd like to talk to you and Morgon about."
Heidi said that was fine. Holly arrived 20 minutes later a massive folder and dvd in her hands. Heidi had brought Morgon down stairs and he just nodded when holly said hello.
"I've found something that might be the answer for Morgon, i was speaking to one of my other friends from work and they gave me this dvd let's watch it and if you like what you see this folder has more information." the dvd was switched on and it was also audio described and a documentary so Morgon would have no trouble following it.
The dvd was about a new ground breaking therapy that was being tried out around the world, it involved going to a residential camp and staying on a ranch with different animals, there were therapists who assisted patients with taking care of the animals and as they learned different skills the therapy could enable a person to start getting over there accident and learn to do everything again. it had helped people far worse than Morgan and people had made great strides. each person was given a one to one therapist who would be responsible for that persons program and would be there councillor also. Morgan shook his head, he'd always been an animal lover but now since his accident he'd given up all hope. the therapy also involved music as well, along with the animal therapy there was also music therapy provided which was something that was provided as part of the whole program. The minimum stay was 1 year and the maximum was however long you took to respond or until the therapists and staff had felt they'd done all they could. After the video Holly and Heidi read threw the information and found that the program cost a huge amount, as money was no object Heidi had no problem paying.
| it was going to be such an adventure
fresh air, loads of people to socialise with, and animals to look after.
having payed for the programme, Heidie began to organize transport and also contacted the ranch, and told them what foods morgan liked, what time he usually went to bed, that sort of thing. she wanted to make sure everything was perfict!
she smiled to herself as she headed to pack morgan's things. she knew that she'd made the right choice, and she hoped that morgan would apreciate it, too.
morgan, as usual, was sitting in his chair oblivious to what was going on. when heidie entered the room, she smiled at him, then began packing his suitcase. the next day would be his first day at the ranch, and it was going to be a very long day.
at around 10 PM, she returned to his room, lifted him from the chair, and put him to bed. kissing him goodnight, she walked out of the room
however, once in the living room, realisation hit her, and she began to question what she'd done.
what if they don't treat him well?, she thought. what if this isn't even going to work?. then tears came to her eyes.. and... i'm going to miss him, she said out loud
she made herself a cup of coffee, then went back to sit on the sofa to turn on the TV.
the latest episode of a DIY show she liked was on. she settled back, thinking about morgan's new programme, and if it was, really, a good idea
the next morning at around 8A.M, heidi got morgan up, dressed him in his finest clothes, gave him breakfast, then waited for the transport that would take morgan to the ranch
it didn't take long. about an hour later, a mini bus drew up outside their house, and a woman got out.
she introduced herself as jennifer and said she would be in charge of making sure that all the people on the bus were well looked after.
heidi gave morgan 1 final kiss, before jennifer wheeled him out, up the ramp of the bus, and signalled for the driver to continue on
the bus ride
| "the wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round" blaired the sterrio on the bus.
most of the people on the bus were tapping their toes to the music, or moving from side to side
jennifer sat with morgan and started to explain where they were headed
" so," jennifer began, " we're going to what's called a ranch. the ranch has loads of animals on it, cows and horses, pigs, and sheep. it's going to be our job to look after them".
morgan didn't move, in fact jennifer wondered if he'd even heard her
" the itsy bitsty spider climbed up the water spout" blaired the sterrio
jennifer watched morgan to see his reaction to the music, but their wasn't any
in fact he just sat their staring at the ground
the bus moved along through the country. it was a sunday, and their wasn't much traffic at all
jennifer decided that she'd explain more about the ranch.
" so you're going to stay in a room with someone else", she said. " I don't know who yet, when we get to the ranch, our tuide will tell us."
"their are lots of people to socialise with" she aded. " their are 50 people on this trip, i am sure you'll make friends."
no response from morgan
jennifer reached across and lightly touched morgan's hand.
" are you listening to what I am saying?" she asked, not so much in a harsh tone, but with enough emotion to indicate that she actually required his attention.
nothing from morgan. nothing at all.
jennifer sat back in her seat and smiled. she figured it was still early days, and eventually morgan would make progress
but as they aproaced the ranch and jennifer looked at morgan, she could see that actually he'd not registered a thing.
| the ranch was huge.
animals- horses, sheep, pigs and cows, were free to wonder the ground
their were apple trees. their were pair trees. their was even country music playing.
jennifer wheeled morgan around the ranch, while they waited for their guide
it didn't take long for him to arrive.
a door opened, that led in to a house, and out came the guide
a tall man with blue eyes and long hair. he wore cowboy boots, and a cowboy hat
"howdie!" he said, " my name is cowboy bob, and i'm going to be your guide for the ranch!".
he continued, " so what we have here, is called a ranch. here we look after all kinds of animals, we pick fruit, and we do a lot of hard work. are you all ready for that?"
their were a few nods from the more able participants
" okay, but before you all get to work, we need to sort you out a room in the house!". gesturing to the house, he said " each room in the house is a double room. you will be staying with someone else in the room, and you will have 1 support worker between both of you. while you are here, you will be expected to work. got it?"
again their was a few nods
" right, so, um" said cowboy bob, scanning the crowd" which 1 of you is james?"
james was wheeled forward.
" you're gonna share a room with tommy", said bob. " which 1 of you is tommy?".
tommy was braught forward.
bob decided that james and tommy would have alicia, who was tommy's support worker.
" next, let's have mark and frank together!" explained bob
this went on. bob shouting out names, and those 2 people grouping up to share a room
he scanned the crowd again
" ah.. only 2 people left. morgan and andrew!".
jennifer, who had been silently listening, suddenly rushed forward and whispered something to bob.
bob whispered something back, then scowled.
" the idea of this programme is to develop skills and interact with people. morgan might be shy, but that won't do at the ranch. it won't do at all". bob didn't look too pleased.
thankfully, morgan's worker jennifer was chosen to support morgan and andrew.
" to your rooms!" growled bob. "unpack, quickly, and meet back here in 20 minits"
morgan and andrew's room was decorated to look like a gigantic chicken coop.
their were even plastic egs on the wall, and when you opened the door, an electronic sensor went " buck buck"
andrew, morgan's room mate, was slightly older than morgan.
he loved animals, and always carried with him a book- old mcdonalds guide to the farm.
he would flip through the book, stop on a random page, and say something like
" this is a pig. a pig goes oink oink, and it gives us sausages and bacon." he'd pause at the end of the page, then scream, "I love sausages and bacon, this must mean, I love pigs!"
then he'd start again with other animals on the farm
jennifer looked at morgan and could see he was unsettled by andrew's loud voice
" it's okay," said jennifer, stroking morgan's face. " he'll be finished soon"
andrew, meanwhile, had started again with chickens
" this is a chicken, chickens go buck buck buck, and they give us eggs!". once again, he paused, then screamed " I love egs, so I must love chickens!".
jjennifer sighed. even she wished that andrew would just stop now. noto nly for morgan's sake, but for her's. she was getting a head ache
jennifer started to help morgan to unpack.
clothes, shoes, a teddy bear, some candy, were just some of the things she unpacked and put away
andrew was turning his unpacking in to a loud experience
he withdrew from his bag a blue stuffed dolphin
he looked at the dolphin, and said
" hmm, it's blue, and it's a dolphin".
he paused, then screamed " this must mean I love dolphins!".
" yeah, yeah, we know" said jennifer, but instantly regreted saying it
andrew piped up again " someone's talking to me, she sounds like a female".
then he screamed " I love females!".
| deciding he'd had enough of andrew for now, jennifer wheeled morgan out of the building.
" let's explore the ranch," said jennifer smiling. "I wonder what we can find?"
outside, all the animals were running about enjoying themselves
jennifer walked around the ranch for a little while.
" it's so nice to be outside," said jennifer. "breav in that fresh, clean air."
then, a strange thing happened
morgan, who had not payed attention to anything since ariving at the ranch had started jumping up and down.
jennifer looked at him, but couldn't see what he was so excited about
they listened, hoping to hear a sound
"meow" came a sound from 1 of the trees
as jennifer wheeled morgan closer to the trees, morgan got really excited.
jennifer, reaching the tree, bent down to investigate.
" their's a littlek itty cat down here," said jennifer. she stroked it for a little while, so the cat could get used to her, then tried to coax the cat to come out ffrom under the trees
she succeeded in picking the cat up, and holding him close to morgan.
" he's a cat", said jenifer. " I wonder what a cat is doing on a ranch?"
morgan jumped up and down in his chair
jennifer, who got an idea of what he might want, gave him the cat to hold
morgan was ever so careful, he stroked the cat, he hugged the cat, and he looked relaxed, jennifer thought
then, something even stranger happened
"meow," whispered morgan
" he spoke", said jennifer, who was unaware that morgan even had a voice- he'd been so quiet in the bus.
" meow", whispered morgan again
"we need to put the cat down now, morgan" jennifer took the cat from him
the moment she had done so, morgan let out a scream, hit himself in the face, and started to rock violently from side to side.
" morgan!", jennifer reached down to calm him. " let's go and say hello to the cows".
morgan was still causing a real sceen.
"5 more minits with the cat," jennifer relented
as soon as morgan held the cat in his arms, he was silent and still.
cowboy bob came in to view and spotted jennifer and morgan
" finished unpacking so soon?" said bob coming closer.
he looked at morgan and asked, " what do you have their, son?"
morgan lifted his head, and said, "meow."
" we found a cat", jjennifer expanded.
" oh really. well, he's obviously a stray and needs to get off my ranch."
saying this, cowboy bob took thee cat from morgan
morgan, as before, started screaming, waving, and rocking violently from side to side
" he likes the cat, I think" said jennifer. " you know it's the first time he's spoken since we've arrived."
" is it now" said bob, lowering the cat to the floor. " well, regardless, this isn't our cat, it has to go."
morgan let out an extra loud scream
"if you'd just let him keep the cat," said jennifer
" no way" said bob. "his owner's are probably looking for him as we speak".
morgan screamed again
jennifer, who was paying very little attention to bob, bent down and pick up the cat.
" he likes me," she said. " here morgan," she gave him the cat. " stroke the cat for a while."
in sted of the usual meow, morgan grinned at the cat
"pussycat!" he announced, as he stroked the cat.
" that is pretty cute," admitted bob. " well, I guess it's just a cat. let him keep it for now."
" pussycat!" announced morgan again. then he said, " meow"
" he's made a friend on the ranch all ready, and it's a cat" said jennifer.
jennifer and bob shared a look, then they both smiled down at morgan
| after watching morgan and the cat for a while, bob said to jennifer
"we need to go inside now. we need to discuss morgan's requirements. what food he likes, his rooteen, stuff like that."
when jennifer didn't answer, he aded " we want everyone's stay at the ranch to be as nice as possible."
turning to morgan, he took the cat from him and put it down on the ground.
morgan started to scream, punch himself, and rock violently.
" morgan," jennifer said gently. " we need to go inside, so we can tell bob what food you like to eat. you want all the food you like at home, don't you?."
morgan continued to scream
turning to bob, she asked " can the cat come inside?. morgan loves the cat, and while we talk, he can stroke the cat."
bob shook his head. " it's not a good idea," he said, " some of the other people staying here may hurt it."
jennifer begged. " please bob, i'll never get him inside if he can't have the cat. the cat's opening him up. please."
"no," said bob. "I may have agreed that morgan can keep the cat, but not inside the building."
jennifer reached down and gently took morgan by the hand.
"this will only take a few seconds, morgan. after that, you can have the cat."
morgan broke free of jennifer's grip, and lifted his hand to strike her face.
"now now morgan," said bob sternly. "that's not good behaviour."
"just let him bring the cat, please." said jennifer."once we've worked out what else he likes, we can use it to bribe him."
bob sighs. "do I have a choice?," he asked
"thank you," said jennifer.
she picked up the cat and gave it to morgan, who instantly calmed down
once inside, morgan waited with cowboy bob while jennifer went to his room to fetch his rooteen list packed away in his bag.
"i've found it," she finally said.
bob took the list, and started to read.
"morgan likes candy, chrisps, chocolate and cookies." he began. turning to jennifer, he remarked, " that's not very healthy is it?"
he continued reading, "for dinner, morgan usually has chicken nuggets or fish fingers. morgan likes animals, especially cats".
turning to jennifer again, bob remarked " yes, I know he likes cats!".
"morgan goes to bed at 8 PM, and always has a bedtime story read to him. he likes peace and quiet, and he can get angry and violent if his rooteen is interupted."
bob smiled. "right," he said, "now I know what he likes, I have a better understanding of him."
The next friend.
| The next morning Jennifer got Morgan up at the normal time that the ranch ordered you to be awake. After assisting Morgan and Andrew with getting ready they then all went down stairs for breakfast. The cat had gone out during the night while Morgan was asleep so he was not yet aware that the cat was not there. After Breakfast Bob announced the chores for the day.
"Morgan will be in charge of looking after the dogs today, he'll need to feed and brush them. He'll also need to make sure that there all happy and comfortable."
Morgan did not respond, however when Jennifer wheeled him to the Kenol's Morgan heard the dogs happy barks as they saw people approaching. However he did not get involved in any of the work with the dogs, Andrew however got stuck in and really started doing what Jennifer instructed. While Morgan sat in his chair not making an effort a lab approached and started sniffing him, the lab then sat expectantly waiting for attention. Morgan however ignored him and just continued to sit there despondently not knowing what to do. He knew now why he was here but he just did not see how this place could help him. The lab however was not taking no for an answer and started sniffing him and nudging him with his head. Morgan suddenly put his hand out and started stroking the dog gently, the dog's tail wagged happily and Morgan smiled as he felt his tale wag against him. "What's his name?" Morgan said un expectedly. Jennifer shocked that Morgan had asked a direct question rushed over to him, there was something about this young man she liked and she really wanted him to respond.
"This is Rambo, he's a black Lab and he's 3 years old, his main work on the ranch is to assist the residents with there recovery by letting them take him for walks and play with him."
Morgan nodded suddenly he knew what he wanted to do, he wanted to be able to walk the dog and not with his wheelchair, he wanted to walk again. Maybe now his mother had done the write thing sending him here and for the first time since his accident he dared to hope that there might be a life for him still.
can I have a word?
| "morgan!" barked cowboy bob coming over to him. " morgan!. you are meant to be brushing the dogs, not stroking them!. even andrew is doing a better job than you are. put rambo down, and brush those dogs."
" excuse me?" jennifer was shocked. " andrew might be getting more stuck in than morgan, but morgan is making great progress here. why, today he even asked a direct question."
" la la la" mumbled cowboy bob as he continued down the line praising some of the work, and shouting at others.
at the end of the day bob spoke up.
" you all did great," he said, glaring in jennifer's direction. " now let's go back inside and get ourselves ready for dinner."
as jennifer wheeled morgan inside, bob stopped her.
" jenifer, I'd like a word with you" bob said, and before she had a chance to respond, guided her and morgan in to his private office.
" jennifer" he started, " I'm not sure if this ranch is going to work for morgan. I mean we're 2 days in and all hee's done is stroke the animals. he's not done any work at all."
jennifer looked calmly at bob and replied, " morgan is special. he's making really good progress, and I think as long as we allow him to stroke the animals, he'll be fine. eventually, we can start him on other things."
bob shook his head.
" this ranch," he said, " is a place for people to come and work at getting their lives back on track. all morgan is doing is stroking a cat. he's not working at all."
" um, and a dog" said jennifer.
" right, and a dog" said bob.
morgan started to get irritated
jennifer reached her hand down to pat his.
" not long," she said. " not long until we can go back and get ready for dinner."
she turned back to bob.
" you need to give him a fair chance" she said. " what kind of progress do you expect from an adult in just 2 days?"
bob shook his head.
" I don't think he should be here" he said. " the others are way ahead of morgan in terms of wanting to move forward."
" I want to b here," morgan announced. " I want to stroke the cat, and I want to walk rambo."
" you see?" jennifer said. " he spoke again."
" about blasted animals" bob said. " get him focussing on other things, or he's out."
bob foldded his arms.
" anyway, I suppose you better be getting back" he said. " you'll miss dinner."
| not even morgan could remember what life was like before his accident.
though he longed to walk again, and to play with the dogs, it had been 2 years. 2 long years since the accident, and morgan couldn't remember much.
he had memories.
at home he had a shelf in his bedroom full of things to remind him of his old life.
a black and white football from when he used to play football for his school, some certificates from when he graduated to colledge, even pictures of his old friends. friends that morgan loved dearly, but had not been able to see since the accident.
he doubted that most of those friends would want to see him now.
gone were the days where morgan and his friends would run across the field playing football, or walk through the woods making campfires, no... morgan's friends wouldn't want to see him. not like this- not in a wheelchair, they wouldn't know how to react. they were all so indipendend and would probably laugh