I bet you didn’t know that Cory’s full name is Richard Cory Blake. But nobody ever calls him that. I don’t mind admitting that Cory Blake is one of my best friends, even if he is a boy. We have lots of fun together. He’s especially good at racing and fishing, two of the things I like to do best. The Circle C ranch is so far from town (about an hour’s ride), that I don’t see my town friends except at school. Cory has a lot of freedom, so he rides out to the ranch often. He knows I’m always good for a fast race (he hasn’t won yet, but he keeps trying).
Cory is a year older than I am, and his blond hair is always wild and messy. He is an only child and lives in a small house behind his father’s livery stable in town with his mother and father. Cory’s chief aim in life is to have fun and play as many jokes on his classmates as he can get away with. But nobody can stay mad at Cory for long. He’s just a happy-go-lucky kind of fellow. He doesn’t like school at all (neither do I). Arithmetic is difficult for him, but he loves grammar. I’m the opposite. I love numbers but do not like parsing sentences. Cory would much rather be working alongside his father at the livery or, better still, racing around the countryside looking for adventure.
You know how Cory and I met? It was terrible! It was my first day of school. I was only 6 years old, and this strange boy flicked a fly onto my desk. (Andi’s Scary School Days). Later that day, when I was up in a tree, Cory told me he liked me.
It was nice to have a friend. Especially after Riley left the ranch. Cory sort of took his place. Every first day of school he brings me a snake and puts it in my desk. Boy, did that ever get me into trouble with our new schoolmaster (Dangerous Decision).
Nothing seems to bother Cory much . . . well, that’s not entirely true. I believe it bothered Cory a great deal when he spoke to Justin the year I was either sixteen or seventeen about possibly courting me. Justin dissuaded him from pursuing this course of action, knowing that in spite of being “best friends,” we were too different to make a good marriage match. For one thing, Cory loves working in the livery with his pa. I love the ranch. For another thing, I think Justin was afraid that I would be able to “rule the roost” if I married Cory. He’s probably right. Cory is just too easygoing to put his foot down when I get crazy ideas in my head.
I know Cory was hurt when he knew a courtship would never work, but he’s still my best friend. Later on, Cory sailed away for the Hawaiian Islands to “clear his head,” and I didn’t see him for over two years. He came back with a huge surprise! (I can’t say anything more or I will spoil the new Milestones book, Stranger in the Glade: More Tales from Memory Creek Ranch.