Authors: Angela Dorsey
Tags: #pony, #horse, #angel, #dream, #thomas, #silver, #guardian, #dorsey, #joanna, #angela, #angelica
Copyright Angela Dorsey 2011
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Enchanted Pony Books
“This stinks,” said Joanna.
Her black lab, Noah, looked up
at her and sighed, then turned his patient gaze back to Robbie
jumping Silver Sky over the obstacles in the ring.
“It’s not fair,” she said a
little louder and kicked the bottom fence rail. Her dad glanced at
her from the center of the ring, frowned, then turned back to watch
Silver Sky. The white sport pony flew over fences with Robbie
perched on his back like the pro he was.
“Just finish this round,” her
dad called to Robbie. “We still have Trinket to work today.”
Robbie didn’t acknowledge that
he’d heard their dad’s command, but Joanna knew he had. So did
their dad. He never repeated anything he told Robbie because he
knew his son always listened to him. After all, Robbie was perfect.
The perfect rider. The perfect competitor. The perfect son,
especially for a man who raised sport ponies for a living. After
Jason, Joanna and Robbie’s oldest brother, hadn’t shown an interest
in the ponies, then grew up and left home, Robbie was considered
even more perfect. Joanna kicked the bottom rail again.
“Don’t you have some homework to
do, Jo?” Dad asked, turning to look at her with a frustrated
“Did it already.”
“Then why don’t you go help your
mom in the house? She’d like that.” His fake smile seemed stuck to
“I’m sick of being in the house.
That’s all you ever want me to do. Why can’t I help with the
ponies? Robbie did when he was my age, and so did Jason, and he
wasn’t even into them!”
Behind their dad, Robbie pulled
the white stallion to a halt and shook his head at her immature
whining. He even showed his contempt perfectly.
“Okay, you can ride out to check
the fillies,” Dad said. “No one’s been out there since this
“Can I ride Sky?”
Robbie laughed as he dismounted
the magnificent sport pony. “Yeah, right.”
Joanna glowered at him. “I can
ride him. I’ve ridden him before!”
“Yeah, around the ring at a walk
and trot,” said Robbie.
Their dad looked from Joanna, to
Robbie, and back again. “You can ride him, Jo. It’ll be good for
him to get out of the ring, and after Robbie’s ride he won’t be too
fresh. You should be okay.”
Joanna held back her
exasperation as best she could. She could handle Silver Sky, and
had said so many times. However, no one ever listened to her.
“Thanks, Dad,” she said, trying
to sound grateful. And she
grateful, really. Usually she
had to sneak out at night to ride the stallion.
“Just take him slow and easy, a
nice trail ride. He needs to relax. And don’t spend too long with
the fillies. It’s going to be dark soon.”
“Okay.” Joanna climbed over the
fence and hurried to take Silver Sky’s reins. Robbie was already
unbuckling the cinch of his expensive jumping saddle.
“Have fun riding a real pony for
once,” he said quietly as he pulled the saddle from Silver Sky’s
“Robbie! There’s nothing wrong
with Joanna’s pony.” Their dad had heard. Good! Maybe he’d realize
Robbie wasn’t so perfect after all.
Head high, Joanna led the
elegant Silver Sky from the ring. She wasn’t about to let Robbie
know his words stung. She loved her dark pony, Raven, with all her
heart. He was the kindest sweetest pony she knew and it hurt to
hear someone say bad things about him. Especially since he was
getting too small for her. Joanna felt her throat close off. If
only she could stop growing.
Sneaking out at night to ride
Silver Sky only made her feel worse about Raven too, guilty as well
as worried. Silver Sky was the farm’s prized stallion for a good
reason. Joanna had never ridden a pony with such power, grace, and
If only Raven was more like
No! She shouldn’t think such a
But on the other hand, she had
to be reasonable too. Even if she refused to ride any pony but
Raven, no amount of loyalty was going to stop Dad from someday
noticing how tall she looked on his back, how long her legs were
getting. What would happen to her beloved pony then?
She stopped at a gate near the
barn. Both Raven and Trusty, her dad’s big palomino gelding, thrust
their heads over the top rail. Raven whinnied to her.
“Sorry, Ravie,” Joanna murmured
and stroked his velvet nose. “But Dad hasn’t ever let me ride Sky
outside the ring before. We’ll go for a long ride tomorrow, okay?”
The pony snuffled her dark brown hair, but then shied away as
Silver Sky came too close. Raven was always nervous of the large
white pony, though for some reason Trusty never frightened him and
he was even bigger.
“I’m sorry,” Joanna said, close
to tears as she watched her black pony trot away from the gate,
then turn to look at her from a safe distance. How could she do
this to her precious Raven?
But how could she not ride
Silver Sky, now that her dad had given her permission? Maybe if she
spent lots of time with Raven tomorrow, brushing him so that he
gleamed like dark satin, then took a long, leisurely ride down to
the lake, they’d both feel better. Raven loved going to the lake,
and if it was a nice day, they could swim together. And tomorrow
was Saturday – no school – so they’d have lots of time.
“You have a good rest today,
Ravie,” Joanna added, her voice a little cheerier. “And tomorrow
we’ll have lots of fun. I promise.”
There would be nowhere to hide, once he
was closer to the barn. The fences were rail and he would be easy
to see if anyone cared to look. There were no trees to hide behind.
Even the bushes were no more than small, well-manicured lumps.
It seemed there was only one way to get
close to the barn unseen: crawl on his hands and knees along the
shallow gully that ran toward the buildings. It looked like it went
to the edge of the barn and then along its length. However, his
eyesight wasn’t what it used to be, so he might be wrong.
Crawling along the gully was not a
guarantee he wouldn’t be caught either. Someone might see his
jacket above the level of the ground if they came near the ditch.
Or if there was a dog, it might hear or see him and alert the
owners. How embarrassing that would be! How would he explain
Yet he couldn’t go home empty handed
either. Not when Kathy needed her pony.
The man lowered himself over the mown
edge of the gully. Unfortunately, whoever kept the fields clean
hadn’t weed-whacked the ditch for a while. The vegetation there was
about six inches long, and the ground was damp from the thin stream
that flowed along the bottom. He was going to get wet.
He carefully knelt on arthritic knees.
He hated doing this, but there was no other way. Kathy didn’t
understand why Thunder had been taken away. Well, neither did he.
How could anyone be so cruel as to take a girl’s pony, when he was
the one who had messed up?
Thunder doesn’t eat very much,”
she’d told him, tears coursing down her cheeks. “I could get a job
and buy his food.” Her face became even sadder when she added, “Is
it my fault, Daddy? I’m so sorry.” It had almost broken his heart
to hear that.
He took a deep breath and started to
crawl along the ditch.
He’d tried to explain that she and
Thunder hadn’t done anything wrong, that there were other reasons
they’d taken and sold him, but she didn’t understand all this
nonsense about losing races and paying debts. It was that moment
that he promised himself – not her, because if he failed, he didn’t
want her to be disappointed – that he would find her pony and bring
The thing he hadn’t counted on was that
it would be so hard. Not just the manicured grounds and rail fences
that offered no cover. The biggest problem was in himself, in his
heart. This felt wrong somehow. But there was no other way to get
Now his pant legs were completely
soaked, but he must be making headway. He rose up slowly to peer
over the edge of the ditch.