Authors: Angela Dorsey
Tags: #pony, #horse, #angel, #dream, #thomas, #silver, #guardian, #dorsey, #joanna, #angela, #angelica
“Williams! You mean Tango’s
owner? That Mr. Williams?” asked Joanna.
“And Dancer was Tango’s sire,”
Angelica said. “Finally, I understand.” She turned to Cally and
took both her hands. “Your grandfather was a victim of a crime. He
lost his horses because of Mr. Williams’ and Graham’s plot to make
him go bankrupt. And now that he thinks it is the past, he is
acting as he wished he had back then.”
“Poor Grandpa. We have to find
“Maybe he’s gone to get another
of Mr. Williams’ horses,” Joanna suggested.
“I wouldn’t be surprised,” said
David. “He really hates that guy.”
“After last night, Mr. Williams
will be prepared for a thief.” Cally’s voice was panicky. “He’ll
catch Grandpa, and who knows what he’ll do to him.”
“I just hope we are in time,”
said Angelica. She released Cally’s hands and strode toward the
door. Immediately, David, Joanna, and Cally fell in behind her.
He couldn’t find Thunder anywhere. He’d
looked in stall after stall and saw stunning mares and foals, and
lovely, athletic, mature ponies – but no Thunder.
When he finished in the barn, he moved
on to search the pastures. First, he found a big palomino and a
small black pony. Both seemed nervous about him and kept their
distance. However, they needn’t have bothered avoiding him. He
wasn’t looking for them. He was only here for his daughter’s pony.
He wasn’t a horse thief.
Where could they have hidden him? Had
they somehow known he would be looking for Thunder? Maybe they felt
guilty for stealing a child’s pony and guessed his true owner would
try to reclaim him.
Suddenly, he remembered the young
ponies the girl had gone to see the last time he’d been here. They
were in a distant field, and the field was very large, if he
remembered correctly. The girl might’ve turned Thunder out with
He groaned aloud. If Kathy’s pony were
there, it would take a great deal of energy to find and capture
him, energy that he simply didn’t have any more.
But how could he even think such a
selfish thing? This was his own fault, leaving Thunder until last.
He had no choice but to search the pasture. He’d already been
enough of a disappointment to his daughter. It was time to redeem
himself in her eyes.
The night was cool for spring. They
clattered down the porch steps, then paused when Angelica strode
toward the shed.
“That’s a good idea,” said
Joanna, suddenly understanding. She hurried to catch up to
Angelica. “It’s miles to Mr. Williams’ farm and it’ll take forever
to walk. I’ll go get Silver Sky. You guys can help me take down the
fence rails so we can get him through.”
Angelica stopped abruptly. “No,”
she said. “We must leave him where he is.” When Joanna opened her
mouth to speak, Angelica held up an elegant hand. “I do not know
why, but I feel it is the right thing to do. You must trust
“But then who do I ride?
There’re only three horses.”
“And I don’t know how to ride,”
Cally said doubtfully. “Plus, Grandpa doesn’t have any
“Do not worry. All will be
well,” Angelica said.
“Yeah, let Angelica do her
magic,” David added.
The horses looked at them
expectantly when the group entered their tiny shed. Within moments
they were untied and led outside. Breeze, Bonnie, and Tango all
looked overjoyed to be out and pranced along on light hooves.
“David and I will ride
together,” Angelica explained to Joanna. “That way if I have to go
suddenly, there is still one person per horse. Cally can ride
Breeze. He has been longing to take her for a ride.”
“I’ll ride Bonnie then,” Joanna
said quickly. The last thing she wanted to do was get on the
spirited racehorse’s back.
“Here, I’ll give you a boost,”
David offered. He smiled at Joanna as he locked his fingers
together, forming a stirrup with his hands.
Joanna’s stomach did a strange
flip-flop. “Sure,” she stammered. “Sorry if my shoes are dirty.”
She put her foot in his hand and he hoisted her onto the mare’s
back. The horse felt so tall after Raven, and even Silver Sky. The
sport pony was only 14.2 hands, while Bonnie must be close to 16
Angelica helped Cally mount
Breeze. “He will follow the other horses. Just hold onto his mane
until you are familiar with his movement.”
“Okay.” Cally clutched the red
mane at Breeze’s withers.
Angelica helped David mount the
big bay, then sprung up behind him. Tango pranced down the driveway
and eagerly turned onto the road. He knew he was going home. David
guided him to the soft shoulder of the road and Bonnie and Breeze
followed single file behind them.
“Are you ready to go faster,
Cally?” Angelica asked as she looked back. Her eyes caught the
moonlight and flashed gold.
“Yes,” Cally said timidly. Tango
started to trot, his stride long and elastic, and Bonnie followed,
breaking into… what was this odd swaying gait? Certainly not a
trot, though it was similar.
“She’s pacing!” Joanna said,
suddenly understanding. “Cool! I’ve never ridden a pacer before.” A
sudden thought lurched into her mind. If Bonnie was a pacer, she’d
probably been a harness racer before she’d been a broodmare. How
strange that she was also trained to ride. “We’re lucky someone
trained her to saddle,” she added.
Angelica looked back and
“This is fun! I never knew
riding could be so fun!” All tension was gone from Cally’s
Joanna looked back to see Cally
firmly perched on Breeze’s back as he loped along with a smooth
rocking horse canter. The girl was completely relaxed and obviously
enjoying herself immensely. “You’re a natural rider,” Joanna
“Thanks. It’s easy with him. I’m
glad I didn’t get Bonnie. She looks hard to ride.”
“She’s pretty cool too,
“Oh no, my car’s gone,” David
said, and pulled back on Tango’s lead rope. The horse stopped
short. “I’m sure this is the spot I went in the ditch.”
“I am sorry, David. I meant to
tell you. Your car is at Mr. Thomas’s house. He must have towed it
there last night.”
“Oh wow.” David sounded almost
sick. “No one ever would’ve known I was in trouble. If you hadn’t
heard me, Angelica, no would’ve found me in that cellar, ever.”
“He didn’t hurt you on purpose.
It must have been an accident,” Cally said defensively.
David was silent.
“And it’s my fault too,” Cally
added. “If I hadn’t spent almost all day in the shed, I might’ve
heard you or something.” When David still didn’t respond, she
continued. “But I’m sorry he did that to you, really. If I could’ve
stopped him, I would’ve.”
“David?” asked Angelica, when he
still didn’t speak.
“Let’s get going,” he said,
Angelica sighed. “Cally, are you
ready to go faster still?”
“Sure.” She sounded like she was
going to cry. Joanna didn’t blame her. Cally was just trying to
stick up for her crazy grandpa. Surely David could see that.
Tango broke into a fast canter.
Bonnie’s body swayed from side to side, faster and faster, as her
pace increased. Joanna didn’t dare look back to make sure Cally was
still aboard – it took all her skill to stay on the bareback mare
while facing forward. However, Breeze’s hoof beats sounded steady
and rhythmic behind her. At least Cally had a smooth horse for her
She was just about to tell
Angelica to take a right at the next road when Tango turned by
himself. Of course, he’d know the way to his own home. And they
were almost there now. It had been a very quick ride considering
they weren’t flat out galloping. Bizarrely fast, in fact.
“The lights up there, about half
a mile away, that’s the Williams’ farm,” she called to Angelica.
Immediately, Tango slowed to a trot. Joanna was relieved when
Bonnie slowed too. Her muscles weren’t used to this kind of
movement in a horse, and riding bareback made her legs ache even
more. At least with Bonnie pacing slowly she didn’t have to grip as
hard with her thighs.
Tango slowed to a walk, and
finally stopped about fifty yards from the gate. Angelica and David
slid from the big stallion’s back.
Joanna was happy to feel the
ground beneath her feet. “Thank you, Bonnie,” she whispered to the
mare, and smiled when the black nickered to her and nuzzled her
arm. “You’re wonderful.”
She glanced at Cally. The girl
was standing beside Breeze, her arms around his neck. Moonlit tears
glistened on her face as she hugged the big gelding.
“Cally? Are you okay?” Joanna
The girl nodded, then turned her
face away, embarrassed.
Joanna walked toward Cally and
Breeze, purposefully keeping her body between the girl and the two
“I’m okay,” Cally whispered. “I
just wish I could make him understand Grandpa isn’t a bad person.”
She rubbed tears from her cheeks.
“I know,” Joanna whispered
“So what’s our plan? Just go in
and find him?” David asked.
“Yes, and bring him out as
quickly and quietly as we can,” Angelica said. “Are you ready?
“I’m ready,” Joanna said.
“Me too,” said Cally. “Let’s
Thank heavens, the ponies were a lot
easier to find than he thought they’d be. He could see them as soon
as he reached the gate to their paddock. One of them – it must be
Thunder – was glowing white in the moonlight.
The man slumped against the gate. He’d
go down there in a minute, as soon as he caught his breath. He
watched them with fatigue-clouded eyes, four dark dots and one
white, grazing beside some moonlit willows. They were so far away,
but at least he’d be able to ride back.
He bent to climb through the fence,
straightened on the other side, and started to walk. The dots
bobbed closer, slowly taking on pony shape – and then they saw
A snort rolled toward him. No! They
couldn’t run away!
Thunder,” he called. “Come here.
Oats, boy.” He’d deal with the pony’s disappointment later.
The ponies stood, stock still, for a
long moment, then one of them whinnied.
A distant answering whinny came from
behind him. The man spun around. Another pony was off in the woods
He heard the ponies behind him break
into a trot and turned back. They were moving swiftly toward him
now, all five of them, with the white one in the middle of the
Disappointment descended over him like
fog when the ponies reached him. None of these were Kathy’s
Thunder. His hand went to stroke the nearest pony’s face. They were
all too young, mere babies, while Thunder was a mature gelding in