Authors: Angela Dorsey
Tags: #pony, #horse, #angel, #dream, #thomas, #silver, #guardian, #dorsey, #joanna, #angela, #angelica
“Yes,” said Joanna, amazed. Mr.
Thomas hadn’t sounded a bit afraid, only furious at David. “And he
called him by another name, remember? He was mad at some other guy
and mistook David for him. That’s probably important.”
“It is possible that the person
he mistook David for did something to him in the past, and if so,
in kidnapping David, did he feel he was achieving revenge?”
“Sure, it’s possible.”
“But why? What was he
“I don’t know. I just hope Cally
finds him quick.” Joanna heard a door slam and leaned to look
around the corner. The red highlights in Cally’s hair caught the
sunlight as she ran toward them, her eyes on the shed.
“I can’t find him,” she blurted,
opening the door. Joanna knocked on the back wall, and a moment
later Cally was around the corner. “I looked everywhere.” She
sounded panicky. “And Grandpa’s awake now. He’s coming outside in
just a minute. You have to go.”
“We will go to Raven,” said
Angelica. She put her hand on Cally’s arm. “You come too.”
“My pony,” Joanna said. “Come
The girl nodded, and the three
of them raced toward the fence. On the other side of the barrier,
the forest welcomed them, a pine-scented haven. Already the sweat
on Joanna’s face was cooling.
Raven whinnied to them as they
drew near and pawed the ground. Obviously, he felt he’d been
waiting far too long.
“Oh,” said Cally, and breathed
deep. “He’s adorable.”
“Yes, he is,” Angelica agreed,
“Come meet him,” said
Cally stepped to Raven’s side
and the pony nuzzled her arm. “He’s so sweet,” she said, touching
his face. “And he’s just the right size. Not too big and
“He’s getting too small for me,
actually,” Joanna said, then squeezed her lips together, surprised
she’d confided in Cally so quickly.
“What will happen to him when
you get bigger?”
Joanna shook her head. “I don’t
know. Mom and Dad might sell him, or lease him out to a smaller
“I wish I was smaller.”
Joanna just sighed.
“You were able to check the
entire house?” Angelica asked, bringing them back to their
“No. When I went into Grandpa’s
room, he woke up. He hadn’t taken off his hearing aids and he heard
me.” She stroked Raven’s sleek neck.
“If he takes his hearing aids
off tonight, we can come inside the house to help you look for
David,” Angelica offered.
Joanna didn’t say anything. The
idea of sneaking about Mr. Thomas’s house while he was asleep
seemed creepy. And scary. What if he woke up and discovered them?
She’d get in such massive trouble. And Robbie would never let her
or their parents forget it.
“Okay,” said Cally. “You wait at
the shed after dark and I’ll come out to get you as soon as he’s
Both girls looked at Joanna.
“You do not have to do this,
Joanna,” said Angelica.
What was she supposed to do now?
Wimp out? Say she was too scared? “No, I was just going to say, I
might be a little late. My parents don’t go to bed until after the
11 o’clock news. But you can count on me.”
Angelica nodded her head in
“I have to go home now though,”
Joanna continued. “My big brother and his wife are coming over for
lunch, and Mom said I had to be there.”
Cally patted Raven on the
shoulder in farewell. “Bye, Ravie Roo,” she murmured, then threw
her arms around his neck to give him a quick hug. “I’ll see you
tonight,” she said to Joanna.
Joanna leapt to her pony’s back.
“I’ll be here,” she said, then added, “Try not to worry, Angelica.
We’ll find him.”
“Yeah, we’ll find him,” echoed
Cally, then added, “If he’s there.”
Raven snorted, and then he and
Joanna were off.
It has been ages since I have had to
wait. No horse is calling me. None of my humans. There is nothing I
can do now to find David. Cally has returned to her grandfather.
Tango, Bonnie, and Breeze have promised to wait.
This is a rare moment, one that has not
happened since my run with Rhythm and Crystal. Have I forgotten
what it is to have free time? Apparently.
What do I do now?
Maybe a stroll in these woods? The
wildflowers are wonderful, so tiny and perfect. The breeze is
refreshing. The boughs sigh and trees creak – wild music. I hear a
Xu? Yes, I hear you. You want me to
come to you?
Joanna rode into the yard just as a red
truck pulled into their driveway. Jason and Capri had arrived. She
waved to them, then trotted Raven toward the barn. Mom would have
lunch ready soon, and she wanted to give her pony a good grooming
before she turned him out with Trusty to graze.
Robbie and her dad were in the
barn, standing outside Silver Belle’s stall.
“Jason and Capri are here,” said
Joanna’s dad turned toward her,
his face lined with concern.
“Belle. She’s worse.”
“Oh no!” Joanna hurried to the
stall, Raven clattering behind her, and peered over the half door.
Belle was stretched out in the straw, with her foal, Silver Chime,
standing over her and the vet kneeling at her side. Raven whinnied
and the mare startled. She struggled to rise but her back legs
didn’t seem to be working properly.
“Help me, Robbie,” said Joanna’s
dad. He pushed past Raven and entered the stall.
Tears erupted from Joanna’s
eyes. Was their beautiful Belle going to die too, just like Silver
“Move,” said Robbie, sharply.
“Raven’s upsetting her.”
Speechless, Joanna pulled her
pony away from the stall. She ran to clip him in the crossties,
then hurried back. Robbie was holding Chime in the corner, keeping
her safe from her dam’s flailing hooves. Dad and the vet were
attempting to hold the mare still so she wouldn’t harm herself in
her struggles, but they weren’t having much success. Belle seemed
to be having a seizure.
Then Dad saw her. “Jo, go take
care of Raven!”
Joanna ran. Not toward Raven,
but toward the barn door. Across the stable yard and over the gate,
toward the fillies’ pasture. But no matter how hard she ran, she
couldn’t get the horrible image of Belle, trembling and jerking on
the floor of her stall, out of her mind.
Pain stabbed at her side, but
she didn’t stop. Suddenly, the second gate was in front of her.
Moments later, she was over it and racing onward. She was almost to
the fillies’ pasture now. There in the center of the field, she
could see the white spot that was Crystal, Belle’s foal from two
years ago. Joanna stopped short and squeezed her eyes shut. “Please
make Belle be okay,” she muttered. “Please, please, please.”
She opened her eyes to see the
fillies canter toward her, obviously delighted to get an early
Joanna spun around.
“Raven told me you needed
“Belle’s dying.” Fresh tears
gushed from Joanna’s eyes. “And she can’t, she just can’t. She has
a baby who needs her. I need her. She can’t die.”
“I will see what we can do.
Please, stay here.”
Surprised, Joanna looked up.
Angelica was already moving toward the fillies. She climbed the
fence, and moments later, was in the center of the small herd, her
head bowed. The fillies crowded closer to her, pressing their heads
against the teenager’s slight body.
Joanna’s mouth opened in
amazement. Light was sparkling over Angelica’s hair and the
fillies, especially Silver Crystal, Belle’s foal.
And then the sparks were gone.
It had to be her imagination. There was no logical explanation for
what she’d seen – and her eyes
been full of tears.
The ponies broke formation and
Angelica walked back to the fence. She sighed, her eyes sad. “Belle
is fine now, Joanna. Go back to the barn. You will see.”
“What? How can you know?” Then
her voice filled with hope. Somehow she felt Angelica was telling
the truth. “Really? She’s okay?”
Angelica frowned. “Yes, she
accepted our help, because of Chime. But please, Joanna, you must
prepare yourself. When Chime is weaned and living in this pasture
with her sister, Belle will move on.”
“What do you mean? You can’t
mean she’ll die. No!”
“It is her time, Joanna, and the
nature of life for us all.” She put her hand on Joanna’s shoulder.
“We must accept it, especially since Belle has. We must honour her
life, not fear her death.” Slowly, she released the girl. “Now, my
dear one, go see Belle for yourself. Enjoy your lunch with your
family. I will see you tonight.” Then the strange girl turned and
walked back to the fillies with slumped shoulders.
Joanna looked back at the
distant barn. Could Angelica and the fillies really have saved
Belle? It was impossible. But she knew the answer was yes. She knew
it in her heart.
And just as surely, she knew
Angelica’s warning was true. Soon Belle would be gone – and then
Raven too, to a new owner. How was she to bear it?
Xu, I am back. Thank you for your
invitation! It is not often that I get to visit for enjoyable
reasons, my dear.
I cannot wait for our adventure – a
gallop across the Tibetan Plateau! As we run, I will send images to
Belle. She has never seen anything so exotic! It will cheer her at
this difficult time.
Look! A herd of antelope – Chiru, I
believe they are called – are coming up behind us. And now we are
among them, their soft bodies next to ours as we gallop over the
Glorious! There is no greater place to
be at this time. Thank you, Xu, with all of my heart!