A Pony of Her Own: A short story about girls and horses by Laurel M. Smith
Ch. 6 – A Close Call
The next day, Wednesday, Lauren came over to Libby’s house. She lived just
down the street from Libby. They were going to play together with Libby’s toy
horse collection in the sandbox in the backyard.
“We missed you at the Girl Scout hike yesterday, Lauren. Where were you?
You didn’t even call me to tell me what was going on.”
“Well, I don’t want to talk about it too much in case it brings bad luck. But my
mother arranged for me to have a private showing of Lady yesterday since
she’s for sale. I got to ride her around the paddock and try her out. I just love
her! She’s definitely the one I want. I hope Monica doesn’t get her first. Miss
Lee thinks she’s perfect for me.”
“That’s great Lauren. When will you find out if you get her?”
“Not for a couple of weeks. I’m going to have one more test ride, and I think we
have to get the vet to check her to make sure she is a sound and healthy pony.”
“What? A pony? I thought she was a horse. Lady seems too big to be a pony.”
“But she is. She’s only 14 hands tall at the shoulder. They have to be over 14
and a half hands tall to be a horse by the book. Lady is technically a large
pony. I think Ginger is what they would call a medium pony based on her
“Neat!” said Libby. “So if Lady becomes yours, then you’ll have a real pony. I
hope you get her.”
“I promise I’ll let you be the one to take care of her whenever my family goes out
of town on vacations, OK?”
“OK,” agreed Libby. If she couldn’t have a pony of her own, then taking care of
someone else’s would be almost as fun, even if it were only for a short time.
Then maybe she could prove to her dad that she was responsible enough to
have her own.
“Now let’s take these toy horse figurines of mine out to the sandbox. I found a
great little area to make a play paddock and a stable for them.” The two friends
spent the rest of the afternoon pretending with their toy horses in their little
stable made of sticks and sand.
Thursday finally rolled around. “You know, this has been the longest week of
my life,” Libby told Lauren as they dipped their feet in the pool at the
neighborhood club again. “I can’t stand it anymore! I have to see what Ginger
looks like in person. I think I’ll just explode if I have to wait one more day!”
“I have an idea,” Lauren told her. “Get dressed, and get your bike. Then follow
They put their wet towels and swimsuits in one of the lockers, and Libby
followed Lauren over to where her mother was visiting with some friends in the
“We’re going for a little bike ride around the block Mom. We’ll be back in a little
“OK, dear!” her mom replied. “Don’t be gone long!”
“We won’t!” Lauren stated confidently as she grabbed a couple of sugar cubes
from the coffee table near the door.
“What’s that for?” Libby asked.
“You’ll see. Come on, let’s go.”
“Where are we going?”
“To see Ginger, of course!” Libby’s eyes grew large, and a little smile
appeared on her face. They hopped on their bikes and pedaled down the
street toward Spring Park Stables.
“Do you think we’ll get in trouble?”
“Not if we don’t get caught!” Lauren answered. They pulled up their bikes near
the trailhead where the Girl Scout troop had been hiking a couple of days
before. “We’ll park our bikes here. If we climb over that fence, we will be right
in the pasture where the many of the stable horses are kept. I know Lady is
kept in this pasture. And Ginger just has to be in there too. Come on!”
The girls climbed over the fence and began walking through the pasture. They
spied a grove of tall oak trees across the field. “I’ll bet the horses are in there
under those trees keeping cool in the shade this time of day.”
“I’m right behind you!” said Libby.
As they approached the grove, they heard a soft snorting sound from one of the
horses. A couple of them raised their heads to get a look at the approaching
girls, but then they went back to resting and gently swishing flies away with their
“There’s Lady!” Libby said. She pointed in Lady’s direction.
“Lady!” Lauren called softly and held out one of the sugar cubes in the palm of
her hand. Lady looked up and saw Lauren standing near her. She walked over
and nibbled the sugar cube from her hand while Lauren patted her neck.
“You’re so beautiful, Lady,” she told her.
But where was Ginger? Most of the horses seemed very uninterested in the
girls, so Libby crept around carefully looking at each horse and pony in the herd.
“Can I have that other sugar cube now, Lauren? I think I see Ginger over there.”
Sure enough, there was the little chestnut colored pony resting comfortably in
the shade of the oak grove.
“Ginger! Ginger Snap!” Libby called out softly. Ginger raised her head and
looked at Libby. Her eyes were bright and her ears focused on Libby’s voice.
She noticed that Ginger had little brown freckles all over her nose just like she
did. “Oh, she’s so perfect!” Libby whispered softly so as not frighten Ginger
away. Ginger walked over and nibbled at the sugar cube. She crunched it in
her teeth as Libby patted her soft face.
“This is so great,” Libby whispered to Lauren. “Ginger is even more adorable
than her picture on the bulletin board. I’m so glad we came!”
“Me too.” Lauren said and then she kissed Lady on the nose.
Suddenly several of the horses raised their heads from their resting position
with their ears focused in the direction of the Main Barn at the stable as if they
were listening to something. Then Libby and Lauren heard it too. Someone
was calling out, “Horses! Horses! Come and get your supper!”
It was Tony from the stable! He was calling the horses in to feed them their
“Quick!” said Lauren, “Let’s get out of here before he catches us and we get
into trouble! We’re not allowed in the pasture unless we own or lease one the
horses kept here.”
Libby and Lauren ducked through some of the bushes in the oak grove as the
herd was making its way out into the field. They hobbled along below the tall
grass all crouched over and close to the ground trying to keep from being seen.
Lauren poked her head over the tall grass to check if they’d been spotted. As
soon as she did this, Tony noticed them from a distance. “HEY! Who’s there?”
He called out. “This is private property!” He started running toward the girls.
The stable had had problems in the past with trespassers and didn’t want any of
the horses injured or stolen by strangers. Tony had a watchful eye on the
pasture horses and was very protective of them.
“Quick!” Lauren shouted! “Run!” The two headed toward the fence line, but
had gotten disoriented from being crouched over. They couldn’t find the spot
where they had climbed over the fence, and it was so covered with kudzu vines,
they couldn’t get through.
Then Libby remembered the hole in the fence. They ran alongside the fence
line until Libby found the hole. They ducked through it just in time before Tony
was able to spot them. Now that they were outside the pasture, the girls ran
along the hiking trail until they came to their bikes that they had left parked near
the corner of the pasture.
“Whew! I’m glad we didn’t get into trouble!” Libby noted. “If we had been
caught in there, we might have been suspended too. We had better follow the
rules from now on, so we don’t lose our riding privileges like Monica did.”
“Now let’s get back to the club house and cool off in the pool. I’m really hot after
all that running! Swimming pool, here I come!” giggled Libby.