Friday, February 08, 2013


Candace was one of those girls who had her own pony.  The year she turned eleven, her parents surprised her with one for Christmas.  She had been dropping hints for months and months, ever since she had spent a long weekend at one of her classmate’s homes.  Angela’s family had several horses, she and her sisters all rode in 4-H competitions.   Most people have a preconceived idea of what a girl is like who gets a pony for Christmas, but it wasn’t like that at all.   Candace didn’t get a nice, young, fresh pony.  Her parents assumed this would be another ill-fated hobby, so they didn’t want to invest much.   It was always this way with her parents, they never got it quite right.

Lucky was old and worn looking, all black, and very moody.   If Candace turned her back on him, he was prone to biting--never breaking the skin but bruising her quite badly.  He also loved to play a nasty trick on her.  When she tightened the straps of the saddle, he would fill his stomach with air so it would appear that the saddle was on good and tight.   She would place her foot in the stirrup to mount and he would release the air from his diaphragm, causing the saddle to loosen and slide all the way down around to his underside with Candace on the ground--humiliated.   A neighbor, who had horses too, showed her how to give Lucky a good solid punch before cinching the straps to force the air from his belly.

Lucky was also very deceptive when demonstrating his speed.  When they were headed across the field away from the barn, he would plod along at a maddeningly slow pace.   They would go further through a wooded area --still plodding, despite Candace’s repeated sharp kicks with her new red cowgirl boots.   It all changed the moment she turned him around -- back in the direction of the barn.  Suddenly, he was filled with vigor and would bolt and run like mad through the woods, trying to scrape her off by running under low branches or attempting to crush her legs against trees.   He would canter back across the field with a swiftness you wouldn’t think an old, fat pony could posses!   This was really the only part of the ride where both rider and pony experienced true joy.   

One late afternoon as they emerged from the woods, Lucky reared up quite suddenly, throwing Candace off balance and she fell from the saddle.  Her red boot still stuck in the stirrup while the pony continued to charge across the field.  Lucky drug her for quite a ways, over muddy ruts and finally, over one ill-placed stone that came into contact with her unfortunate head.  Candace was completely limp now, no longer struggling to free herself.  The pony slowed to a trot and paused to nibble on a patch of clover while his rider finally slipped from the stirrup into a small heap on the ground.


Elizabeth said...

Wow, I wasn't expecting that ending at all. Love your stories Vivienne!

vivienne strauss said...

Thank you Elizabeth for being such a faithful reader of these stories!