A Guiding Hand, A Helpful Smile

Tracy rode the horse she had been petting round the paddock in neat circles. The horse picked up its feet and held it's head loftily in the air, with an air of smugness. I raised my eyebrows as Tracy waved at me, excited like a little girl.

Horses were one of the few things that really excited Tracy. They were a passion. And since I had lived with her, for four long years, she had always said that she wanted her own horse.

And here she was, buying one.

'She rides well.'

I looked to my right, where the voice had come from. It was Janie, the stable girl. She was leaning back against the fence, arms crossed and eyes following Tracy and the horse.

'Mm hm,' I mumbled in reply.

She laughed, and her hair caught the sun shining through the trees, turning it almost ginger. 'But dear old Lance looks so stuck up, don't you think?'


'Lancelot. The horse. He's always been that way, and it is funny. Tracy seems to like him though...' Janie trailed off, and after a moment she pulled her eyes away from Tracy and looked him. Her eyes were a startling shade of green.

'Look,' she said. 'Tracy told be about your aversion to horses, so I thought it would be nice if you came and met one of them. You don't have to ride it, though!' She exlaimed, when she saw my look of horror.

'I, I don't know...' I hung back, frightened like a little kid.

'C'mon,' Janie said. She grabbed my elbow and pulled me after her.

We walked through the tack room, and into the stables. She approached an old, weary looking chesnut with doleful eyes and a shaggy chin. 'This is Old Ben,' she said proudly. 'Give him a stroke. Don't be scared, he's very gentle.'

Warily, I put my shaking hand on his neck and patted him. The only reaction that earned was a few dopey blinks.

'Poor old thing,' Janie said, smiling fondly at the horse. 'He's been here for as long as I can remember. Charming, in his prime. Really quite stunning, I'm told.' She sighed and dusted off her hands.

A piercing whinney broke through the calm, and I jumped, automatically clutching at Janies arm. She raised her eyebrows, and I let go.

'It's the new horse,' she explained, leading me towards the source of the noise. 'She's almost wild, I think, someone found her in the field out back and brought her in.' Janie ran her fingers through her hair, looking stressed. 'I don't know what to do with her, the poor thing. She doesn't like being here, I can tell, but I can't just let her go wild again.

'These wild horses round here are so, well, they can be quite rough and frightening, and she's only young, I don't want her to end up reliant on them...'

She trailed off, biting her lip.

'Wild?' I asked, my voice shaking. 'She's one of the wild horses?'

'Yes, she is. I said that didn't I? Why does that matter?' Janie looked curiously at me.

'Oh no, it doesn't matter at all, no, no everything's fine,' I lied.

Janie then bekoned me closer to look at this wild horse someone had brought into the stables.

She was pressed right back against the back wall, ears back, eyes wide, pawing at the ground. She was beautiful, in a weird sort of way. I guess that at first glance I thought she was grey, but looking deeper I could see a definate blue haze to her coat.

She tossed her head and whinneyed again, anxious. 'Hey, girl,' Janie chided, offering her hand to the horse. The horse crept closer, took one look at Janies welcoming fingers and bit.

Withdrawing her arm and yelping with pain, Janie jumped back. The horse whinneyed again, victorious.

'I'll be back in a moment,' Janie said, sucking on her bitten finger. 'I'm just going to get a plaster.'

And she left me alone with the blue horse.

The End

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