The piglet squealed loudly from within the crate on the floor. Sally beckoned to Jane to lift up the other end of the crate. ‘Come on lets get the piglet to the gate, I can see Dad’s Land Rover by the fence.’
By the time they reached the gate they were both puffing, the crate and the piglet were heavier than they could have imagined.
‘What have you got there love,’ said Len, as he grinned at them both.
‘Dad, I won the piglet in the raffle, can we take him home in the truck?’ said Sally
Len nodded and picked up the crate as if it was a feather. Sally opened the ramp and he put the crate inside and pushed it up against a pile of empty potato sacks before shutting the door.
The girls climbed into the passenger seats and Len started the engine. On the way home Sally and Jane babbled on about geese, ponies and Anna. Len listened as he negotiated the bends in the country road.
Jane jumped down from the Land Rover at the gate to the cottage. Her Mum waved a thank you from the kitchen window. Back at the farm Len and Sally carried the crate to the barn and put it on the floor of an empty stall Len released the piglet from the crate and laughed as she scampered out onto the thick bed of straw, curly tail carried high on her back.
‘She’s a nice little pig, you never know we may have some piglets from her in a few years,’ said Len patting his daughter on the shoulder.
‘I’m going to call her Perky,’ said Sally as they walked together to the kitchen. Laura looked up from the cooker. ‘Did you have a good day?’
‘Yes it was brilliant, we watched geese rounded up by sheep dogs and the show jumping was awesome!’ said Sally.
After tea Sally put her hand on her Dad’s shoulder as he sat at the table.
‘Dad, can we go and see Anna and her ponies on Saturday?
Her Dad scratched his head, smiled at his wife and said ‘Where does she live?’
‘Breconridge stables, Jane caught Anna’s pony when she fell off in the ring, and she wants us to go see her ponies.’ Said Sally.
‘Alright I’ll take you there on Saturday morning.’ as he sipped a mug of tea. ‘Make sure you do your chores in the yard first.’
Sally nodded, she couldn’t wait to ring Jane and tell her the news.
Two weeks later Len, Sally and Jane set off to Breconridge stables situated at the edge of the village. They drove up a winding track at the side of lush green paddocks which led beneath a canopy of trees.
A magnificent manor house stood tall and proud with sunlight reflecting on the front windows. Len parked the Land Rover next to the fence adjacent to the stables. The yard consisted of four looseboxes a feed room and a small tack room. On the roof of the tack room a horse shaped weather vane moved gently in the breeze.
A dark haired man dressed in smart beige slacks and a white shirt appeared from the side of the feed room.
‘Hello there you must be Mr Benton, I’m Alan James. My daughter Anna said you would be coming to see the ponies,’ he said smiling at the two girls.
‘This is Sally my daughter, and her friend Jane,’ said Len, shaking hands with Alan.
Anna’s head appeared over a stable door. ‘Come and say hello to Monty.’ She said smiling at her visitors.
Sally and Jane stood in the doorway of the stable to admire the handsome black pony as he munched hay from a net hanging on the wall.