The Golden Pony
Scout walked into the kitchen the next morning and said “Momma, I have learned my lesson about the bird.” “I am happy it’s ok and it is free.” Momma smiled, knowing what was coming next. “Come here Scout; let me brush that mop of hair of yours!” She joked lovingly. Scout never liked having her hair brushed, because Momma would always pull it so tight into a ponytail. Scout wanted her hair free, so when she ran she could pretend she was a pony, and her mane was flying in the wind as she “galloped” to the bus each morning.
After Momma finished combing her hair into a ponytail, she wrapped her arms around Scout and gave her a big hug from behind and a kiss on her cheek. Scout loved how Momma smelled like soap and lemons. “I am going to set my trap for a pony, a pony wont mind if I catch him, will it, momma will it?” “Scout you are going to be late for your bus honey, now run get your books and your lunch box. I see the bus coming up the road.”
Just then Laddie started barking and running to meet the small yellow school bus. Scout grabbed her books and ran out the door. Momma yelled from the doorway, “Scout your lunch!” Scout turned around and “galloped” back to the house, with Laddie jumping in excitement around her. Now remember Scout, “Don’t let Shane eat your lunch on the way to school!” “No momma, I won’t.”
Scout climbed onto the bus with Laddie right behind her. “No Laddie!” she cried, Mr. McFadden, the bus driver, just laughed and shooed Laddie off the bus steps. Momma said, “here Laddie,” as the bus drove down the road to school, but Laddie was already too far down the road to even hear. Every day Laddie would run down the road and every day he would run back and sleep under the porch till his Scout would return.
Scout spent the school day dreaming of the plan to catch her pony and was surprised when she heard the last bell of the day ring. Scout was free at last, and boarded the bus with the other children for the hour ride home.
Laddie was there to meet her as the bus pulled up and jumped on her knocking her books to the ground. “Laddie!” she scolded, but then laughed when he picked up one of her books and began running circles around her with it.
Momma came out and said, “There are sugar cookies ready for you and your brother after you finish your chores.”
Scout ran inside with Laddie at her side, and began to change into her overalls. Laddie lay on the bed, trying his best to demolish her stuffed white kitten. “Laddie, No!” scolded Scout again. Momma said, “What is that dog doing on your bed Scout?” Scout quickly pulled Laddie off the bed, removing the stuffed Kitten from his mouth once again, before shoo-ing him out of her room. Since Laddie was a large collie, he was just tall enough to snatch a sugar cookie off the counter as he made his escape!
Momma was busy getting dinner, when the men came to work and feed the cows in the corral near the barn. Scout’s chores were to feed the sheep and goats out back. Timmy’s job was to water the animals, but instead was playing in the water, as usual and squirting everything with the water hose and playing in the livestock tank.
Scout came around to the back of the shed where the sheep and goats were kept and couldn’t believe her eyes! Staring at her was the most beautiful golden pony she had ever even dreamed of. It was the color of shimmering gold. It’s mane was pure white, and it had a beautiful white stripe down its face, and four white socks. It’s tail was so long it touched the ground.
Scout blinked and opened her eyes, and the pony was still there! She couldn’t believe what she was seeing! She quickly closed the gate to be sure it wouldn’t disappear. She ran over to where Timmy was squirting the wall of the barn with the hose and grabbed him by both shoulders. “Timmy it worked, it worked, it worked!” “What worked?” Timmy said pointing the water hose at his sister. “Stop it Tim,” Scout demanded “and follow me!”
As they rounded the corner of the barn, Timmy stopped in his tracks; he couldn’t believe what he was seeing! “See!” Scout cried, “I caught a pony!” “Isn’t she beautiful!” “I’m keeping it,” said Scout. “No it’s mine!” said Timmy defiantly. Scout punched Timmy as hard as she could in the shoulder, and Timmy squirted Scout with the water hose. Timmy said “I don’t want a stupid pony anyway!” “I want a bike!” and “I’m telling Momma!” “No, Timmy I’m sorry,” pleaded Scout, “don’t tell Momma,” I’m going to hide it.” “If you don’t tell I will do your chores for you forever,” But it was too late, the last she saw was Timmy walking back to the house rubbing his shoulder.
Scout ran to the barn to get some oats and an armful of hay for the pony. She had never seen anything so beautiful in her life. She found an old brush in the barn, and began to comb the pony’s silky white mane into braids. She was just about to start brushing the pony’s tail, when she felt a pair of strong but gentle hands on her shoulders. She turned around and looked up to see Momma standing over her with a concerned look on her face.
“Scout, where did you get this pony?” “Momma she just appeared here like magic, I think I will call her magic, ok? Pleaded Scout. “Momma, I didn’t trap her!” “She came on her own here, so can I keep her?” “Momma, say yes, ok?” “Momma, please say yes!” Momma looked down at her and said, “One of the men working the cattle, said they got a call from a rancher down the road a ways who reported a special little pony lost.” “Scout, that pony belongs to a little girl like you who is so upset that her pony is missing.” “Scout we have to give her back, it’s the only right thing to do.”
Tears welled up in Scouts eyes as she looked at the beautiful golden pony standing there contentedly eating her hay. She looked up at Momma, and tears made a line through the dirt on her face as they fell. Scout ran to the house through the kitchen and into her bedroom and threw herself onto her bed sobbing. Laddie jumped up on the bed and lay beside her licking her tears.
Soon Momma came in and sat on the bed with Scout, holding her in her arms rocking her back and forth. “Momma, when am I ever going to have a pony?” “Scout you know times are hard for us, and we don’t have extra money for things like ponies.” “Come on now dry your eyes, the people who own the pony are here to pick her up.”
Scout dried her eyes on her momma’s sweater and slowly walked outside to the porch.
She saw a big pickup truck and trailer, and a man and a little girl leading the golden pony into the back of the trailer. Scout stood silent on the edge of the porch, and then suddenly she heard a small voice. The little girl was speaking to her. She said “Hi, thanks for making sure “Silky” was ok, we just moved here and I guess she doesn’t know where she lives yet.” “My name is Becky, aren’t we in the same class at school?” Scout thought she might have seen her before, but lately all she had been thinking about was trapping a pony and hadn’t much time for friends.
Momma spoke up and said, “Why don’t ya’ll come in for some sugar cookies and sweet tea?” “It’s been a long afternoon for everyone.”
Momma and the man chatted and drank sweet tea in the kitchen, while Scout showed Becky her room. Soon the girls were laughing and giggling and telling secrets only eight year-old girls tell.
After the neighbors had gone, Momma came in to tuck Scout into bed. She noticed Scout smelling the palms of her hands. “Scout did you wash your hands?” “No Maam.” “Please, see they still smell like a pony!” Momma laughed, pulled Scouts little palms up to her nose, and breathed in deeply. “They sure do baby girl, and that’s ok by me.” Goodnight, sleep tight my great pony hunter.” Momma smiled.