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The Adventures of Princess Pearl, P.O.W.E.R.* Girl! - Chapter Six
by Tonja Taylor
2/13/2020 / Short Stories
Chapter Six — Homeschool and Horses
“Mmm. Your cake is even better today,” Pearl said. She pulled the cake plate closer. “Looks like we’ll have some left for Robert, too.”
Pearl helped her uncle clear the table, and they heard a knock on the door. “I need to go get my shoes on! And I’d like to ride your best horse, Uncle Burt!”
“You’ll like them all,” he said.
Pearl ran to the door and there was Risa and Robin and Lucas.
They hugged, and Lucas stayed with Burt while Robin followed Pearl to her room.
“Hey, I like your zebra theme,” said Robin. “Cool.”
“Thanks,” said Pearl, pulling on her running shoes.
“Zebras are so neat. I’m glad Elohim made those striped horsies!
“Yes, that’s the Hebrew name for God that means ‘Creator,’ among other things. He is so brilliant, so awesome! All these plants and animals and people and more, huh!”
“Right,” said Robin. “I’ll have to tell Mom."
“Do you know anything about horses?” she said, as they walked down together.
“A little,” said Robin. “I had a miniature paint pony years ago. Dad held me on top and let me pretend to ride, but I didn’t use a saddle or anything.”
“So where’s your dad now?” asked Pearl. “Is he coming?”
Robin didn’t answer for a few moments. “He…has many businesses and they take all his time—in another country. He decided that he was too busy for us.”
“Oh,” Pearl said. “I’m sorry. Do you hear from him?”
“He sends a card with money at Christmas and for our birthdays. That’s about it.”
Pearl turned and gave her a quick hug. “My daddy got killed in a motorcycle accident Memorial Day weekend. He’s in Heaven with Jesus now. But I miss him. So it’s kinda like yours is dead too, huh?”
“I guess,” Robin said, and looked away. Without looking back, she pointed toward the barn. “Let’s go outside.”
“Great idea. This is a happy day!” said Pearl, and gave Robin a big smile. “I’m glad you’re my friend.”
“Me too,” said Robin.
“And hey! Do you want to be a P.O.W.E.R. Princess with me?”
“A secret club I just started!”
Pearl’s mother came in with a sleepy Robert by her side. “Robert, time to eat.”
He shook his head. “No, ride horses!”
Pearl’s mother sighed. “Fine. If you get hungry, you can have a banana.”
“I hate bananas!” said Robert.
“All right, horses it is,” said Burt. “Rob, grab a couple of apples from the bowl on the bar.”
Robert got the apples and they all went out the back door and crossed a small pasture to the horse barn. Watchman went with them, lumbering along and sniffing often at things.
“Watch your step,” said Burt, avoiding a brown pile.“There are horse patties and gopher holes and such. The girls will be over in a minute," he said, pointing to his horses. "They are curious, especially about new things.”
“This is so pretty,” said Pearl, and pointed. “Look at the little creek back there. I bet there are some crawdads and sunfish we could catch!”
“And probably snakes and tadpoles and snails, too,” said Lucas.
“Yuck,” said Pearl. “But we’ll have to have a trail ride down there and follow it.”
She turned to her uncle. “How big is your land, Uncle Burt?”
“I have two hundred acres, and I want to buy the adjoining property from Mr. Sikes. We shall see what happens. Most of my land is wooded, but I’ve been thinking about cutting the timber and planting an orchard and doing more organic farming.”
“Oh that would be good,” said Pearl’s mother. “I’ve been wanting to teach the kids more about organic food, and it would be good for them to learn about farming. They’ve had a butterfly garden and have grown a few peppers in pots without pesticide, but that’s about it.”
“Oh a butterfly garden,” said Robin. “Cool.”
“I want a butterfly!” said Robert. “When are the horsies coming? Can I have an apple?”
“They’ll be here in a bit. Save the apples, Bub.” He picked up Robert and held him.
“Hey!” said Pearl. “You and I could have a butterfly garden by the fountain. That would be cool.”
“Sure. All of that sounds like good projects for homeschool,” Burt replied. “The kids could help with each part, including deciding how much money the cut timber would earn, how much the equipment and seed and fertilizer and watering would cost, and such. They could also learn to project how many pounds of produce they could get, and what they could sell it for at the farmers market.”
“What does ‘project’ mean?” asked Pearl.
“Good question, Sweetie. It means to figure out what you think will happen—like doing some research on how many tomatoes a farmer normally gets when he plants, say, 5 plants and takes care of them, then multiplying that number by the number of plants he really has.”
“Hmm,” said Pearl. “It sounds a lot like math.”
“You got it, Princess. But you can do it.”
“But I am much better at English,” said Pearl. I don’t really like math, she thought. I’d rather just write.
“Pearl, math is just as important as reading and writing,” said her mother, patting her shoulder. “Don’t worry; we’ll help you. And we can use it for math class in homeschool. It’ll be fun.”
For who? Pearl thought. LORD, You’re gonna have to help me with this. You’re even gonna have to help me like it, please!
She heard a whisper within; the sweet Holy Spirit was helping her right now. You can do all things through Christ Who strengthens you.
“Okay, God, but—“
“What, Pearl?” said Burt.
“Nothing. Just thinking,” she said. Okay, Daddy God, a P.O.W.E.R. Princess can do all things—with You helping! Help me to not be afraid any more!
“That’s a very good thing to do, Pearl,” said her uncle. “If more people would take time to think and plan ahead, they would havbetter lives!”
He continued. “Another thing I thought about was raising some lambs so you kids could show them, and some exotic chickens or something, and a big veggie garden. You can also learn to pick peaches and apples and pecans from my orchards, and if you’re good enough, I won’t have to hire as many people to pick for me. You might even get good enough at riding horses to teach other kids, and make a little money.”
“Maybe we could help you,” said Lucas.
“Cool. So can we ride now, please?” Pearl asked.
“In a little while, kiddo,” Burt said. “Just wait.”
He nodded. “Yes, if we work this right, you guys could have your own business, and a savings account. Might as well start early! And your mama’s taught you to tithe and give offerings, right, Pearl?”
“Yes Sir,” Pearl said.
“Good,” said her uncle. “Don’t ever stop. I wish I’d learned to tithe when I was your age, but thank the LORD I learned it about 20 years ago, and I'll never stop!"
“That’s where God gives us ten dollars and just asks for one of them back, right?”
“Right, Pearl! Very good. He gives us every good thing that we have, and He could ask for five back. Or seven. Or three. But He only asks for one! And with that little one, He does amazing things—He sends the Good News around the world.
“I agree,” said Risa. “We started tithing last year, and it’s been amazing what God has done. I can’t explain how some of our bills got paid, except by God’s
“It just gets better, Risa,” Burt told her. He held her gaze for a bit and smiled very wide.
“The kids already have a savings account,” Pearl’s mother said. “But I like your idea about business. We could actually incorporate science and math and reading into this, and maybe even social studies and community, since the right kind of farming affects our economy and the health of our planet—”
“Yes,” Burt said. “They will learn lots of things that will help them in life.”
“It will make homeschool even more interesting,” said her mother, with a smile.
“What’s homeschool like?” asked Robin.
“Well, we don’t sit on the couch in our PJs and watch T.V. all day,” said Pearl’s mother.
“No way,” said Pearl. “We do lots of things. Sometimes we get to take field trips and do lots of subjects at once That’s fun. But, but we still have to earn grades and take tests, even a big state test,” Pearl said. “I guess that’s in every school!”
“Yes, ma’am, there are reasons for that,” said her mother.
“Right!” said Risa. “I have my kids review often, starting with the Word.”
Pearl’s mother said, “Do you teach at the school too?”
“Yes, sixth grade at Grace Academy.”
"Now that’s a ministry!” Burt said.
“You’re right,” said Risa, then laughed and rolled her eyes a bit. “But I love ‘em—most moments!—and we have fascinating conversations, especially about God. And Pearl, even in a public school, kids have a right to ask questions and talk about their faith,” she said. "They can also pray and bring their Bibles and read them in their free time."
“Always be thankful that you live in a free country!” Pearl’s mother said.
“That is so right!" said Risa.
"But I thought there were some schools where kids and teachers can’t pray or use Jesus’ name!” Pearl said.
Her mother sighed. “There have been a few messes like that. But the truth is that Risa is right. Any student in any public school can wear a cross or tee-shirt about Jesus, or pray or talk about Jesus or read their Bibles on their free time. Teachers cannot mandate prayer nor Bible reading. So a lot of people have been lied to that kids don't have freedom to worship God. But that's false!"
Then she smiled and raised a hand to Heaven. There she goes, waving to God again, thought Pearl. Neat! I'm sure He likes that!
"God is moving," her mother continued," and He’s giving us a new United States of America, where we can all be free to worship the LORD. That’s why this country was founded!"
“Amen!” said Risa.
“Preach, sister!” said Burt.
“It may look bad right now for Christians, but there is no one and nothing more powerful than Christ the LORD!” she continued. “God is faithful, and will not
be outdone! JESUS is LORD of America! As Psalm 24:1 says, "The earth is the LORD's and the fullness thereof, and all the peoples therein!"
"Right, Queen Mother! You said it!" said Pearl. Wow, God, thought Pearl. Thank You for a mother who loves You so much and is not afraid to talk about You. Help me to be more like that!
Tonja K. Taylor is the author of many works, including THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCESS PEARL, P.O.W.E.R.* Girl! series. She and her husband Clayton minister the Word through teaching, preaching, and the arts, on River Rain Creative Arts (You Tube, God Tube), AnchorFM, their church, the region, and beyond
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