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The Adventures of Princess Pearl, P.O.W.E.R.* Girl! - Chapter Sixteen
by Tonja Taylor
2/18/2020 / Short Stories
Chapter Sixteen — Double Delight!
They heard another horse whinny. It moved around and stamped its foot, rocking the trailer a bit.
“When can we see the other one?” Pearl asked. “Looks like it wants out now.”
“One at a time,” Ricardo said. “She’ll wait. You need to get to know King better first.”
“Now that you’ve greeted King with gifts, breathe into his nostrils,” Burt said. “Remember?”
Ricardo and Risa nodded. “Yes, do that,” Risa said.
“This feels weird, but okay,” said Pearl. “I guess this is horsey ‘how-ya-doin’, right?”
“Anyone can feed a horse,” said Burt, “but not everyone knows to breathe into their nose to be personal, like horses do with each other.”
Even though she was tall for her age, Pearl had to stretch a bit to reach King’s nose. She took a deep breath and blew slowly and softly into his nostrils.
He blew back gently at her. Then he bounced his head up and down a bit, as if approving.
This is so cool, Daddy God! thought Pearl. I’m speaking horse! You know horse language, of course—You created them!—but I’m having fun learning!
“Now scratch his neck and pet him,” said Ricardo.
She did, and King stepped toward her.
“Watch those hooves,” said her uncle. “No matter how sweet a horse is, their weight can break your foot if they step on you wrong!”
“Gotcha,” she said. “Can I ride him now?”
“No, you have another horse to meet!” Ricardo said, and smiled big. He looked at Risa and winked.
“While you guys do that, I’m going to put King in the other section of pasture,” said Burt. Ricardo handed him the reins, and King followed Burt obediently.
Pearl was surprised. “Does he know you already?”
“Yes, we met a couple years ago, and he’s even let me ride him,” he said, and smiled. Even though King’shead was up, Burt was tall enough to reach his ears, and he scratched him gently on the head.
“He is an excellent horse, as Ricardo said.”
They headed toward the pasture, and Splash and Aurora stopped running and whinnied again, then ran to the fence to get a good look at King.
“Horses are so funny!” said Risa.
“Yes, but neat,” said Robin. “Pearl, you’re gonna like this surprise even more!” she said, and giggled.
“Cool,” said Pearl. “I like all of Uncle Burt’s horses!”
“But this one is very special,” said Lucas.
“What’s her name?” Pearl was excited.
“Surprise!” said Robin.
“I know, but what’s her name?” said Pearl.
Ricardo was talking to the horse, and it seemed he was having a bit of trouble with her. He undid the middle partition of the trailer so the horse could turn around inside and come out head first.
“Risa, bring me an apple, please.”
Pearl heard a high-pitched whinny as Risa grabbed the bag Burt had left on the ground, and gave Ricardo a yellow apple. Pearl heard the crunch as the horse in the trailer ate the apple and whinnied again.
“There now, Doll, you ready?” said Ricardo in a soothing voice. “Time to come out, okay?”
He looked back at the group. “No sudden moves, okay? She has had a long ride, especially with us having to stop and change the tire and such.”
Pearl held her breath. Ricardo held the horse’s reins loosely and spoke in low tones to her as he led her out.
“Come now, little one,” he said. “You can do it.”
He led the mare out little by little, and Pearl gasped.
“She’s so beautiful!” she said. She was a Welsh pony, quite a bit bigger than a Shetland, but smaller than a horse like King. She was painted black and white, and had big blue eyes, with long black eyelashes.
“Blue eyes!” said Pearl. “Most horses have brown eyes, don’t they?” She’s not a Lipizzan, either, but I already love her!
As Pearl kept looking at her, she noticed she was very big in the middle. “She’s been eating good!” she said, trying to be polite. I am sure she’s a great horse, and a P.O.W.E.R. Princess knows it’s not about how something looks.
The horse just blinked at Pearl with her big dark blue eyes, as they got adjusted to the bright sunshine.
Everyone laughed. “That’s right, Pearl,” said Lucas. “And she’s not fat—she has a surprise inside!”
“A surprise? What’s her name?”
“Surprise—that’s her name!” he said, and chuckled with the others.
“I tried to tell you!” said Robin, poking Pearl in the ribs and smiling big. “By the way, it’s sorpresa in Spanish!”
Watchman was still barking, although not as loud. Burt, walking back from the pasture, raised his voice so they could hear him better. “I bought her from Ricardo even before we knew she had a surprise inside,” Burt said. “So now her name fits perfectly!”
“Surprise inside?” Pearl was puzzled, then she understood. “Oh wait!” Pearl said, even more excited now. “You mean she’s going to have a baby?”
“You got it!” said Burt. “So you get two surprises instead of just one!”
“Double portion!” said Risa. “God is so good! And He has a great sense of humor!”
“Yes!” Ricardo said, smiling big as well. “Dios is bueno, siempre! It means, ‘God is good forever!’”
“Amen!” said Pearl. “And she’s mine?”
Burt nodded. “Yes,” he said. “Both Surprise and her baby!”
“Oh Wow, Uncle Burt! This is so great! Wow, thank you thank you thank you! But you’ll have to teach me what to do—“
“Calm down a little, okay?” said Ricardo kindly. “This little lady needs to get used to you first. King has traveled before and knows your uncle, but this is the first trip for Surprise. She was born on my property.”
“Oh yes, sorry!” She looked around for the bag. “Any apples and sugar left?”
“Yes, here,” Risa said, and handed her the bag. Pearl pulled out a big pink apple and some sugar cubes and walked up slowly to her lovely pony. She held out both her hands, palms flat, one holding the apple, and the other covered in sugar cubes.
Surprise whickered a bit, and looked at one hand and then the other, as if trying to decide which to eat first. Finally, she put her lips over the sugar cubes and instantly, they were gone. She crunched them, then came back and sniffed the apple, then grabbed it with her teeth, quickly, as if she were hungry.
“She’s eating for two,” Risa said. “I remember how hungry that can make a mommy!”
Pearl watched her eat the apple, and then Surprise looked at Pearl, as if wanting more.
“Now, remember what you do next?” Burt said.
“Yes, I need to say ‘hello’ in horse,” Pearl replied. She stepped slowly toward Surprise, and noticed that they were about the same height. Surprise’s gaze met hers and Pearl whispered, “Hello, Surprise, I’m Pearl,” then she blew gently into the horse’s nostrils.
Surprise whickered gently, then blew back into Pearl’s face.
“Good job,” said Risa quietly.
Burt, Ricardo, Robin, and Lucas all nodded.
Pearl stretched out her hand slowly and scratched Surprise’s neck, then petted and smoothed her mane, moving closer to her. “We’re going to have so much fun together,” Pearl said. “Trail rides and—“ Nope, can't do that, she thought.
“What is it?” Burt asked.
“Well, I guess I can’t take her on trail rides, huh?” Pearl asked, disappointed.
“Never fear, Dear,” said Burt. “Surprise definitely will not be going on any trail rides till after the baby is born, and then we’ll see. She will want to be with her little one, of course! But you can ride Splash or Aurora or King, okay?”
“Great!” Pearl said.
“And you can get to know Surprise and her baby in the meantime.”
“Now what do I do?” said Pearl.
“Well, Ricardo and I are going to take Surprise to the pasture with King, and let her get used to it. We’re also going to throw up a cover for them with the wood panels he brought, in case it rains, till we can get the barn partitioned and expanded—which is one thing you kiddos can help me with. But that won’t be till tomorrow.”
She looked toward the house. “I bet Robert is so jealous—is he going to get to come out and see the horses?”
“Yes, in just a bit,” he replied. “I want to get them into the pasture first, though. I only want him to be able to see them from a distance or just pet their noses through the fence for a couple of days.”
Good, thought Pearl. He’s too young for them anyway, and I can enjoy them more myself. Besides, he might be mean.
Then she felt bad for thinking that. “Sorry, God, you know what I mean,” she said under her breath. “It’s just that Robert is really rough on stuff, and I don’t want our horses hurt!”
“What, Pearl?” asked her uncle.
“Nothing,” said Pearl. “I’m just excited.”
“And thankful, right?”
“Yes Sir!” she replied. “Thanks for everything!” What a great day! What a great life, Daddy God. Thank You, thank You, thank You!
She ran in the house to tell Robert and her mother all about the horses.
Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart, she heard the Holy Spirit whisper inside her.
She looked up to Heaven and said out loud. “Yes, Sir! You are so sweet, Daddy God! I love You!” Pearl said. “I love being a P.O.W.E.R. Princess, and I can’t wait to see what You are going to do next!”
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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