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Once upon a time a little boy and girl had a babysitter who was very mean. One day they snuck out the window and went to the zoo. There were 2 million animals there! They were so amazed.  One animal was a zebra and it had crayon shapes on it. Another one had no stripes. Then there was a pig that was orange and blue with yellow eyes. There was also a dragon that blew out marshmallows instead of fire when it got angry. Then they saw a remarkable monkey that was blue with orange polka dots. And there was a cat that roared like a bear and a bear that could run 87 miles per hour.


Then their baby-sitter found them but the animals were so amazing she wasn’t mad and they all kept looking at them.


By Hannah P.

Franklin, NH



Word had it that there were horse farms just east of our house. Full of adventurous anticipation, my sister and I accepted my brother’s big bike that was the Pegasus of our horse escapades. We cruised bumpy, overly oiled, roads at a fairly good clip making mental notes of pastures full of horses. It was like opening a horse book and having every color and breed right there: bays, pintos, palominos, appaloosas, grays and whites.

All summer, we squandered many days peering over the fences before we decided to squeeze between the planks of wood, careful not to touch anything in case it was hot-wired to keep out unwelcome intruders... We lived and breathed horses, and couldn’t wait to change into prancing horses with many equine moves. We stomped, pawed, and whinnied in delight as we ran, jumped, and kicked...

When we were worn out, we stretched our bodies upon the lush green grasses of the pastures, we felt safe, timeless, and at peace paying no mind to the horses. As we transformed into our respective equine forms we dissolved our association with the human race. Our vivid imaginations sent us into grandiose horse fantasies of one day owning a horse.

from Dianna McPhail, author of  On the Right Lead

When I was little I rode a horse.  My mother was there and when she turned away for a second the horse started to run away!  After 14 minutes of running after the horse, they finally caught her.  But I wasn't on her!  I had climbed off.  (And my mother began to cry for some reason.) And then my brother's horse began to take off...and that is what he ended up doing that day.

Aedin, age 9

was about nine when I went to my first horse camp at Camp Ketcha and it was my second day there.  I was obsessed with horses and all I wanted to do was be around them.  I was riding a cute little pinto named Splash around the ring (I think it was bareback) and I remember Splash started to trot and then canter.  I was so freaked I grabbed his mane.  And then I felt my whole weight slide to one side and soon I was on the arena floor! The instructor came over and asked me if I was okay.  Miraculoulsly I was and I got back on the horse.  And I still keep riding because I love horses so much!

Eda, age 11

When I was just learning to ride I was riding an Arabian horse with a friend. She got off her horse to knock on a door and that Arabian took off with me! And every one laughed and I was so mad at that nasty horse!

Toni, age 9

"Radish is my best pony," said the trainer. :He's smart and he's brave.  But he does have a mind of his own."

"So does Judy," said Judy's mother, and they brought Radish to be Judy's pony.

 Judy was small. She couldn't make Radish do anything.  Most of the time she couldn't even catch him.

Radish liked that. He liked the carrots Judy fed him.  He liked teaching her just where to scratch his neck. And he liked scaring Judy, just a little.

from Runaway Radish by Jessie Haas


It was my grandmother who had given me my first horse when I was five.  "Her name is Bunty," my grandmother proclaimed, handing me the lead line as she herself marched out of the pasture, leaving me alone with my new pony.

Standing at the other end of the lead, I squinted up at a fat white body slung between two sets of shaggy legs with a tail that swept the ground at one end and dark narrowed eyes under thick lashes at the other.  It was like leavingme alone with a chainsaw.  I knew I was in mortal danger, but I was holding a horse. My horse. The best thing that had ever happened to me.

I wish I could say I was a natural from the start.  That I hoisted myself onto her back and, with a willow twig for a crop, went for a wild gallop around the field. But the truth is, I had no idea what to do.  I stood trembling inmy pink sundress,staring at the pretty pony until she lunged forward and removed some of the baby fat packed around my upper arm.

It never got much better than that, not with Bunty...

selected from Chosen by a Horse by Susan Richards