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Meghan beamed with pleasure as June Bishop helped her to mount Farkle, the black and white pony at the Hacett's Riding School.
"That's good, Meghan. Now let's see what you can remember about last week's lesson."
Meghan went through all the exercises she had learned. She twisted and turned with Farkle, as she took the pony around the circuit with the instructor.
"Now let's see you do your helicopter imitation."
Again Meghan went through the routine of spinning her hands around in big circles.
"Good for you Meghan, I think you're ready for your first solo ride. Now be careful. Old Farkle is a real speed machine when she wants to be."
Meghan turned to make sure her mother was watching and grinned broadly as she approached Dorothy.
"Look, Mom, I'm riding by myself. See, Mom!"
Dorothy Small was proud of her five year old daughter. Meghan had always wanted to take up riding and so Dorothy had enrolled her in the beginner's class at the Hacett's school.
June Bishop walked over as she watched Meghan ride Farkle for the first time by herself.
"That daughter of yours sure has a knack with animals. Have you seen how all the animals try to get her attention? It's as if she has a special power over them and they really care for her. On occasion even Farkle can act up and give a new rider problems. But look at her now; she's as meek as a lamb."
Meghan's mother saw to her surprise that all the horses from the neighbouring corrals were lined up watching Meghan as she rode Farkle. There were whinnies and head tossing and other signs of communication being passedbetween the horses.
"I noticed that too," said June Bishop. "I think Meghan could ride any horse here. Strange isn't it?"
Meghan had been riding for only five lessons and it was plain to see that she enjoyed the experience.
"How do you feel Meghan?" questioned her teacher.
"This is fun, can I go faster?"
"Well, OK, but just take it easy."
Meghan gave a signal to Farkle and suddenly the quiet pony jumped into high gear.
There was a startled cry from both adults as Farkle cleared the fence with Meghan and was running down the larger track used in the annual races.
"Meghan! Bring Farkle back," shouted Mrs. Bishop, who was climbing over the fence with Dorothy.
Copyright © 2004 George W. J. Laidlaw