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That Horse I Stole
By the way, this challenge was to start each sentence with a different letter of the alphabet (so 26 sentences in all). I tried my best!
Arabs are known for being flighty, and this one is no different. Barely staying on his back, I wrap my hands into his mane. Clamping my legs around his sides, I try not to fall onto the pavement as he canters along the road. Dangerously, he nips in and out of the paths of cars, and I lean close his neck, desperately trying to stay on his slick back. Elegant, slender legs are steadily being damaged by the hard surface of the concrete.
Finally, he comes to a stop by a lay-by with a patch of grass next to it. Gently, once I am sure he isn’t going to take off again, and being careful not to kick him with my boot, I slide from his back and land on the path next to his quivering body, bending my legs so that I don’t injure myself. “Hey now,” I say, stroking his neck. “It’s ok big boy, it’s ok.” Jelly is what my legs felt like, and I try not to fall over. Keeping close to the horse’s side, I lead him to the green stretch of grass at the side of the road, out of the way of the cars that simply would not slow down.
Ladybugs crawl in the grass beneath my bare feet. Momentarily waiting to see if I would stop him, the horse dips his head, gnawing at the grass. Nearly toppling over, I steady myself on his strong back, burying my face in his mane at the same time.
Obviously I have to return him, I think to myself. Pity would do nothing for me now, no matter how bad a time I was having.
Quietly, I turn so I don’t startle the beast. Rather stereotypically, he had turned out to as headstrong as his Arabian reputation said. Sighing, I pat his neck dejectedly. Tensing my muscles, I spring lightly onto his back, pushing my hands into his thick mane. Ugly tears roll down my face, causing me to have a small coughing fit as I struggle to breath and stay upright; I cluck my tongue, turning the horse back to the field I’d stolen him from.
Vacantly, my mind as empty as a dead man’s heart, we make our way slowly back to his home. Walking is the only gate I feel safe to go at now, after the horse bolted.
‘Xenial’ is the word that comes to mind when I think of the Murphy’s, the family I stole the horse from, but I don’t think they will be very friendly when they see me riding up to their daughter’s paddock on her horse: in fact, when I to see them in the paddock, the daughter in tears, she spins around and glares at me, a look of pure, unfractured hatred in her normally cheerful eyes. “You!” she spits, pointing an accusing finger in my direction. Zestlessly, I squeeze the horse’s sides slightly and accept my fate with a sigh, pushing him up the hill to the paddock.
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