Thirteen years old and ripped up from a known world, and
then brought into an unknown world called âcountryâ. An
undiscovered world lay before me. My life was about to
I stood on the front lawn, near the road, watching my father
and a friend, lift the couch into our new home. I wasnât
quite sure why we had moved to the valley, but then my
parents were always moving. âThe Valleyâ, thatâs all people
One of the girls, at our school, had a Shetland pony that
she insisted no one could ride. We got into an argument one
day, about the possibility of a Shetland pony being such a
twit. I said, âAre you kidding me? I mean, youâre feet are
still on the ground! Whatâs so impossible about that?â
Everybody was laughing and so you know, I had to take my
turn at it.
The next day, after school, the bet was on. I only had $2
but I put it up for grabs, if I couldnât ride that tiny
little pony. About five of us girls, all went straight to
Shellyâs back yard, where she kept this little pony. He sure
looked docile enough.
With nothing more than a bridle, I straddled that pony.
Both my feet were on the ground, I still had clearance
between his back and me. I just stood there a second and
then turned to say something to the girls, when all of a
sudden I was face down on the ground, 3 feet in front of
this little pony. âHow did that happen?â
I got up, dusted myself off and turned around to stare at
that âshort piece of nothingâ, grazing off a patch of grass.
âWhat theâŚ.â Naturally, you know how it goes; I had to run
that one through again, if for no other reason than to find
out what had happened the first time.
I straddled that little stinker again. Both feet were still
firmly on the ground. I slowly lowered my weight onto this
ponyâs back. Just as I was seated, that little power-packed
dynamo, raised up his rear so hard, it jet propelled me out
and over his head again. A third try and I gave up the $2
and walked away, scratching my head..................
A sudden, sideways jolt and Winnie was plunging into the
sunflowers and ran the full length of the field, coming out
on the other side. I happened to be wearing shorts and a
sleeveless blouse. The plants stood as tall as my shoulders
and prickly little spurs on the stems, clawed my skin nearly
off. My skin was red and burning like fire.
You probably already know that as we disappeared into the
sunflowers, my screams and curses could be heard a block
away. I still donât know why she did that. It must have been
something I did. She was always giving me âwhat forâ.........
I rode down the street to the highway, crossed over the
pavement, headed for that wide dirt shoulder. Just as we
stepped off the pavement, Winnie jolted into a dead run, ran
straight toward the clear ditch. Just at the edge of the
ditch, she stopped short, ducked her head down and pitched
me straight off her back, landing me dead center of the
At this time of the year, tumbleweeds filled the ditch,
clear to the top. At the bottom, was muddy ice. I plunged
down the center, all the way down through those tumble
weeds, landing with my bottom in nasty, black sludgy ice. I
looked up through the hole in the weeds that I had just
created, dreading the trip up the side of the ditch.
Not knowing what Winnie was up to, and the knowledge that we
were right next to a busy highway, drove me to climb out, as
fast as I could get it done. I put my head down to protect
my face, against those prickly tumbleweeds, and started
climbing. As I reached the top, pushing tumbleweeds up at
the surface, I raised my face to view Winnieâs nose. She
stood there waiting and watching.