The Wild Boy and Queen Moon

The Wild Boy and Queen Moon by K M Peyton Read Free Book Online

Book: The Wild Boy and Queen Moon by K M Peyton Read Free Book Online
Authors: K M Peyton
Nick and Petra and if that pony’s in this yard when I get back, I’ll shoot it. You haven’t heard the last of this, Julia.’
    Julia was stunned.
    ‘It’s not
fault! You can’t turn her out! Where can she go?’
    ‘Oh, come off it, Julia. You’re the planner round here. You can surely think of something!’
    Her mother flounced round and started chivvying Nick and Petra.
    ‘Come along, we’ve wasted enough time! Get those horses into the box. Have you put the tack in? Hurry up!’
    In five minutes they had gone. Her mother’s parting words, as she drove away, were: ‘I mean what I say, Julia. Sort it out before I come back.’
    The only thing to sort out was what to do with Faithful. No way was she going to fetch Minnie back. Julia took Faithful into Minnie’s old box and untacked her, and then sat in the straw and cried. She was swamped with hurt and self-pity and the aftermath of her sleepless nights. Her mother hated her and now she wasn’t even going to be allowed to have Faithful.
    The mare came over and sniffed at her curiously, and then stood with her nose touching Julia’s shoulder, quite still. Her muzzle was soft as velvet. Julia put her hand up and, instead of biting it like Minnie would have done, Faithful gave her a friendly lick. Julia sobbed.
    It was a soft, sunny morning, very still. The yard was quiet, almost sleepy, the stables empty, and the only sound was of a distant tractor ploughing. It was so long since Julia had not been to a show on a Saturday morning that it felt strange and unfamiliar, like somebody else’s stable. After a little while she gave up crying and staggered to her feet. She put her arms round Faithful’s neck and buried her face in the springy black mane.
    ‘I’m not going to take you back, whatever happens.’
    But she was sure her mother would not relent. Her mother was a woman of her word. She would accept that Minnie was not the pony for her daughter, when forced to, but would, no doubt, today, be looking for another more suitable.
    ‘But I don’t want another!’
    She realized that she was very hungry and thought food would make psr brain work better. So she gave Faithful a large slice of hay and went indoors and made herself some breakfast. She was alone in the house, her father away on a building site, so she had the place to herself. She tried to think of somewhere she could take Faithful, even if just temporarily until she had worked things out and, after bacon and eggs and two cups of tea, she realized the answer was quite obvious: she could take her to Drakesend. This solution was a great burden off her mind and she cheered up immediately. She had enough money in her savings to pay for a couple of weeks at least. That would give her time.
    The freedom of not having to go to a show was intoxicating. Two whole days of the weekend to herself, to do what she pleased! She felt as if a great weight had been sprung from her bent back. She put the dishes in the dishwasher and ran out to the stables again, tacked up Faithful and set out for Drakesend.
    She went out the back way, the long way round through the parkland instead of just down the road and the lane past Flirtie Gertie’s. She wanted the ride, time to think, to take in what she had done. Coming out of the woodland at the top, she put Faithful into her first canter over the old springy turf, and the little mare went eagerly but without pulling, like a dream pony. She had no bad in her that Julia could see, but moved easily with a very smooth and comfortable stride. It was so blissful Julia laughed out loud. When she wanted to stop, she just sat down and felt the reins and the pony came back to her – no effort. Julia found this quite mind-blowing after Minnie and could not stop a great idiotic grin bursting out on her face. They went down the hill towards the river under the big oak trees, whose leaves were bright gold against the clear sky. She had the world to herself, no roofs to be seen, only

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