September 22, 2007
By Adriane Waldrep, Cherokee, AL

Legend has it that a wild, beautiful magic horse lives in the sky. She is as pure white as starlight, with stars in her mane and a comet as a tail. Her name is Izora. She plays and dances on the fluffy white clouds all day, her pure silver hooves flashing across the blue sky. At night, she chases the shooting stars and sleeps using the moon as a pillow and the constellations as a blanket. And every one hundred years, she jumps down from the sky to earth to choose a special girl to play with and bond with for exactly one month. But of course she doesn't just jump down there all sparkly and white! Something bad could happen. So she disguises herself. She has to gallop right into the center of the sun. There, she twirls around three times. At the end of the third twirl, she is a plain black horse, and the stars in her mane are disguised as burrs, and the comet of her tail looks like mud. And her silver hooves seem as normal as a regular horse's. Then, she leaps down onto earth to that special girl she has chosen, that has loved horses all her life, and has always wanted one, no matter how pretty or ugly it was. The girl secretly sneaks Izora into an old shed and and gives her some food. Izora whuffles gratefully and after a few days, the two are best friends. But no matter how many times the girl brushes Izora's mane and tail, the burrs and mud won't come out. Even so, the girl loves Izora, and bonds with her. They know each other's thoughts and comfort one another. But finally, it is the last day of the month. Izora will have to leave soon. The girl can sense Izora's sadness, but she doesn't understand. She doesn't know that Izora will leave soon. But she does know that nothing she tries will cheer the horse up. Slowly, night approaches and the stars fill the sky. Izora knows that it's time. She manages to let the girl know that she wants the girl to ride her. And Izora starts to gallop. She runs hard for a few minutes, then she leaps up, up into the air, and she soars into the sky, with the girl clinging to her back with anxiety. But then, Izora gently sets the girl on a sleeping star. Next, Izora twirls around three times, and when she stops, she is as pure white as starlight, with a comet as a tail and stars in her mane. And her hooves are pure silver. The girl is very surprised! She stares for a long time, then she laughs with happiness. She and Izora play in the starry sky until dawn, when Izora carefully delivers the sleeping girl back to bed and gallops off for another hundred years.

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