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A Very Merry Christmas

“But mom, everyone at the barn has a horse!”

“I’m sorry Amy but we just can’t afford a horse for you right now. I know you’re hoping to get one for Christmas but it’s just not going to happen this year.”

It was December 20, and for the fifth time that month, fourteen year old Amy Brown was begging her parents to get her a horse. Amy had always loved horses. She asked for one every year at Christmas, but her family couldn’t pay for the upkeep. The closest Amy was to getting a horse was riding a lesson pony at her barn that was one street away from her house. Riding Harley was great, and as long as Amy could ride she was happy, but it wasn’t the as the same as owning her.

Amy stormed out of the house to the tree infested yard that was glistening in the sun with two feet of newly fallen snow. She trudged slowly and clumsily to the entrance of a path that was hidden by the weighted down bough of an evergreen. The path ran through the woods behind her house to the barn at Ali Acres. She walked slowly, partly because of the deep snow drifts, but also because she loved the way the trees sparkled in the sun with snow and dripping icicles.

When Amy arrived at the barn, she went straight to Harley’s stall. The truth was that Amy really wanted Harley for Christmas so that she could say that Harley was her pony. She entered the stall and hugged the little black Welsh pony. “Oh Harley, it looks like you’re still not my pony yet. Even though you’re the only thing on my list, my parents already said they can’t afford a horse.” Harley just looked at Amy with her big brown eyes. “Well Harls, how about a good grooming?” As if she understood, Harley nodded her head up and down and Amy laughed out loud. Amy groomed the spunky little pony, tacked up, and went to the metal indoor ring behind the barn.

About halfway through the ride, Amy’s trainer Rachel entered the ring. She said, “Well, look who’s here. Are you already done your Christmas shopping?”

“No, but I asked again and my parents still won’t get me a horse. I just needed to clear my head.” Rachel nodded sympathetically then told Amy to be patient and that she’ll get a horse soon enough. Amy untacked and put Harley back in her stall. Before she left, a spoiled rich girl, Katy Malone, came into the barn. Amy tried to make a quick escape, but Katy stopped her.

“So, are you going to get a horse for Christmas? Oh wait, I forgot; you can’t afford one!” With that, Katy left to tack up her big chestnut stallion. Amy couldn’t stop herself; she began to cry before running home. Katy always knew just what to say to make Amy feel as low as possible. It all started when Amy tripped and hit a metal bucket while Katy was riding. Her horse spooked and threw Katy off. Even though Amy had apologized a million times, Katy still tortured her.

As Christmas drew nearer, Amy continued to beg for Harley to be hers, but everyday the answer remained the same. Amy went to the barn everyday to ride Harley and to talk to Rachel. Rachel tried to tell Amy that owning a horse wasn’t really that great, but Amy could tell she had the I’m- lying- to- you- but- hoping- you- don’t- notice- look. With each passing day, Amy became less and less hopeful that somehow Harley would be hers. Two days before Christmas, when Amy returned home, she wasn’t sure she would get anything for Christmas.

When she entered the house, Amy’s mother said, “Don’t expect to get much for Christmas this year. Your dad’s car just broke down and the repairs are going to cost about $1,000 dollars. I’m sorry.”

The little hope that Amy had left of getting Harley for Christmas was shattered immediately and her biggest fear of never getting a horse suddenly seemed to be a reality . She walked out of the house looking totally defeated. She didn’t even feel like going to the barn. Seeing Harley would just make things worse. She decided to make a horse out of snow. Just as Amy was finishing the head of her snow steed, the entire body collapsed. “Oh come on! I can’t have a real horse, and now apparently I can’t have a snow horse either. This is turning out to be the worst Christmas ever!”

On Christmas eve, Amy’s dad came home with a grin from ear to ear. Amy put down her book on horse care and went into the kitchen to see what was happening. She took a seat on one of the tall maple bar stools that surrounded the granite island and looked eagerly at her father. “It’s a real Christmas miracle. My brother’s friend just gave my brother his old car, and my brother gave it to us as a present because he heard what happened. Looks like this will be a good Christmas after all.”

Meanwhile, at the barn, Katy had convinced her parents to buy Harley so that Amy couldn’t. Rachel had been looking to lease the pony out to someone, but she never planned on selling her. Katy’s parents were both CEOs for huge companies, so they offered Rachel an insane amount of money for Harley- $20,000 dollars. Rachel knew that the barn needed to be fixed up and that having that much money would make life much easier, but she refused the offer because she knew that Katy was only doing this so that Amy couldn’t have the one thing she wanted.

Amy went to bed so excited that she doubted she would ever fall asleep. Somehow she did and when she woke up and went downstairs, she noticed that there was nothing under the tree and that no one was home. She called out for her parents but there was no answer. When she went to get the orange juice from the beaten up white fridge, she saw a bright orange sticky note.
“Amy, we went out on some errands. Rachel called telling you to come to the barn ASAP. We’ll see you soon. Don’t forget to bring Harley her present.





Mom and Dad”

Amy grabbed the stocking she had made for Harley, grabbed her coat from the closet under the stairs and ran out the door. When she arrived at the barn, she saw both of her parents and Rachel standing by Harley’s stall and smiling at Amy. Amy walked hesitantly over. “What’s going on? I thought you had errands to do.”

“We did, but just one,” her mom said excitedly, “ Merry Christmas Amy.” She pointed at Harley’s stall. Amy was shocked.

“Do you mean she’s mine? I thought you couldn’t afford a horse. I can’t believe this!”
Amy’s mother said, “We were planning this the whole time. When your dad’s car broke down, we really didn’t think we could follow through though. When your uncle gave us his friend’s car, we were so relieved because we hadn’t gotten you any other presents. You wouldn’t have anything at all under the tree. Katy almost bought Harley the other day, but Rachel refused her offer so that you would get the gift you have always wanted.”
She ran to her parents as they laughed at her corny grin, then she looked to Rachel. “Thank you so much for not selling her to Katy. I owe you big time. Wait, that means you knew the whole time didn’t you? I can’t believe you wouldn’t tell me!”
Rachael said, “If I told you, it wouldn’t have been this good a gift now would it? Now, why are you standing here? Tack up that pony and go for a ride!”

Amy did just that. She didn’t stop smiling the whole time. Amy’s parents had made a deal with Rachel that said that Harley was owned by Amy, but Rachel could use her for lessons in exchange for a lower board. Rachel promised that Amy could ride whenever she wanted as long as she told Rachel in advance so she didn’t plan a lesson. Amy didn’t even care that she had to share Harley because now at least she had a horse of her own to pamper and love.

Although Amy was happy that she got Harley, she still felt like something was wrong. When Katy walked into the barn, Amy knew what it was. Amy walked up to Katy before she entered her horse’s stall. “Katy I’m tired of hating each other. What happened was an accident and you know it. I’m so sorry that you were embarrassed, but there’s nothing we can do now. Why don’t we just forgive each other and start to be nice.” Katy turned around and Amy thought she would yell, but instead, there were tears in Katy’s eyes.

“I’m so sorry about everything I’ve said to you. I know it’s stupid to fight like this and I agree that we should be nicer. I forgive you and I hope that we can be friends.”

“I’d like that. Now how about a winter trail ride?”





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