What the Heck is Collateral

March 12, 2008
By Victoria Manning, Bryant, AR

On my birthdays my dad would always take me horseback riding at Horse head Arena. At Horse head Arena was my favorite horse Sunshine; he was brown with a white spot on his face between his eyes. You'd probably mistake him for a Clydesdale if you saw us side by side. I remember riding him and never feeling more free. Especially when we took the trail through the woods:his strength, beauty, and agility fascinated me. That's when I knew I wanted a horse. My first thought was to buy Sunshine since I was already fond of him. I asked Tess, the owner of Horse head Arena if I could buy Sunshine from her. And of course she said no, bringing me back down to earth. I thought of her fake eye and how she may have been kicked by a horse at some point, made me smile.

I started looking in the paper every Sunday for a horse. I begged and pleaded for my parents to get me a horse, seizing the opportunity to talk about horses any time I could. They said no every time, but I was determined and stubborn. So, I kept looking in the paper. Me and my mom are tight, so I talked to her about the situation.

“You need room for a horse, feed, housing, and someone to groom and take care of it.” “We have room.” I mean, we did have one of the biggest backyards in our neighborhood. It was good enough for the dogs, so why not the horse? “Not enough, horses need acres to graze and room to run free in the open.” “What are acres?” I asked, thinking the word sounded kind of funny. The way she explained it to me was, it took about two football fields to make one acre. Horses need a good six or seven. So yeah, I was totally bummed; and then I had a stroke of genius. “We can buy some acres!” “With what, genius?” “I don't know, a loan maybe?” She laughed and kissed me on the cheek saying “silly girl.” Leaving me mortally wounded at the edge of her bed.

I knew right then that if she wouldn't help me I'd have to help myself. I was kid on a mission, and no one could stop me! I thought of myself as a bionic woman. I stopped searching in the paper for a horse, but for a house with enough land for a horse. I searched for about two weeks when I found the perfect home. It had a barn, nine acres, and a nice little house; probably not big enough for my family and me, but who cares. I figured this had to be fate. I called Bank of America where my mom used to work.

“Can I speak to a loan officer?” I was totally confident in my abilities to sound like a big girl. “Sure.” At last it worked, ha ha ha ha ! I was a master-mind. My mom's old boss Mr. Boston came to the phone. “What can I do for you?” “I need to take out a loan.” “How much?” “$150,000.” “How do you intend to pay this off?” “ I make five dollars a week sir working for my dad.” “Do you have any collateral to put down towards your loan?” “No.” “How old are you?” “Eight.” “Hmmm,I see. Why don't you call me back when you turn eight-teen and have some collateral.” “Okie dokie.” I tried to sound cheerful, but inside I was defeated.

I called my mom immediately. “Mom, what's collateral?” “Collateral is something the bank holds worth equal or more value than your loan. It's like insurance. That sure is a big spelling word for your age.” “That's not a spelling, I just called the bank to get a loan for my house and Mr. Boston told me to call back when I turn eight-teen and have collateral.”

My mom called Mr. Boston and explained the situation to him and apologized. “I didn't even know it was her.” Guess my big girl voice worked like a charm. “She knew what to do better than most grown-ups who come in here asking for a loan.” I was totally proud of myself, I dubbed me the bionic Vee.

I asked my mom if I could use her jewelry and Four Runner as collateral and blowing up my dreams she said “ No honey, you will not use my car and jewelry as collateral. You don't make enough remember.” I was so very distraught. To this day, I still want my horse and ranch. And sooner rather than later I'll be eight-teen. Now I just got to get the collateral!

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