Lucy was just getting home from school. She couldn’t get that picture of that beautiful horse out of her mind. She was so glad she was able to rent the book from the school library. She wanted to look at it some more. But, it was Friday and everyone was excited about the fair starting. All of her friends were going to be there and she so hoped that Mama and Papa would allow her to go also. She was sure they would. They were so kind to her and she loved them dearly! As she walked through the door, the fresh aroma of newly baked cookies permeated the air. Mama had made her famous Oatmeal-Raisin cookies again! Lucy was so anxious to try one. Of course it would be outstanding as always.
Now Lucy had to talk to Papa. She had learned that there was no use going to Mama about something she wanted to do, because Mama would just send her to Papa anyway, so now she wisely just started with Papa. It really worked out well anyway, because Papa almost always let her have or do whatever it was she wanted. Well, with the exception of last week when Billy Martin wanted to take her to the movie theater in town. Papa looked like he was going to pass out! He turned white! Then red! Oh my goodness, she was so afraid he was going to turn blue! She heard that people did that when they were dying. She didn’t want Papa to die. She was sorry she had ever asked him about the stupid movies. There was no question about it! Papa was so much more important to her than those silly movies. Well, him and Mama. They were the most important people in her world! She found out that Papa knew a few things about Billy Martin that she didn’t. He wouldn’t say what they were, but she knew they couldn’t be good, if it caused him to turn red and white, just because Billy wanted to take her to the movie. In fact, Papa said don’t ever let him see or hear of her being within 50 feet of him ever again!
Now, the only thing Lucy wanted to do was to go to the fair and be with her friends from school. Papa knew them and liked them, so she knew it was going to be okay. Sure enough, Papa said, “sure you go along and Mama and I will be along later. I have my eye on a surprise for you up there!”
Well now, that not only made her happy that she could go, but it also set her to fantasizing about what Papa could possibly be thinking about getting for her from the fairgrounds. Come to think of it, her birthday was next week. H-m-m-m-m … maybe something from the arts and crafts tent she mused.
She changed out of her school clothes and into a sweater and some jeans. She pulled her pretty blonde hair back into two ponytails, one on each side of her head in back. She then tied pretty little pink Satin ribbons and made a bow on top of each ponytail. The ribbons matched her sweater, which showed off her beautiful green eyes. She pulled on her tennis shoes and grabbed a jacket for when the cool Michigan night air came. She ran out the door, yelling to Mama and Papa that she was leaving.
Lucy was getting more excited by the minute! She could hear the sounds of the fair already! They only lived about 10 city blocks from the fairgrounds. Living in the country was so much different than when they lived in the city. She kind of missed it, but she knew it was better for poor Papa since he had the heart attack at work and had to retire. She had made new friends and was actually beginning to really like it here in Mt. Pleasant. She liked that the town was big enough to have a theater and a Wall-mart, and other places to shop, but not so big that it was sprawled out for miles. She had wished there would be a mall though. Sadly, there was not. She definitely would miss going to the mall. But, who knew, maybe they would eventually build one. For now, she was happy to just be on her way, well, now she was at the fair. There was Jody … “Hi Jody! Where are Sharon, and Kate?”
“Hi Lucy! They are already on the rides! I think they are on the Tilt-a-whirl right now.” Jody replied smiling, as she strolled up to Lucy.
“Isn’t this wonderful Jody? It’s finally here! I looked forward to this so much”, Lucy exclaimed excitedly as they made their way to the ticket booth. They each bought a fist full of tickets. They ran to the first ride, which was the Ferris Wheel. Not just any Ferris Wheel either! It was called, “The Star-Scraper”, and Lucy could understand why! It was so very tall! She was quickly changing her mind about this ride. She wasn’t usually afraid of heights, but this thing was too high! She looked at Jody and Jody was shaking her head, as if to say, “Absolutely NO WAY!”
Next in line was the haunted house. Lucy thought for sure she heard Kate and Sharon’s voices inside. Yep! Once inside, she was positive it was her friend’s voices and she yelled out to them. Pretty soon she heard screaming!
“Help! Help! Help us! More screaming!
“Oh no Jody!! Lucy gasped. “What could be wrong with them?”
“I don’t know Lucy”, Jody yelled over the music, “But we had better find them and find out!” “And fast” The girls joined hands and agreed to hang onto one another and not let go for any reason. They slowly crept into the darkness, fear burning deeper with every step! All of the creepy characters only made their fear escalate. They began calling to their friends, while wiping the cob webs out of their faces.
“Katey … Sharon … are you in here?” “Hello-o-o-o-o ….” “Yikes!” Lucy screamed!”
“What Lucy”, Jody exclaimed. “What is it?”
“I … I thought I felt something, uh, or someone brush my arm … I don’t like this Jody. Not at all!”
The eerie music and the strobe lights flashing randomly only made it worse!
“I know”, replied Jody, “me either! Where can they be?” “Girls”, she yelled, “where are you? Come on now. You are scaring us.” Again they called the girls names.
“Kate, Sharon! We’re going to leave you in here!”
Still no answer. Now they were really getting freaked out.
“I’m going to call Papa”, Lucy said and she began digging in her pocket for her cell phone.
Next they heard, “No, no … don’t call anyone. We’re here” Sharon and Kate stepped out from behind a ghost, looking quite embarrassed. “We were just having some fun” they explained.
“Some fun!” yelled Lucy. “We were worried sick about you! Don’t you ever do anything like that again!”
After Lucy had time to collect her thoughts and Jody was yelling at the girls, Lucy recalled what Papa had said about a surprise present for her and quickly told the girls about it and that they needed to go with her to find her Mama and Papa. Lucy knew exactly where to look too! Whenever there was food or animals around, she knew she would find her Papa. Whenever there was food, she knew Mama would be there, because she had usually made close to half of it. So the girls headed off for the food tent. The closer they got, the more heavenly it smelled.
M-m-m-m … cakes, pies, and cookies they couldn’t stand it! They quickly searched out Mrs. White’s table. They knew Lucy’s Mama was good for a couple of cookies. There she was. They ran a race to be the first to the table and ask for a cookie.
“Well, hello girls! I have been saving some of your favorite cookies for you! It’s that plate right over there sweeties. Help yourselves.”
They quickly made a bee-line for it and had a cookie in their mouths before Mrs. White had spoken another word.
“How are the rides girls?”
They all began laughing, remembering the fiasco in the haunted house. They had all agreed not to mention it to anyone, and Kate and Sharon promised to never scare Jodi and Lucy like that again.
“Mama, where is Papa”, Lucy asked. “I want to find out what my surprise is!” Now Lucy was getting excited all over again!
“Oh my”, said her Mama. “I believe I left him at the pony barn on my way here. Yes, you should check the pony barn.”
With that, Lucy squealed! “Mama, Is Papa going to get me a pony? Is he Mama?”
“Well Lucy, I really can’t say dear. Why don’t you go and find him and then you will know.”
Lucy pecked her Mama on the cheek, thanked her for the cookies and quickly ran off with her friends to find her Papa. One thing about the fair, there were all kinds of smells and not all of them were as pleasant as Mama’s Oatmeal – Raisin cookies. The closer they came to the pony barn, the less pleasant the smells became. Also, the sounds were changing as they listened to the cows mooing, and some pigs grunting and a Rooster crowing in the background somewhere. Definitely the sounds of the Isabella County Fair. They could hear someone on a loudspeaker announcing the next entertainment of the day. There he was!
“Papa!” Lucy exclaimed. “we found you! I remembered that you had said you had a surprise for me.
Can you tell me now what it is?” Lucy had her arms behind her with fingers crossed on both hands.
She looked at him and looked at the girls and quickly back at him. Suddenly, she remembered the picture of the horse on the book from the library. She could only hope.
“You know Lucy, your birthday is next week. Mama and I were discussing what we might get you for your birthday that would teach you something. We didn’t want to just get you a gift so you could have something new and different. We wanted it to be valuable to you. We decided that for it to be a valuable gift, it would have to teach you something. So, we thought for a couple of days about it and ….” Lucy waited. And waited. And waited ….
“Papa … what is it Papa?”
He smiled at her and announced, “Lucy we are getting you a horse!”
“A horse Papa? Really, a horse? Not a pony? But why are you in the pony barn?”
Papa explained that the man he was buying her horse from, also had some ponies here and he was supposed to meet them there. Lucy and the girls were jumping all around.
“Lucy, ” Jody said, “This is really exciting! You are going to have your very own horse!” Sharon and Kate quickly agreed!
Mr. White then interjected, “However Lucy, as you recall, I said that your mother and I wanted you to learn from your gift. So, you tell me, what is it do you think that you will learn?”
“Wow Papa, I wasn’t thinking about that. I don’t really know. Can I think about it for a few minutes? Can I see my present Papa? Can I see my new horse?”
“Sure Lucy, you think about my question and while we are waiting for Mr. Pearson to get here, we’ll go let you see your new horse, your birthday gift from Mama and me. I hope you like her!”
“Does she have a name Papa?”
“No not yet, that is one of the things you will be responsible for Lucy.”
“That’s it Papa, that is one thing anyway. I will be learning responsibility. Right?”
“Yes, that’s right Lucy, very good! Now what do you think you will be responsible for?”
Lucy thought again, not for very long, when she exclaimed, “I have to feed her and give her water.”
“That’s correct dear, but there is much, much more to owning and being responsible for a horse. That is why we bought you this other gift as well. Actually, there are a few others too, but first things first young lady.”
With that, Papa chuckled and handed Lucy a gift-wrapped rectangle, which she was sure was a book. Of course, it was a book on owning a horse and becoming a responsible and happy owner. Just then, Papa stopped in front of the most beautiful horse that Lucy had ever seen! But wait, she instantly thought of the book from the library! It was her! She was honey-colored with a perfect white diamond in the middle of her head, a white mane and a white tail, with four perfect white socks. She was standing right here in front of her and she was her horse! She couldn’t believe her eyes! Wishes and dreams really did come true! The girls all gasped in total awe!
“Oh, Lucy, she is absolutely beautiful!” remarked Sharon, followed by agreement of the other two. At this point Lucy was crying, with her arms around her Papa.
“Oh Papa, how can I ever repay you? I don’t deserve this wonderful horse. How can we afford to keep her Papa? I just thought of that. I look at her size and I know she must eat an awful lot.”
“Don’t you fret little lady. Papa’s got it covered. You just enjoy her. Learn to ride her well, and most importantly, take good care of her every day!”
“Oh, I will Papa, I promise. I really and truly will. I am so happy, I just don’t know how to thank you, but I will find a way! Papa, I have a name for her.”
“Already Lucy? My, that didn’t take very long! H-m-m-m … it wouldn’t by any chance be Diamond, or Star would it?”
“Well Papa, no, but those are both excellent names. But it came to me as soon as I saw her. Look at the color of her Papa! Lucy smiled, she is honey-colored. That is a perfect name for her too. Honey! I am going to name her Honey!”
“Wow Lucy, the girls all chimed together. You’re right, that is the perfect name for her!”
About that time, “Honey” lifted up her head, shook it up and down and whinnied, as if to show she agreed! Everyone, including Papa roared laughing.
“Honey it is, chuckled Papa. A-h-h-h-h-h, and there is Mr. Pearson going over to the pony tent. Let’s get back over there so we can take care of the final papers. I want you to be present for this Lucy.”
Soon they were standing in front of Mr. Pearson. Lucy hated leaving Honey behind so soon, but it wouldn’t be long and she would be with her all the time. Well, almost anyway. Of course there was school and other things.
“Lucy, in two more years on your 18th birthday, we will get these papers out and on this empty line, you will sign your name, making you officially the only legal owner of Honey. Right now though, I have to be the owner, because you cannot legally have anything in your name until you are 18 years of age. But, she is still yours Baby. Honey is my Baby’s Baby! Ha-ha-ha-ha … “
“Oh Papa, you are so funny! But Papa, no matter how old I get, I will always be your Baby!”
“Yes, you certainly will. Okay girls, I know you are all just dying to get back over to be with Honey and pet her and all. So, go on. Take off. You’re done here Lucy.”
He gave her a wink as she rushed up to him and threw her arms around his neck once more and he was thinking, this is what makes it all worth it. If she only knew, she thanks me 15 times a day, before I ever do anything. I love that little girl so very much and bringing her joy, fills mine and Mama’s world with immense joy!
Mama, I really need to get over there with her. She could use some support about now, I would think.
“So, Mr. Pearson, are we about ready to wrap it up?”
“We sure are, Mr. White. I’m so happy that you’re daughter likes her new horse. That is the best part of my job. Please do something for me when you come in to see the notary. I like to get pictures of my happy clients with their horses. So, could you get a picture of Lucy with Honey and bring it to me to put on my picture wall at my office Mr. White?”
“Listen, why don’t you call me Jim. I expect we will be seeing more of one another. I am going to try to get my girl and her girl, ha-ha-ha, to begin learning and practicing to show in the ring. I understand that you are quite a fan.”
“Yes, that is true uh, Jim. Okay, well if I must call you Jim, then you call me Bill. Yes, I am a very big fan and as a matter of fact, I also have a daughter. Actually, she is Lucy’s age. I’ll bet Lucy knows her. They must go to school together. Her name is Kathy. So, maybe we can get together in a more casual meeting and let the girls get together too. I am sure that Kathy would be happy to give Lucy some pointers.”
“Sure Bill. That sounds like an excellent idea. I’m sure Lucy would love to meet Kathy, and be very appreciative of any tips she might be willing to share. But now Bill, I have to quickly leave, because my dear wife has been alone all morning and I am supposed to help her as soon as I could finish up here. Of course, there is also the fact, that I want to get back over there before all of her famous Oatmeal-Raisin cookies are gone! She wouldn’t let me take any with me, dang it! I guess she knew it was one sure-fire way to get me back there! Ha-ha-ha We’ll see you one day next week Bill. Come by the baked goods tent before you leave and get a couple of Susan’s cookies.”
Bill nodded and walked toward a couple of ponies in a stall together. Papa walked back to check on the girls before going to Mama’s side. As soon as he walked up, he wished he had his camera. There in the hay, was Honey, laying down, and the girls all laying around and on her. He decided to let them all sleep. Now for my cookies he thought, I deserve them! The end.