Apparently, Mary had lost her little lamb (I stared down at my saddle to keep from laughing, I really did), and needed help finding her. I knew as much about sheep as I did cows, but she said that Twinky–yes, that is the poor thing’s name–liked grass. So Savvy and I gathered some grass and found the little sheep out in the fields. Savvy was humming the nursery rhyme under her breath, making me giggle and even Evening whickered a little.
Mary was thrilled to have her sheep back, making me flush at her praises. Honestly, it was just finding her pet! She gave us some pants that I’m not to sure about, but are certainly better than the ones the camp provided. After that, Savvy and I managed to shake her, and we hurried on to the fort.
Savvy was immediately drawn to the stalls, but when I saw that no money was actually changing hands, I started fidgeting. There was only so much “browsing” I could tolerate, all my experience aside. But Savvy noticed and shooed me off to go explore rather than distract her. Evening was all-too-happy to go with me down the stairs on the back side of the fort. We went right past a dock, mostly because I saw the beach on this side.
And it was heavenly.
Umbrellas, beach chairs, everything you could ever want. There was even a sign that said the horses could splash around too. Evening took the opportunity to do so, and I think he really enjoyed the cool water on his legs. I laughed too, enjoying the water. (Yes, I live up to my name so well sometimes.) But the docks looked pretty big, and I wanted to see them. Evening let me lead him back, and turned down towards them.
There were a series of storage buildings, a ferry dock, and then there was a barge, where I could hear some whickering and chatter. I left Evening on the dock (much to his annoyance) and climbed aboard on foot.
To a barge of ponies, tied to the floor but with enough slack to move around some. I gasped and covered my mouth in surprise.
And one little head jerked up, ears pointed towards me and nostrils quivering. A little white and grey, he looked exactly like I had always imagined Merrylegs looked. I couldn’t help but smile at seeing him. He whickered entreatingly at me, and I walked over to fuss over him a little. He was so sweet and eager to please! I was reluctant to leave, but I did and took Evening back up to the market so I could find Savvy and show her.
Those stairs up are no joke! I leaned forward to help get the weight off of Evening’s hindquarters, but at our pace, it knocked the air out of me more than once. We reached Savvy, and I took the chance to just breathe and try and get my hair out of my face. I told her about the ponies. She was less than enthused. I suppose I could understand, but these weren’t Shetland ponies or anything like that! We weren’t too big for ponies (yet), if they are one of the bigger breeds.
Well, I took her down there, and I must admit that I chattered the whole way down. It was nice to finally get some of the words out, but I felt bad for Savvy having to hear it. We reached the barge, and I stayed with her as she walked through the herd. But we reached my new friend and he immediately shoved his head into my chest, demanding attention. I laughed and scratched him behind the ears, then started examining him closely. He had good lines, and his feet were in fine. He snorted at me over the back ones, making me think he didn’t like having his feet dealt with.
I wasn’t sure what I was planning to do, at that point. While there is plenty of room at the estate for horses, even an old stable that is being used for storage right now, Daddy never made mention of being agreeable to me having a horse of my own, even a pony. But then I looked up and saw Savvy leading a pony of her own off the barge, and that decided me somehow. I could pay boarding fees and have him stay here over the winter, if worse came to worse. So I unclipped my new pony from the barge and led him down to where Evening was waiting. Savvy waved her phone at me, and I took this as a sign that Jenna was on her way with a trailer, so I led the new pony over to Evening to wait.
…A very unhappy Evening. He stomped his foot and glared at my new friend. His jealousy was almost palatable. Biting my lower lip, I watched the pony for a reaction. He didn’t seem to care a wit about what Evening thought of him, keeping his ears perked forward and tail up. I smiled, thrilled at his pluckiness. I scratched him under the chin and whispered his new name in his ear, making him toss his head in horse laughter. Bright Star.
At this point, Bright and Savvy’s new friend made introductions with each other, seeming to get along, and we caught someone’s attention. A girl who was standing beside the barge, Penny, who as apparently working with her sister to create some pony-only races. I suppose I could see the point, since ponies and horses have different specialties and uses. Jenna arrived with the trailer, and while we were loading our new purchases, Penny explained that her and her sister, Polly, had ordered a bunch of jumps from James, but the order had never arrived.
Jenna spoke up and said that James ran the local stables, so it seemed like a good person to know. Besides, we could hardly leave Penny when she was asking for help. Savvy named her pony Star Spider (Spider Heart and Star Spider, is this going to be a theme?). I waved at Jenna as she drove off, and then saw a stall I hadn’t noticed earlier by the docks. It looked like they sold gear and such. When I looked, I saw that everything had a nautical theme.
I haven’t owned a sailor dress since Lawrence left.
But there were enough differences that it didn’t hurt my heart. I wasn’t quite ready to spend the money yet, but I did see some leg wraps that gave me an idea for Bright’s touchiness about his feet. Wearing those would help desensitize him. (Plus, okay, they’re cute. I can have my moments!) We then went to meet James.
…James is a git.