YA Fiction Sample, ‘Larry’

Larry: A Rescue Pony’s Story

* THIRD EDITION *

D.E. Kendall


Larry

D.E. Kendall

Content Copyright © D.E. Kendall

Cover Image Copyright © Adobe® Stock

The moral right of the author has been asserted.

All rights reserved.

© 2022 D.E. Kendall

All names, characters and incidents in this book are the work of the author’s imagination, as this book is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, and any events described is entirely coincidental and has no relation to anyone bearing the same, or similar, name or names. All incidents are pure invention and not related to any individual known or unknown to the author.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without prior written permission of the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in book reviews as permitted by copyright law.

This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, or otherwise circulated without the author’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published without a similar condition, including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.


Inspired by an amazing pony.

Dedicated to my late grandfather, Tom, for always believing in me.

Also, special thanks to my wonderful parents;

without them, none of this would be possible…


Contents

My Beginning …………………………….. 1

Met the Vet ……………………………….. 27

The Arena ………………………………… 34

The Monster ………………………………. 46

Cassie ……………………………………… 60

Grass! ……………………………………… 96

At Auction ………………………………… 117

Lawrence …………………………………. 122

Moving On .………………………………. 148

Lira .………………………………………. 151

Autumn Acres .…………………………… 162

Church Field ..……………………………. 175

My Herd ..………………………………… 183

Fun! ..……………………………………… 199

Belle ..…………………………………….. 220

Showtime ..……………………………….. 231

Kizzy ..……………………………………. 236

The Adventure Beyond  ..………………… 244


My Beginning

Beginning at sunrise, the mist’s march at dawn swiftly captured the valley. Clinging to the black of night as it rose over hills and hedgerows, darkness maintained its hold over the earth. Until, as a hunter seeking its prey, the sun sent beams of light to flush fog from the forest; its power piercing the space between every tree.

Forcing its nemesis to fall back, sunrise succeeded, and the dreaming return to reality. Birdsong becomes an anthem of celebration, welcoming the daily phenomenon as light had once again triumphed over darkness.

Well, that’s how I imagined each day began, anyway. I entered earth at lightning speed, born before my time at a show pony stud farm where my world was small to begin with.

I spent the first few weeks of my life in a stable. It was dim and dusty. The only natural light fought through the half open stable door and tiny, barred window set high above the haynet. I could only imagine the wonders beyond our stable. All the adventure, all those fresh smells to discover, all that freedom…

Our stable wasn’t completely boring, however, she made it bearable.

She kept me safe (despite her interest in food often overcoming her interest in me). She amused me when I was bored, and she sustained me. She was my dam (or ‘mother’ as you humans would say), and I loved her. 

Her bright chestnut coat always shone, even in weak electric light. Her perfectly dished face held the majesty of an Arabian horse, while her doe-like, mahogany eyes mimicked the fearful beauty of a wild deer.

As if an artist had painted her immaculate diamond star, it decorated the centre of her forehead. Each of her delicate legs was splashed with white socks, too.

Every inch of my dam indicated excellent breeding, yet her barrel-like belly was evidence of over-feeding! How she carried such weight on such fine legs was a mystery, yet she did so with elegance and grace.

* * *

My first few moments on the outside were, memorable, to say the least.

Straw found its way into every orifice after my crash landing, and I was disorientated. After being stuck in the same position for eleven months, I needed to unfold! Eventually, I managed to untangle my legs.

It’s tiresome, being born.

The occasion left me in dire need of a drink. Luckily, instinct instantly located the best source of nourishment, but there was a problem – she was standing a few feet from me, munching her hay, blissfully unaware of my predicament.

I needed to grab her attention, somehow. So, I called to her. Unfortunately, the sound I managed was more ‘pathetic whinny’ than ‘attention-grabbing neigh’, as she didn’t so much as flick an ear in my direction.

Shuffling my nose around in the straw made no difference. Neither did trying to chew my own hoof off (though lack of teeth may have had something to do with that).

Soon enough, I decided there was no other choice. I had to become master of my own limbs if I were to stop hunger rattling my ribcage. I shifted on the spot, to help my brain discern which leg was which. Though a strange, tingling discomfort (I believe humans refer to it as ‘pins and needles’) hindered my ability to move. Each attempt to put weight on any of my legs left me feeling as though I had no bones in them! I’d flop back (or forward, or sideways) onto the straw like a sack of feed.

Eventually, after plenty of falling, that unpleasant sensation faded, allowing me to, slowly but surely, push myself upward to a steady standing position for the very first time.

I stood in situ for a second, with all four legs splayed out to support every ‘corner’ of my body. A wave of excitement overcame me. Was I about to taste freedom?! I couldn’t rest on my newly found laurels, however, I needed to walk.

Without further ado, I prepared myself to move. Shaking more than a leaf in late autumn, unsure how to begin, I decided to try moving all my legs at once. To my dismay, that decision did not reach my legs from my brain.

I drunkenly bumbled about, unable to stop, until I bounced unwillingly into the straw. My second attempt at walking resulted in alien, wobbly limbs fumbling beneath me until I flopped against the stable wall.

Once my brain caught control of my legs (three attempts later), I composed myself. Intending to move my right foreleg first, I finally felt ready.

Unfortunately, my brain was not. Confused, my left hind-leg careered into my left foreleg, sending me crashing to the straw. My dam turned to watch momentarily, amused, before continuing to eat—securing my determination.

At last, after what seemed hours of gravity-induced meetings with the straw (coupled with unimpressed looks from my dam), I did it. I had taken a step toward her.

After taking a moment to revel in my accomplishment, I made progress. I remained calm and focused as I steadily moved my left hind-leg followed by my left foreleg, then right hind-leg before right foreleg – quickly realising that by keeping at least two of my legs safely on the ground to support me through each step, I could walk without stumbling!

Surprisingly, my dam was as elated as I. She greeted my success with her velveteen muzzle, communicating praise through an almost inaudible nicker (a comforting, secret language shared between a mare and her foal).

Our bond was strengthened by the locking of her scent in my memory, forever – a memory of comfort and safety I still recall when feeling lost or afraid.

She nuzzled my mane as I indulged in the object of my quest, and I felt a wave of content wash over me. Victorious in the first conquest of my life, I decided that life was wonderful.

Moments later, I deliberately flopped back to the straw and slipped into my first dream-filled sleep.

* * *

[…]


Lawrence

I jumped over the horsebox ramp, landing on a vast expanse of gravel with space enough for fifty horseboxes! To my right, there was a gigantic, modern building with cream and brick walls, and to the left there was a covered sand arena beside a huge barn full of wrapped bales. Beyond the barn, I could see immaculate paddocks that were obviously never grazed.

            “Go, take the pony to that empty stall in the centre of the barn,” that adult female handed the lead rope to one of her mini humans, before disappearing into the huge house with the other mini human.

            “Come on, pony,” ordered the mini human, as she tugged on the lead rope and pulled me towards an imposing barn.

            The mini human slid large doors open to reveal a wide walkway with gigantic stalls either side. She took me into one of the stalls, which was laid out neatly with a thick, shavings bed on top of dark green rubber matting. A giant cage bolted to the wall was overflowing with haylage – though I fear it was designed for a tall horse, as I wasn’t sure I’d be able to reach it. There was also an automatic drinker in one corner of the stall, something I’d never encountered before. This new environment was lovelier than I could ever have imagined, and I was hopeful that I’d finallyfound my home… 

* * *

[…]


Belle

Winter brought snow, a lot of snow.

            My herd couldn’t use their vehicles and had to walk through eight miles of snow to reach me. Their frozen, reddened faces were a welcome sight, as they hurried around to ensure I had plenty of food, layers of extra-thick rugs to keep me warm, and two giant water buckets with plastic bottles floating in them to prevent freezing.

            It didn’t matter how miserable the snow made my humans feel, the winter festivities kept their spirits high. My mini humans hooked a green and red stocking onto my top stable door for Mum and Dad to fill with wrapped gifts.

            Lizzi spent an entire morning attaching a brand-new yellow numnah and a sparkly yellow browband to my tack. Anne kept sneaking mints to me when Mum and Dad weren’t looking, and June taught me how to unwrap gifts. Sometimes, the sticky tape would attach itself to my muzzle, but it was so worthwhile when I was given carrots, apples, and a swede! Dad tied the swede up in my stable and crunching through it kept me occupied all night.

* * *

[…]


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