The Healing Horse, Ch. 13, Scene 3: Karen Makes a Decision

In this scene, Karen follows her intuition in deciding where to take Pegasus for the day in honor of him. She surprises her mother and herself with her newfound belief in herself and her abilities.

Scene 3: Karen Makes a Decision

Karen immediately spread her collection of amusement park brochures across her bed. She stared hard at them and asked herself what would mean the most to Pegasus? Panning for gold at Knott’s Berry Farm would be impossible, since he did not have hands to hold a gold pan. Marineland looked good to her, but she didn’t think he would like seeing all the captive animals. Then she noticed something on the Disneyland brochure that made her decision easy—King Arthur’s Carousel. He would love chatting with other carousel horses.

She ran into the kitchen, and said, “Mama, I have made a decision. We are taking Pegasus for a day of fun in his honor.”

Mama looked up from the stove, where she was simmering a pot of chicken soup.

“That sounds nice, my Krana Layala. Where do you suppose we could take him? He’s awfully big to haul around, you know.”

“Disneyland, Mama! The enchanted kingdom! See, they have a carousel from King Arthur. Pegasus’ll love chatting with the other horses, and we can go on all sorts of rides, too.”

She handed the brochure to her mother, who looked through it, one page at a time.

“It’ll be a day of celebration,” Karen continued, “a day different from any he’s ever had before. I want him to know what a difference he’s making in my life. He’s helping me find strength, joy, and happiness. This will be my way of showing him my gratitude. It will be a complete surprise for him, and he will love it.”

Karen felt her eyes overflow with tears of joy. She looked up into her mother’s eyes, and saw that she was crying, too.

“But how will we get him there?” Mama asked. “And will the park even let him in? Do they let people bring horses to Disneyland? And when will we go?”

Karen reached up with her strong right hand and put it onto Mama’s shoulder.

“Don’t you worry, Mama. My intuition tells me this will all work out, and if it doesn’t then I’ll make another plan. You can depend on that. Pegasus always believed in me, and now I do, too. School break begins on Christmas Eve, and I think that will be the perfect day for an outing.”

©2021, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

The Healing Horse, Ch. 13, Scene 2: Karen Realizes She Needs to Learn to Make Decisions

In this scene, Karen finds that even though she has gathered a lot of information, she still does not know how to choose the best amusement park for Pegasus. She needs to learn to make decisions.

Scene 2: Karen Realizes She Needs to Learn to Make Decisions

She thought and thought and thought. She had to make a choice. She could not stand by and let time pass without selecting a park. There was no time to dilly-dally. Hanukkah was over, and she wanted to do this before Christmas.

She remembered when she had decided to walk to the Pier, and how that had led to meeting Pegasus. What’s more, she remembered when she had decided to rescue Pegasus, and how that led to his becoming a real, living horse. A realization arose in her mind. She had made those decisions on her own. Something within told her that her life would be richer and clearer, when she made more choices by herself. Something within told her that she could not remain dependent on Mama’s good judgment all her life. This little voice, which she called her inner speech, told her that while she was thinking. She took this to heart. It felt crucial and critical. It was the spirit of her curiosity to know and learn more about making decisions on her own. She wanted to gain wisdom and knowledge from those choices, and learn about life just like everyone else. It felt like fundamental to her own human rights and essential to her development. This desire ignited a fire that ran through her veins and would change her life forever.

She had to make a decision, just one, before she could make any others. This was a decision that only she could make. This conviction would change her life forever. It would liberate her.

She said to herself, “Learning to make choices takes courage. It means being daring and brave. It takes boldness and a fortitude. It takes spirit that one must acquire solely by oneself. To be fearless, you must challenge yourself, your thinking, and your beliefs, Kranya Layala.”

Her heart surged again. She said aloud, “I’m ready to make that decision and take that pivotal step. I’m so ready!”

©2021, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

The Healing Horse, Ch. 13: Making the Magical Plans

At this point, the story takes a detour that ends with a trip to Disneyland. The theme of the story is learning to make decisions, and in this scene little Karen decides she wants to take Pegasus on a special outing in his honor, but then she realizes she has to decide where to take him.

Scene 1: With Gratitude, Karen Plans a Day to Honor Pegasus

Karen was so thankful for their new home, and for all that Pegasus had done for her, that she decided to give him something special. She would surprise him with a special day in his honor, a day he would fondly remember, forever.

She was certain he would enjoy himself. After all, he was a carousel horse. He cherished taking people for rides. He treasured making friends, especially when he helped people who were in trouble or despair. He loved bringing hope and faith to their hearts. He knew how to respond, and he respected their privacy when they shared their dreams, their sorrows, and their secret stories.

That was his job at the merry-go-round, to make people feel joyous and free. Why would he not enjoy being treated the same way?

Karen began planning by researching her options. She spent hours reading guide books to her area, and was amazed by all it had to offer. Knott’s Berry Farm, Disneyland, and Marineland were only a few of the amusement parks a little more than an hour’s drive from her Topanga Canyon home. There was even Santa Monica Pier, where she had met Pegasus, but with the carousel torn down visiting it would be too sad. She wanted a happy day for her horse, but there were so many places to choose from. She felt the expectation of excitement surge from within. A soft smile danced across her lips.

©2021, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

The Healing Horse, Ch. 12, Scene 7: The Eight Nights

This scene concludes Chapter Twelve. On Friday, the story of an adventure at Disneyland begins.

Scene 7: The Eight Nights

Karen loved the way the candles glistened and glowed. Each day, they lighted a new candle in remembrance of the eight nights the oil lamp burned, over two thousand years before. Karen had a deep conviction about her heritage. Each year, Mama told her the story of how the Jewish people had been suppressed and forbidden to believe in their own God. She also talked about how the Maccabees defeated the Syrians. Mama told Karen about the importance of their people, and of how they had gone to the Temple and made a new menorah out of a cheaper metal since the Golden Menorah had been stolen. When the people went to light it, they found only a small earthenware pot of pure olive oil, bearing the emblem of the high priest. There was only enough for one day, but by a miracle of God, the oil lasted for eight.

After Hanukkah ended, Karen rode with Mama, as she drove Aunt Eva to the airport for her trip back to New York.

©2021, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

The Healing Horse, Ch. 12, Scene 6: Hanukkah Begins

In this scene, Karen’s beloved Aunt Eva arrives for a visit. Mama asks Karen to light the menorah, and Karen realizes that Mama really does understand that she is growing up.

Scene 6: Hanukkah

Monday and Tuesday, after work and school, they finished the last details of settling into their new home.

Hanukkah arrived on Tuesday, and they prepared to light the first candle of the menorah, that evening. Karen was eager to light it, but Mama kept stalling and looking out the front window. At last, she threw open the front door and shouted, “Eva! Mazel tov! At last!”

Karen ran to the door and hugged the tiny woman who stood on the porch, then they went inside and closed the door.

“Karen,” Mama said, “Help your Aunt Eva with her suitcase. She’s going to sleep in your room, and you’re going to sleep on the couch.”

Karen struggled to lift the suitcase, but managed to carry it into her bedroom. Without being asked, she changed the sheets on the bed and then hurried back to the living room.

“Now that we’re settled, let’s light the menorah,” Mama said.

She carried the golden menorah that her family had treasured for generations into the living room and put it onto a table in front of the window on the left side of the room, as seen from the street.

Eva touched the menorah with the tip of one finger.

“This was our mother’s menorah—your grandmother’s menorah,” she said to Karen. “The one you’re named after, and someday it will be yours.”

Mama unwrapped a box of candles and took out two. They were long and slender. One was white, and one was blue. She put the white one into the menorah and used a match to light the blue one.

“Always start with the candles at the right end,” she said to Karen.

“Now, let’s say our prayers.”

Mama opened a thick book and held it so they could all see it. None of them could read Hebrew, but the book had the words spelled out in phonetic English. Mama and Karen stood on each side of Aunt Eva, and all three read aloud.

“Now, let’s read the English version, so we understand what we just said,” Mama said.

They read aloud, and when they got to the words, “Blessed are You, Lord our Hashem, King of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion,” all three burst into tears.

Mama handed Karen the blue candle. “You’re a big girl, now,” she said. “Go ahead and light it.”

Karen’s eyes filled with more tears at being given this honor.

“Do you remember what to do, next?” Mama asked.

“Yes, Mama. I put the blue one in the middle.”

“And what’s it called, sweetheart?”

“It’s the shamash, Mama, the attendant candle.”

After they gazed at the burning lights, Mama said, “Now, we have to be practical, again, and feed your Auntie. She must be exhausted after all the long flights.”

©2021, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

The Healing Horse, Ch. 12, Scene 5: First Dinner in Their New Home

The good mood continues, as Mama and Kitten prepare dinner and enjoy it outside in the pergola.

Scene 5: First Dinner in Their New Home

Standing at their new Formica kitchen counter, Karen held vegetables down with the weight of her weak left hand, so her strong right could chop them with a French chef knife on the cutting board. She shredded romaine, sliced tomatoes, and diced red bell peppers into a magnificent green salad. Then she topped it with the delectable Italian dressing that Mama had taught her to make. She used only olive oil, white wine vinegar, fresh parsley, lemon juice, garlic cloves, dried basil, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, and dried oregano. Next, she organized marinated baby carrots, radishes, and celery sticks into a crisp circle of crunchy crudités around the edge of a small platter.

Hovering over her, Mama filled soup bowls. She had simmered her savory slow-cooked chicken, with potatoes, onions, carrots and celery, all day in a deep pressure cooker. She and Karen both inhaled and then sighed, when she opened the lid and let the aroma rise with the steam.

After carrying their meals out the side door and placing them on the wooden dining table, they sat and enjoyed the quiet evening in the pergola. In the pergola, they enjoyed the dinner they had prepared together, and agreed that the new house was beautiful and felt homey. Karen thought that the white picket fence and flower gardens were prettier than any she had ever seen. The new plaster and wallpaper made the rooms delightfully warm. All the effort they had put into it was worth it. Karen felt blessed by everything that had recently occurred. Miracles had come their way, and Pegasus had been at the center of them all, but she needed to discuss what would begin in a few days.

“Mama,” she said. “I know it may be too much to celebrate on top of move, but Hanukkah is coming up, and you haven’t said anything about it…I was just wondering?”

She watched as Mama put down her soup spoon and said, “Oy vey! My Krana Layala, I would never let Hanukkah go by without celebrating. Besides, this year we have so much to give thanks for. This is going to be a perfect Hanukkah. Don’t you worry. I have it all planned. Hanukkah doesn’t start until Tuesday night, so we have tomorrow after school to get ready.”

Overcome with joy, and thankful that she could always count on her Mama, Karen jumped up and hugged her.

“And I have you to be thankful for Mama. You’re even better than a new house!”

©2021, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

The Healing Horse, Ch. 12, Scene 4: Settling In

In this scene, the good mood continues, and life is grand for little Kitten and her Mama.

Scene 4: Settling In

Sunday, Kitten helped Mama place her beloved collection of delicate, antique teapots in the living room corner hutch. Mama had inherited these from her mother and treasured them.

“No more Wandering Jews for us, my dear!” Mama said, as she closed the glass doors. “This is the Promised Land, and we are buying a very nice house in it.”

Nevertheless, she included two wandering Jews with the potted philodendrons that she added to the decor.

“Just so we remember our roots,” she quipped.

By late Sunday afternoon, they had done enough so they could live comfortably while completing the details. Mama said it was time for a break. They were going to eat under the pergola.

©2021, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

The Healing Horse, Ch. 12, Scene 3: Moving Day

This short scene narrates the moving day. It went well, and fortunately nothing exciting happened.

Scene 3: Moving Day

Saturday, the movers came and loaded everything into their van, drove it to the new house, and unloaded it. Joshua, Tex, Babs, and Rocky volunteered to help, so after the movers left, these kind men and their gentle lady positioned the furniture where Mama and Karen wanted it. By dinner time, they were done. The new house was essentially in order. Mama took everyone out for pizza, and they visited Pegasus on the way back.

©2021, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

The Healing Horse, Ch. 12, Scene 2: They Redecorate

Kitten and Mama work fast to prepare their new home in time for Hanukkah.

Scene 2: They Redecorate

First, they prepared the new house so it would be ready when they moved in. Mama did not want her daughter breathing paint fumes and plaster dust, or living in a chaotic environment. They had to finish redecorating before they moved, not after.

For Kitten the most important thing was moving near Pegasus. Hanukkah came in as a close second. It was coming up, and she wanted the first Hanukkah in the new house to be perfect. As always, she worked with her mother and never complained, no matter how tired she felt.

Monday, after work and school, they bought supplies. Tuesday went to hanging textured beige wallpaper in the dining room, and then plastering the living room with a neutral white Venetian plaster. These do-it-yourselfers wanted to get this project completed before their new couches and end-chairs arrived! It was a huge job, but they were determined to make their sweet abode as flawless as possible before the holiday. As the day ended, they painted the two bedrooms ivory-white.

Wednesday morning, the truck from the May Company store in Topanga Plaza, down the road from the ranch, delivered their new furniture—matching off-white overstuffed couches and chairs to make the living room cozy. Mama got it all on sale. The fresh Venetian plaster walls of the living room set them off perfectly.

After a quick lunch of avocado on rye bread with slices of tomato, Karen and Mama took the Chevy to a discount store and bought accessories for the living room and bedding for their bedrooms. They selected new throw pillows for the living room chairs and a matching soft blanket for the couch. For their bedrooms, they bought new duvets and matching sheets. Karen’s duvet cover and sheets were white with pink piping. They danced with tiny pink butterflies fluttering across them.. Mama’s duvet cover was a black and white Oxford stripe. Her sheets and pillow cases were a large plaid, and the shams matched the duvet cover. The valances in both their room were white, simple, and elegant.

“This is perfect!” she whispered to Karen, as if decorating the new house were a secret between them.

Thursday and Friday, they finished packing for the movers—everything but their most delicate possessions. Mama had already wrapped the treasures she inherited from her parents and grandparents in tissue paper and placed them in wooden fruit crates she had picked up for nothing at the local grocery store. She would transport these in her car, and then she and Karen would use the sturdy wooden boxes as planters.

“We will look very artsy!” she said with a laugh.

©2021, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.

The Healing Horse, Ch. 12, Scene 1: Mama and Karen Pack

This chapter tells the story of how Karen and Mama redecorated their new home and moved into it in a week…and more, too!

Scene 1: Mama and Karen Pack

For the next week, Mama and Karen devoted every moment away from school and work to filling and labeling box after box. Mama spent hours on the phone until she found a reputable moving company with a price that fit their budget. She arranged a date and time, and before they knew it, she had every detail planned and scheduled. They would redecorate the new house, right down to plaster and wallpaper, buy furniture for it, and move in within a week.

©2021, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.