Welcome back! I hope you had a great holiday break, and I am eager to resume posting my novel, The Healing Horse.
In this scene, Kitten and her new friend, Joshua, have their second conversation. Joshua plays an important role as a mentor, not only as an expert on horses and riding, but as someone with a deep wisdom and appreciation for life.
Scene 12: Kitten Meets Joshua and Picks Pegasus
As people got off the merry-go-round and departed from the gate to her left, the tall cowboy she had met a few minutes before ushered in new people through the gate on her right. He was still wearing his western hat, and with his bolo tie and boots looked as if he would be at home among real horses.
“Well, little lady. I had a hunch we’d be meetin’ up, again. Will you need help gittin’ yourself up onto a horse?” the man inquired kindly.
“Yes,” Kitten answered with a beaming smile. “I thought we would meet, again, too. Could you help me up?”
“Surely, I could! It would be my pleasure, darlin’! Which horse would you like to ride, today?” he asked enthusiastically.
“They’re all so beautiful that it’s hard to choose. I’d like to ride one that will help me win the gold ring, like in Gigi.”
“They sure are pulchritudinous, aren’t they? Not a plug among ‘em! But we don’t have gold rings here, little darlin’. This carousel’s not for racin’ and winnin’. It’s for bein’ in the moment and enjoyin’ the bliss of it all.”
He paused in his speech, lifted his huge hat in one hand and swept it through the air, indicating everything around them. Looking directly into her eyes, he continued.
“I know about the gold rings, but if one kid gets the gold, then the ones with the silver will all be a little disappointed, and the ones with no ring at all will be a sad bunch o’ dogies, indeed. Now, you wouldn’t want one kid to be all puffed up ’n’ gloatin’ over the others, and all the others feelin’ like a sorry bunch of losers, would you?”
Kitten reflected for a moment, silently recalling her own feelings of being a sorry loser in the school competition for grades, popularity and athletic awards. She recalled how her own strength came from accepting life as it was and from living in the moment, regardless of what happened. Her blossoming intuition understood completely what this cowboy was saying. She smiled up at him.
“I understand, completely, sir. I wouldn’t want a gold ring if it made anyone else feel bad about themselves. It’s better to enjoy the moment without turning a joy into a competition. But what does pulchritudinous mean? And what about plug? What does that word mean?”
“Pulchritudinous means beauteous. Plug is a word we use back home in Texas to mean plain and ugly.”
“Those’re brand-new words to add to my vocabulary! Thanks! I will always remember them. Pulchritudinous horses and plug I don’t know what.”
“That’s right, you do want to hang onto them words, but you’d better pick yourself a horse to hang onto right quick, now. The calliope’s fixin’ to start up! I’d hate to see you left in the dust when the ponies start to run. So let’s find your favorite mount before then. Okay, doll?”
“Okay, and would you mind keeping an eye on me, please? This is my first time riding, and I feel a bit scared.”
“Surely, I will. Since you so very modestly and unassumingly besought me, I shall keep a watchful eye upon you.”
He winked at her.
“Besought—asked?” she said. He nodded yes. “And I guess that ‘modestly’, in this case, means ‘politely.’ Is that right?”
Again, he nodded yes. Not only did her new carousel pal’s helpfulness make their friendship exceedingly special, but he also offered new and exciting vocabulary words, as well as a playful exchange of teasing, which helped her improve her mental lexicon with freedom from her usual worries. This pleased Kitten immensely.
“May I ask you how you learned these big words?”
“First, I read books. Then, I paid close, rapt, attention to what I was reading. I became fascinated with words, and I fully absorbed them. As I put these words into daily practice, I used them over and over and over again till they became second nature to me.”
Hmm. Just like me with my reading and with everything else I had to learn with my own will power.
She looked at the horses before her, and again her left arm and hand moved, pointing at one of them, selecting the most handsome one of all. He was the supernaturally lavender stallion with the magenta and blue starred saddle, accentuated by a rainbow of colors. Clearly, he was a Thoroughbred of Arabian descent. He stood out from the rest and looked the most pulchritudinous of all. His coat was shiny and polished, and he was perfect except for his broken left rear hoof. A pair of lavender, magenta, and blue starred riding boots had been carved into his saddle, as if someone had tied them there. And no one was already riding him. He was hers.
Karen was so happy that she could not stop grinning from ear to ear. Now, on top of the feeling of assuredness within herself, she felt a warm, secure flame deep within her being. It was something she had never experienced before. Her joy came from her own courage.
©2021, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.