Category: Chapbooks for Tweens
Author: Mary Jean Kelso maryjeankelsoauthor.wix.com/mjkel
Artist: K.C. Snider www.KCSniderart.com
Hardcover ISBN: 9781616336554; 1616336552
Print ISBN: 9781616330699; 1616330694
eBook ISBN: 9781616330705; 1616330708
Andy, a young handicapped boy, meets Spirit, a wild mustang turned therapy horse. Their relationship helps both horse and rider learn and grow. That leads to new experiences for a boy with new found freedom from his wheelchair.
Andy watched his leg disobey the instruction his mind gave it. He wanted to move to the left and sit in his wheel-chair but his right leg refused to follow the left, which took a very long time to get where he wanted it to go in the first place.
"Daaaaarn! Darrrrn! Darn!" He sputtered. He struggled to become mobile but his body fought him.
When his mother saw his attempt, she hesitated to help. Andy knew she felt that the more he could do for himself, the stronger he would get. Andyís inability to move his legs frustrated him. He slammed his fist on the arm of the chair but, although he thought he used great force to release his anger, he felt his arm move in slow motion. Why doesnít anything work like I want it to? He felt helpless. Most of the other kids at school donít have the problems I do. He hung his head and closed his big blue eyes.
"Why? Why? Why?" He wailed and shook his head slowly back and forth.
"Andy, Iíll help," his mother said. But Andy didnít want help. Once heíd overheard his teacher call him a "special-needs child." What did that mean?
At last, Andyís mother settled him into his chair. Fully dressed. His curly blond hair combed. His teeth brushed. His safety belt in his chair buckled around his waist. He prepared for another day in second grade at the local elementary school.
Near Andyís home, Tracy and Tim lived on Triple T Ranch with Timís father, Tully. Their lush pasture grew beside the Truckee River below the northern Nevada Virginia Mountain Range. A small band of wild horses, called mustangs, often grazed nearby. This winter it snowed off and on for several days.
"Tim, Iím worried about the mustangs." Tracy looked out their front window toward the mountains. Their own horses were out of the weather in the barn.
Tim shook his newspaper. "Iím sure theyíre fine. The authorities keep a pretty close eye on them."
"Thatís mostly in the spring and summer. When winter sets in their staff dwindles and there are fewer volunteers to help. Besides," Tracy went on, "I donít think they even know about the little band that lives here." "Well, what do you want me to do about it?"
Tim wanted to please Tracy, but he didnít want to go out in the bad weather. (continued)