November Story Contest

Happy Hoof Club Halloween Surprise (read part 1 here)
Taylor Joyce & Monshadow Age 11
Ally Franson & Icing           Age 11
Lauren Miller & Sparkle      Age 11

Main Characters:
Lauren: The girl who thought of starting the Happy Hoof Club
Sparkle: Is Lauren’s pony, she is an Appaloosa mare
Ally: She is smart and brave and likes to joke around a lot
Icing: Is Ally’s pony, she is an Arabian mare
Taylor: She is friendly and very adventurous
Moonshadow: Is Taylor’s pony, she is a black Quarter Horse mare             


“Do you think eleven is too old to go trick-or-treating for halloween?” I, Ally Franson  asked my friend Lauren Miller.  We were in the paddock grooming our ponies.  “No,” said Lauren.  “Where I used to live, there were kids sixteen and they still went!  Can you help me tighten Sparkle’s girth?”  “Sure” I said.  I went over to help Lauren.  At the moment, Sparkle was taking a deep breath and puffing out her belly.  I reached into my jeans pocket and pulled out a carrot.  Sparkle quickly let out her breath and whinnied excitedly.  “You smartie!” I cried.  I rubbed Sparkle’s forehead.  While Sparkle was munching on the carrot, I tightened the girth.  “You have to distract the pony if you’re having trouble tightening the girth” I told Lauren.  “I’ll remember that next time” said Lauren.  “Now let’s ride!” Lauren mounted Sparkle and I mounted Icing.  We rode out of the paddock and onto a trail. We were going to see our Happy Hoof pal, Taylor Joyce.  She had called me on the phone and told me to get Lauren and us both ride over to her house right away.  We had started a club called The Happy Hoof Club just a few weeks ago.   

 The trail that we were on ended at a jumping course so I turned Icing left onto another trail which led to Taylor’s property.  Lauren and Sparkle followed me.  When we got to Taylor’s property, Taylor was in the paddock playing with her pony, Moonshadow.  She waved and called; “come over here!” Lauren and I rode over to Taylor.  Our ponies whinnied a friendly hello to each other. 

After Lauren and I had untacked our ponies, I asked Taylor; “so why did you tell us to come over here?”  “Well, first things first” said Taylor.  “Come over here.” Taylor led us into a small room attached to the barn.  “Dad said we could use this for our meeting place” she said.  “It has heating and electricity.  My family used to use this for a lounge, but now we don’t.” I looked around the room.  There was a couch in one corner, a table with three chairs, a computer, a telephone, a fridge, and a loft big enough for one person to sleep inTaylor collapsed onto the couch and Lauren and I did the same.

I looked around at my friends.  Lauren Miller had just moved into Pine Grove.  She had curly red hair with green eyes and freckles.  Taylor Joyce had lived in Pine Grove all her life.  She had shoulder-length black hair and brown eyes.  I, Ally Franson like Taylor, had lived in Pine Grove all my life too.  I had long blond hair and sparkling blue eyes.  We were all so different.  It was hard to believe we are best friends.

“I have two big news” said Taylor.  “The first is that my mom got a letter from the Town Council and it said that there’s going to be a halloween ride that they’re organizing so kids can go trick-or-treating on their ponies or horses.  It’s the day after tomorrow.”  “Wow!” said Lauren.  “We can ride ours!”  “Yeah” said Taylor. “And the second news is that I’m getting a puppy!”  “What kind are you going to get?” asked Ally.  “I think I’ll get a Golden Retriever puppy” said Taylor.  “Because in the Disney movie Snow Buddies, it had Golden Retriever puppies in it and they were so cute!”  “Oh no!” exclaimed Lauren.  “You should NEVER listen to that movie!  To start, thirty Golden  Retriever puppies were separated from there mothers at six weeks old (normally you should wait 8-12 weeks) and shipped to trainers in BC Canada to prepare them for the filming.  While on location, eight puppies died and all others got sick from a virus called Parvo.  Twenty-eight replacement puppies also got the virus.  Sadly, despite the thousands of dollars being spent on vet treatment to try and help, those innocent puppies died to make the Snow Buddies movie.  By buying that movie or renting it from a video store, you will support the wrongful use of animals for entertainment.”  “Wow, Lauren!” exclaimed Taylor.  “Where did you learn that?”  “I read it in a magazine” said Lauren.  “It’s actually true!”

 “Let’s go to Francine’s Café to talk about this some more” I said.  “What’s that?” asked Lauren.  “Oh, Francine’s Café is a restaurant my aunt owns” I explained.  “My aunt lowers the prices for us when we come there because we’re related.”  “Taylor, I want to ride the white pony” said a small voice.  We all turned around to see a little boy peeping through the door at them.  Taylor went over to the boy and scooped him into her arms. “This is my little brother Jordan” she said.  “He’s only three.  Can he ride Icing, Ally?”  “Sure” I said.  “Do you want to ride with a saddle or bareback?” I asked Jordan.  “Bareback.” Jordan answered in his tiny voice.  “Are you sure?” I asked.  “Bareback riding is harder than riding with a saddle.”  “I ride bareback” Jordan repeated, firmly.  “Okay” I said.  “You guys go ahead and saddle up your ponies while I give Jordan a ride so you’ll be ready to ride to Francine’s Café when I’m done” I whispered to Lauren and Taylor. 

I went to the paddock.  “Icing!” I called.  Icing trotted over to her.  “Good pony” I cooed as I clipped on Icing’s lead rope.  Then I lifted Jordan onto Icing’s back.  “Now hold on tight to her mane” I told him.  After three times around the paddock, Jordan wanted to get off.

I quickly put on Icing’s saddle and rode over to Taylor and Lauren.  “Let’s have a race up to the beginning of the trail” suggested Lauren.  We all lined up in beside the barn.  “Go!” shouted Taylor and Lauren in unison.  They shot off.  “Wait for me!” I shouted after them.  “Come on, Icing!” I pressed my heels into Icing’s sides and we galloped after the others. “Tie!” shouted Taylor with triumph.  “It wasn’t fair” I complained.  “You guys shot off before I even knew what was happening!”

We rode to Francine’s Café in silence.  When they got there I said, “I’m sorry I complained so much.”  “We forgive you” said Taylor.  “Where do we put our ponies?” asked Lauren.  “We always tie them to the hitching post” said Taylor.  Then they tied up the ponies and went inside.  A tall, slim women greeted them when they came in.  “Alicia!” she said in a bright and happy voice.  “So good to see you!  My, you’ve grown!” I blushed. “I just saw three beautiful ponies outside” she continued. Oh, and who’s this?” She looked straight at Lauren.  “This is my friend Lauren Miller, Aunt Francine” I said.  “We came here to have lunch.”  “The menu is coming right up!” Aunt Francine went into the kitchen.  “We always try and sit in the last booth” I said.  “It has a window where we can see our ponies.” We sat down in the booth and my aunt brought the menu.  I, Taylor and Lauren ordered ham and cheese sandwiches with cesar salad and ice cream sundays for desert.  “Are you still going to get a Golden Retriever puppy?” Lauren asked Taylor.  “No, I’ll think of a different breed.  Now let’s change the subject.”  “I have two seven-year-old twin sisters called Erin and Ella” said Lauren.  “You do?” I asked.  “Yup, they can be pretty annoying sometimes.”  “I know how you feel” I said sympathetically.  “I have an older brother that bugs me all the time.”  “You’ve been keeping that a secret, Ally!” said Taylor.  “How could you keep it for six years?”  “I’m good at keeping secrets.”  “Let’s go now” said Lauren.  “I’ll get the ponies some carrots” said Taylor. 

After the ponies had their carrots, Lauren said, “Let’s go for a trail ride.”  “I can’t”    I said.  “My cousin Juliet is coming over to my house.  She’s such a snob.  Can one of you come to my house and protect me?”  “I will” said Taylor.

 When Taylor and I got to my house, a fancy car was parked in my driveway and my mother was helping a pretty brown haired girl get out.  Juliet was waring a pink dress and long, dangling earings.  “Here she is now” my mom was saying to Juliet.  “I’ll just leave you girls alone now.” Then my mom walked briskly into the house.  “This is my friend Taylor Joyce” I said.  “Good” said Juliet.  “Now I have two people to give makovers to.”  “We don’t want any makovers” said Taylor.  “Well, well” Juliet snorted.  “As if that would stop me.”  “Let’s take her to meet our ponies” Taylor whispered to me.  I nodded.  “Juliet, we would like you to met our ponies” I said.  “Okay,” said Juliet.  “But then, I’m giving you guys makovers.”  Taylor and I led Juliet into the paddock.  Then I brought over Icing.  “This is Icing” I said.  “She is my pony.” Then Taylor brought over Moonshadow.  “This is Moonshadow, she’s my pony.” Moonshadow nickered a hello to Juliet and nudged her with her face.  Juliet walked backwards away from her and tripped over a stone.  She fell right into pony plop!  “Eeeeeeeeeek!” she screamed.  “My new dress, it’s ruined!”  Taylor and I couldn’t help giggling at the sight of Juliet’s bottom.  “This is all your falt, Alicia Franson!  I’m calling my mom and telling her to pick me up!” Juliet marched away mumbling things to herself.  As soon as she was out of earshot, Taylor and I burst out laughing.  “That was hilarious!” Taylor exclaimed.  “I know” I said.  “I don’t think she’ll come here anymore.  That really made her mad!”  “Thanks girl” Taylor said to Moonshadow.  “You  helped Ally get rid of Juliet.”

That night I lay in bed thinking about what had happened that day.  Taylor going to get a puppy, Juliet coming over, but mostly about the halloween ride.  Tomorrow, we’ll go trail riding all day, I decided 

The next morning I woke up early so I fed the ponies and rode Icing over to Francine’s Café.  The pretty autumn colors made the Colorado state look and feel wonderful.  The café wasn’t open yet, but Aunt Francine let me in to get some food.  Then I rode back and Lauren was in the paddock looking worried. 

“I was worried that something had happened to Icing” Lauren said to me when I rode into the paddock.  “I just got us lunch” I said.  “Are you ready to ride to Taylor’s?”  “Yeah.  When I saddled up Sparkle I remembered the trick you told me to use when Sparkle puffed out her belly.” 

When we were halfway to Taylor’s house, Taylor met us.  “We need to decide what we’re going to dress up as for trick-or-treating” she said.  “Let’s ride to the picnic table beside the Colorado River and decide there” said Lauren.  “Okay!” we agreed.  It was Taylor’s turn to take the lead, so she and Moonshadow went first.  “It’s a good thing that our ponies don’t mind other ponies behind them,” I said, “otherwise we would have a problem on trail rides.”

 “There it is!” cried Taylor.  She pointed to the sparkling river. “It’s so beautiful!” “Yeah” agreed Lauren.  Then we tied their ponies to the trees and sat down at the picnic table.  “I have an idea for what you could be, Ally” said Lauren.  “Icing could be a unicorn and you could be a princess.”  “Okay,  Icing and I will use your idea” I said.  “I have an idea for you, Taylor” I said.  “Moonshadow can be Black Beauty and you can be her owner.”  “That’s a great idea, Ally!” exclaimed Taylor.  “I just love the book, so I’d be glad to pretend Moonshadow is Black Beauty.  I also have an idea for you, Lauren.  You could be a scarecrow on Sparkle as your scarecrow pony.”  “I like your idea, Taylor” said Lauren.  “I’ll use it.”  “So it’s settled” I said.  “Let’s go home now and make our costumes.” Then we untied our ponies and set off for home. 

As soon as I got home I untacked Icing and went into the house.  I decided to look in the attic for material to use to make my costume.  I rummaged through a box and found a twisted wax candle that was shaped like a unicorn’s horn.  In that box I also found a sewing box my grandmother had given me.  I’ll sew the rest of our costume, I thought. 

On the night of the halloween ride I quickly changed into her costume and put on Icing’s.  “Ally, you look beautiful!” exclaimed Lauren when I met her in the paddock.  “Did you make your costume yourself?”  “Yep” I answered.  “My grandmother taught me how to sew.  You and Sparkle look pretty good yourselves.”  “Thanks” said Lauren.  “But I didn’t make my costume or Sparkle’s.  My mom made them both because making a scarecrow is hard!”  “Your mom must be pretty talented then” I said.  “Now let’s stop talking and ride over to Taylor’s.  She’ll be wondering where we are.” This time I let Lauren lead on the trail.

 Taylor met us halfway to her place. “Are you guys ready or what?” she asked.  “I thought that maybe you’d went to the halloween ride without me.”  “Would we ever do that?” I teased.  “You never know” said Taylor.  “Now come on, or we’ll be late!”

When we got to the place where the ride started, there was a whole line of riders dressed up on there ponies or horses.  One of the town council was counting all the riders.  “Twenty-two” i heard him tell another man.  Pretty soon the prade started moving into the woods.  Lauren noticed that Icing’s coat glowed in the moonlight.  “You put silver sparkles on Icing’s coat, didn’t you?” Lauren asked me. I grinned mischievously.  “I wanted Icing to look more like a unicorn” I confessed.  I couldn’t see them when it was light” commented Lauren. 
I lagged behind Taylor and Lauren a bit.  Suddenly Icing’s ear’s went forward and she stopped.  “Come on Icing” I said.  I gave Icing a light tap with my heels, but Icing wouldn’t budge.  Then I gave Icing a lose rein.  Icing turned onto a narrow path, put her nose to the ground and sniffed her way deeper and deeper into the forest.  After a while I heard a faint whimpering.  The deeper Icing went into the forest, the louder the whimpering got.  Soon Icing stopped in a clearing and I dismounted.  I shone a flashlight to guide myself.  At last I saw a dog lying down on the grass whimpering.  As I got closer, I saw that the dog’s back leg was caught in a metal trap.  Blood trickled around the wound.  What am I going to do?   I wondered. 

Meanwhile, Lauren and Taylor didn’t realize I was gone.  They were almost out of the forest when Taylor asked, “isn’t this a beautiful night, Ally?” When I didn’t respond, Taylor thought I was giving her the silent treatment.  “Why are you doing this Ally?” she asked.  Still no answer.  Taylor turned around to look at me, but she was surprised to see that I wasn’t there!  “Lauren,” she whispered, “Ally isn’t here!”  “What!?” exclaimed Lauren.  She turned around and saw that Taylor was right.  “We have to find her!” said Lauren. They both knew how much trouble I could get into when I was alone.  Then they turned around and headed back where they had come from.  Pretty soon there was a narrow trail connecting to the trail they were on.  There were hoofprints going on it.  “I think Ally went this way”said Taylor.  They turned onto the trail and followed the tracks. 

After a while the trail ended at a clearing and they saw Icing grazing on the grass.  Lauren and Taylor let their ponies graze next to Icing and ran over to a girl clutching an animal.  “Ally!” said Lauren.  “Are you alright?”  “I’m fine” I said.  “But this dog needs help.  It’s leg is caught in a trap and it needs to be taken to see a vet now!”  “Okay” said Lauren.  “I’ll call Bennett Veterinary Clinic on my cell phone.” Lauren pulled out her cell phone and quickly dialled the number.  Then she snapped it shut and stuffed it into her pocket. “Dr. Bennett said he’ll be on his way.  I described to him where we are and he said he knew where it was.”

Soon a truck crunched along a gravel road towards them.  (That was another way to get to the clearing.)  A man jumped out of the truck and ran towards them, carrying a medical bag.  “Lauren told me there was an injured dog here” he said.  Then Dr. Bennett saw what was wrong.  He quickly put on gloves and unclamped the trap from the dog’s leg.  “She’s bleeding badly” he said. “I have to take her to my clinic now.  Do any of you girls want to come with me?” “I do!” we said in unison.  “But we have our ponies” I said.  “We can’t leave them here.”  “I can send my assistant to bring them to my clinic for you” said Dr. Bennett.  “Now hop in.” All of us jumped into his truck and I got to hold the dog on my lap.  “I hope you get better” I whispered to it. 

The truck ride seemed long and boring, but it soon stopped outside the clinic. We all got out and Dr. Bennett carried the dog into the operating room.  “Now  you wait here in the reception area” he told them.  Lauren, Taylor and I sat down on the chairs and waited.  The wait seemed like hours to me.  Finally I said, “I should call my mom and tell her where I am.  Can I borrow your cell phone Lauren?”  “Sure” said Lauren.  She handed me the cell phone and I dialled the number.  “Ally!” shouted my mother when I told her what happened.  “You never go into the woods by yourself!  I’m coming to pick you up this instant!”  “But mom” I pleaded.  “No excuses Ally.  I’m coming to pick you up.” With that my mom hung up.  “What did your mom say?” asked Taylor.  “I’m coming to pick you up this instant!” I imitated my mother and sat back down. 

Soon my mom and my brother Shawn, burst through the clinic door just at the same time as Dr. Bennett opened the door of the operating room.  “Come and see how she’s doing” he said.  “You’re not going anywhere Alicia Franson!” shouted my mom.  But I didn’t listen to her.  I went right in behind Lauren and Taylor.  “It’s a Border collie!” gasped Taylor.  “Yep” said Dr. Bennett.  “I’ve stopped the bleeding and stitched up the wound.  But she’s still in a bad condition so I’ll keep her here over night.  I’ll have to put her on the drip.”  “I’m taking you home this instant Alicia!” said my mom.  “Excuse me madam” said Dr. Bennett.  “I’m Thomas Bennett.”  “I’m Eleanor Franson” said my mom.  During this round of introductions, I was looking into the dogs big brown eyes.  They seemed to be saying “Help me!”  “Your daughter saved this dogs life” Dr. Bennett went on.  “You should be praising her. Not scolding her.” That must have softened my mom’s heart because she said, “oh, alright.  Maybe you and your friends can make posters for the dog.”  “That’s a good idea” said Dr. Bennett.  “If she’s lost then her owner will find her.”  “You should be in bed young lady” said my mom.  “Can we come by tomorrow morning to see how she’s doing?” I asked.  “Sure, anytime!” he said.  As soon as we were outside, Lauren spotted their ponies in the paddock.  I ran over to Icing.  “Thanks for finding the dog” I whispered to her.  “You saved her life!” Icing nickered as if to say, “It was nothing.  You know I love animals.  Do you think I would have left the dog to die?”

The next morning I met up with Lauren and Taylor to go see the dog again.  We rode to the clinic and went inside.  Taylor told the receptionist why we were there and she directed us into the residential unit.  I saw Dr. Bennett bending over one of the cages.  Lauren and Taylor followed me as I ran up to Dr. Bennett.  “Hi young lady!” he said.  “Are you here to see this little girl?” he pointed to the dog.  “Yes” I said.  “How is she doing?”  “Fine!” Dr. Bennett smiled.  “She just flew through the night.  I’d say she’d be ready to go back to her owner in a couple of days.” As if to prove she was better, the dog wagged her tail and gave them all a big doggy grin.  “Have you made the posters yet?” he asked.  “We will as soon as we leave here” said Taylor.  “Okay” said Dr. Bennett.  “Why don’t we all give this dog some peace now.” Then Lauren, Taylor and I silently left the clinic on our ponies. 

“Let’s go to my place to make the posters” said Taylor.  “We can make them in our new clubhouse.” When we got to Taylor’s property we all split up.  Taylor went to get her art supplies and Lauren and I untacked the ponies.  We all met up in our clubhouse.  We chatted while making the poster.  “I was thinking,” said Lauren, “for the loft, one of us could sleep in there at a time.  The girl who is sleeping in the loft is the queen for the night.  And the other girls who aren’t have to do whatever she says.”  “That’s a good idea Lauren” said Taylor.  “How does this look?” she held up the poster.  I read it out loud. 

FOUND DOG.  Found in Pine Forest caught in a trap.  It is a female Border Collie with a purple collar on.  (No tags.) If she's yours, call Bennett Veterinary Clinic at: 555-8765 or Alicia Franson at: 555-4757.

At the end was a picture of the dog.  “I like it” said Lauren.  “Me too” I put in.  Then we photocopied it and rode our ponies to put them up.
Two days later no one had called me.  I called Lauren and Taylor and asked them to ride over to the clinic with me to ask Dr. Bennett if he had gotten any calls.  “Sorry girls, no I haven’t gotten any calls” said Dr. Bennett when we asked him.  “I guess she can be adopted by anyone now.  And you young miss get to have first choice.”  “I’d love to, but when my mother bought me a pony she said no more pets” I said.  “My friend Lauren can have a choice now.”  “I can’t” said Lauren.  “My father is allergic to dogs.  I guess it’s up to Taylor.” Ally and Lauren looked at Taylor hopefully.  “Well,” Taylor said slowly, “my parents haven’t said no more pets and they’re not allergic to dogs.  I’ll call them and see if they say yes.”  “You can use the pay phone in the reception area” said Dr. Bennett. “Here’s some money.”  Dr. Bennett dropped a quarter into Taylor’s cupped hands. She skipped into the reception area and put the money into the pay phone.  Her heart beat fast as she dialled her number and the phone began to ring.  After the third ring her father answered.  “Hello?” he said.  “Hi dad” said Taylor.  “There’s this Border collie that Ally rescued on Halloween and nobody claimed her, so she’s ready for adoption.  Can we take her?”  “This is a big commitment Taylor” said Mr. Joyce .  “I’d like to see this dog.  Mom and I will come down to the clinic and check her out.  Okay?  See you in a bit.  Bye.” Taylor hung up and went back to Lauren, Dr. Bennett, and I.  “My parents are coming here to look at her” Taylor reported.  Just then a speaker crackled into life.  “Dr. Bennett, Mrs.  Peterson is ready to have her cat Lola, examined.”  “I’ve got to get back to work” he said.  “You girls can wait for her parents and tell me when they’re here.”

We went outside to the paddock and played with our ponies.  Moonshadow and Icing were trotting together and Sparkle was napping under the shade of a maple tree.  Then a car pulled into the parking lot and Mr. and Mrs. Joyce got out.  “So where is this dog?” he asked.  Taylor lead them into the clinic and Dr. Bennett was waiting for them.  He showed Taylor’s parents the dog.  “I think we could take her” Mr. Joyce told Dr. Bennett.  “Yes!!!” shouted Lauren, Taylor and I in unison.  “What are you going to name her?” asked Lauren.  Taylor thought for a minuet and said, “I’m going to call her Tess.”

The End

We’ll let you in on a secret.  The things Lauren mentioned about the Snow Buddies movie is actually true!  We’re not lying, it’s true! 

Coming soon........ The Happy Hoof Club’s next adventure: Winter Pony
It’s winter in Pine Grove and Taylor notices that Moonshadow is getting fat.  She asks her dad about it and he says she’s feeding her too much.  But than Taylor finds out that Moonshadow isn’t getting fat from too much food, she’s.....