A few years ago John encouraged me to take a writing course; as if I had nothing else to do. I had been talking about if for a long time and so I took the plunge and applied to The Institute of Children's Literature. Part of the application was submitting a fictional writing piece. Below is that work inspired by the horse we owned until I was six. Captain was a beautiful horse that I still miss to this day.
The Runaway Captain
Captain was my yellow palomino horse. In my young eyes he stood a hundred feet tall. His breath was hot on my face. His large nostrils flared as he snorted. He ran with the speed of a whole pack of wild horses.
I remember running barefoot in the soft green grass to meet him at the tall electric fence that kept him prisoner to the wide pasture. I remember feeding him juicy red apples, and pouring ice cold 7-Up into my small palms for him to drink. I remember sitting on his tall back, with his full mane in my hands and letting him take me wherever he wanted to go.
I woke up one fall morning to an orange sun rising up over our old brown barn. I went out to give Captain his daily bucket of grain. As I came near the tall fence I noticed that the gate was wide open and my horse was nowhere in sight! I ran to the house, my eyes full of tears, screaming for my mom to help.
My mother gathered up my sisters and me, a bucket of feed, and a rope. We headed down the long gravel road that ran in front of our house in search of my runaway Captain. A little way down the road we spotted a flowing yellow tail. As we got closer my older sister got out of the car, bucket in one hand and the rope behind her back in the other hand. She walked slowly and quietly toward Captain. He looked at us with a sparkle in his eyes. Then in one quick motion he turned and sprinted off, his thick mane flowing in the wind!
After a minute or two he stopped, turned, and waited for us. As we approached him he again looked at us with a beautiful sparkle in his big dark eyes. I looked back and smiled. He allowed my sister to almost get close enough to slip the rope over his head, and then once again he ran off with a spring in each step.
My mother was the first to say what I already knew, “Captain is playing a game with us! Let’s go home and get ready for school, that horse will come home when he gets hungry.” I didn’t want to go home; I didn’t want to get ready for school; I didn’t want the game to be over.
I went to school that day but thought only of my horse running around without me. As soon as I was back at home I kicked off my shoes and ran barefooted through the grass to the electric fence. My runaway captain had returned and was anxiously waiting for a juicy apple and a cold 7-Up.