He was going to learn to ride that horse. He was going to learn to ride that horse.
The boy stood and wiped the dirt from his pants and shirt. Then, with his hands curling themselves into fists, he approached the horse.
It was a neighbor’s stallion and was a great black animal. Year after year, the boy had watched the horse as it roamed his neighbor’s fields. He watched it crop grass, watched it drink, watched it run, watched it toss its long, magnificent mane. He had wanted to ride it since its first appearance. But his neighbor would not let him ride the beautiful creature. He never let anyone ride it. He didn’t even ride it. Still, the boy wanted to ride. And today, he had decided, would be the day he did.
The horse, however, was not willing to let him learn. At least, not on its back.
Four times the boy had attempted to ride the stallion. Each time the stallion had bucked him off. It would then wander away before lowering its head to chomp at the grass while keeping one humongous, brown eye on him.
The boy paused when he was still ten feet away. There were a few problems at this point. First problem: getting on. The second was staying on. Third… Well, he’d get to that when he got to it.
This time he thought he’d go for the head on approach. He took a deep breath, bent his legs, back and arms, and sprinted forward. The horse’s great head swept up and it began to step sideways. The boy was quicker this time. Leaping, he grabbed a handful of mane and swung himself onto the creature’s back. The horse reared and brayed loudly.
This was it. This was the time. The boy could feel it. This time, he would stay on. He was sure of it.
But, as always, the horse had other ideas. It reared and the boy clung tight as he could to the beast’s mane and back. Coming down, the horse leaped forward and began to gallop. After a minute it slowed and began to leap from side to side. Then it started to rear and buck again.Five times the horse bounced around, the boy thought, before the hair of its mane slipped from his fingers.
He fell hard to the ground. His legs curling upward, the boy rolled on his side and clasped his hands between his legs where he had bounced on the horse’s spine. I will learn to ride, he thought as the tears started. I will. No matter what.