Perhaps you've had enough tandem stories by now, but I just to share this one. This is the story that when I read aloud, I realized my blunder and laughed so hard that tears were rolling down my cheeks and the words were coming out in gulps. Larissa had to take the paper away from me and read the rest of the story to the others. You see, after Larissa wrote that the horses had to walk, I immediately continued the story and had the horses canter, then gallop! And why was there a stream in the desert? I obviously had not been a careful reader as I bungled the story and blindly added on contadicting information.
The frightening thunderstorm finally stopped, and the sun peeked out from behind the receding clouds.
Hannah stood already dressed looking out at the beautiful sunrise. Today would be an exciting day so she’d gotten up early to make it last as long as possible.
She hurried into the kitchen and grabbed an apple for her pet rabbits. Actually, they weren’t really pets because they were to be eaten. Soon she was done with all her chores and now she had nothing to do but wait for her parents to get up and take her to the BLM headquarters where the horse roundup would start.
- - -
Two hours later, Hannah was sitting astride her horse, Appy, with about twenty other riders. Everyone was to go out together as as soon as they spotted a herd, they would get around it and herd it towards a corral. Of course, most people here were amateurs, so who knew what could happen.
“Alright everyone,” said the leader. “Just a few rules. Stay within sight of other people and stay safe. Now let’s go.”
Hannah was riding with her brother Stephen. This was their first time and they didn’t really know what they were doing. They were just going for the fun of it.
Hanna’s horse was grayish-white with a white diamond on the forehead while Stephen’s was all black.
Stephen liked riding horses, but he joked around that he’d much rather have a black Ford Mustang. He went with Hannah because their parents wouldn’t let her go otherwise.
The group trotted off into the desert where Hanna knew the wild herds roamed. She had often gone on trail rides on her own in this area, but she had never actually herded the wild horses.
Hanna looked around to the edge of the horizon. She thought she saw something moving far off in the safebrush. Then the leader had everyone halt.
“See way over there, by that lone tree,” he said, “there’re some horses. But it looks like they’re just stragglers from the rest of the herd. We have to walk now otherwise they will all gallop away.”
Slowly the group plodded over, spreading apart.
“You four,” the leader said to Hannah, Stephen, and two others, “ride over there around back to herd the horses over here.”
They headed over to the wild horses at a canter, but when the wild herd spooked, they took off after it at a gallop. Lucky thing her horse’s gait was so smooth. Hannah wasn’t comfortable racing through unknown territory at such a fast pace.
The wild horses saw the four riders heading their way and bolted. Soon it seemed like a race was underway. Over hills, down valleys, splashing through streams. It seemed that the wild horses could never be caught; they knew their territory well. Stephen secretly hoped they’d get away so he could go home sooner. Hannah wanted to catch them, but still, a small part of her cheered for the wild herd, hoping they could live free for at least another year until the next roundup.
As if they herd could read her thoughts, they suddenly disappeared from view.
“Where did they go?” shouted one of the riders. “I glanced down for a second and they’re gone.”
“But they were in that valley…” said Hannah.
Stephen smiled. He’d seen them walk into a cave, but he’d never tell.