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“I wish you had asked before using my tack, Lyds.” Priya was calm but disappointed.
“It was an emergency,” Lyds tried to explain. “I was in a hurry. I thought you’d understand.”
Priya said, “Had you come to my quarters, I’d have been delighted to grant my approval.” The dorm rooms at Palomino Bluffs Academy were directly above the horse stables. “And one more thing—it’s customary when borrowing someone else’s tack to bring it back in pristine condition,” Priya continued. “The leather should be brightened with saddle soap and shimmering oil. I do love it when the leather shines.” She shivered happily at the thought. “It’s delightful.”
“I was in a hurry—” Lyds said again.
“Nevertheless,” Priya interrupted.
That was when Pru, Abigail, and Lucky walked into the stables.
Everyone who lived in the first-year Foal Canter House could hear Lyds and Priya’s back-and-forth discussion about when it was okay to borrow someone’s tack. They’d been discussing the issue, going around in circles, for nearly an hour.
Lucky leaned over to her friends and whispered, “Should we do something?” She waved her hand toward the stalls. “The horses don’t like conflict.”
Spirit’s ears were pricked. Chica Linda’s eyes bulged. They both snorted.
“Boomerang doesn’t mind,” Abigail said. “He’s used to Snips and me arguing all the time. In fact, Boomerang would probably start snoring if they started shouting.”
“Priya’s not really the shouting type,” Lucky said. She paused to consider the issue. “I think Lydia should have asked to borrow the tack.”
“Maybe Lyds really needed it,” Abigail countered. “There are two sides to every horse’s harness.”
“I’m sure Priya and Lyds will work it out,” Pru said.
Lucky swung one arm over Pru’s shoulder and wrapped the other around Abigail. “You’re right. Best friends always make up.”
“Borrowing tack is a small thing to forgive!” Abigail said. “They’ll definitely get over it. Remember that time you threw away my ice-cream cone before I finished it? I forgave both of you, and that was a huge thing!”
“The ice cream was melting!” Pru said.
“And dripping all over Aunt Cora’s clean floor,” Lucky added.
“That’s not my fault! I had to return that library book before the library closed! So maybe I got a little delayed when I was picking a new book. The library has so many choices—can you really blame me? Anyway, you both promised to watch my ice cream while I was gone. You broke that promise.” Abigail peeled herself away from Lucky’s arm. She stepped back. “Actually, I don’t think I do forgive either of you.” She pointed at Pru, then at Lucky, and announced, “Someone owes me ice cream.”
“Thanks for reminding me, Boomerang!” Abigail gave him a pat on the nose. “He says the ice cream should have extra rainbow sprinkles.”
“We’ll do you one better,” Lucky assured Abigail. “Next time we’re in Miradero, we’ll get you a whole sundae!”
“With whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles,” Pru agreed.
Abigail stepped back in line with her friends and linked arms. “In that case, I guess I can forgive you again.” She smiled and tipped her head toward Priya and Lyds, who were still tensely discussing the situation. “See? That’s how PALs make up.” She licked her lips. “Deliciously.”
“We should get out of here. Lyds and Priya are friends. They’ll figure out what to do on their own,” Lucky said. “Let’s go ride in the ramada.”
Pru glanced out of the barn. She looked past the white fence that circled the riding ring and asked, “We’re signed up for this time slot, aren’t we?”
“I wrote our names on the sign-up sheet myself,” Abigail said. She went to a wall in the barn where a clipboard hung. She pointed. “There. It says ‘PALs.’” Abigail checked the clock. “We’re right on time. Let’s start practicing our jumps. I’m going to teach Boomerang to jump higher than ever before! He’s always wanted to touch the clouds.”
“You know, you’ve touched clouds before,” Lucky said as her friends began tacking up their horses. “Fog is a kind of cloud.”
“He’ll jump higher than fog, then,” Abigail said. “Over the clouds!”
“I don’t think Boomerang will be touching any clouds today.” Pru raised her voice because Priya and Lyds were still debating the rules of borrowing tack. “The BUDs are already riding in the arena.”
The girls and their horses rushed out of the barn to find Bebe, Ursula, and Daphne in the ring, just as Pru said. They were on their own horses: Sarge, Bing Cherry, and Marbles. The BUDs were chasing one another around in the arena when they should have been walking to cool down the horses.
- On Sale
- Aug 18, 2020
- Page Count
- 128 pages
- Little, Brown Books for Young Readers