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Chapter Four: The Meeting

The drive to the farm was the longest five minutes ever. As we pulled in Fiona was leading a large dark brown horse into the barn. The goats were sleeping in the evening sun light. They didn’t move as Fiona and the big horse walked by them. Mom stopped the car and looked around.

“I know I talked this place up when we moved in but I am having second thoughts now that we are here. Where is your mask, Bella? We need to have our masks on.

Mom looks around the car and grabs a mask. She puts it on and gets out of the car. I put on my mask, get out of the car and close the door. Mom stands looking at the small barn. Her freshly painted nails are gripping her forearms. We walk towards the barn and Ms. Fiona is yelling. Mom looks at me and I shrug.

“You, get over here, now! Don’t you run from me I need that paper. Don’t you dare eat that paper.” The voice echoes as the large goat with no ears trots out of the barn with a yellow piece of paper half in his mouth. He sees us and wags his tail as he trots over. I pull out a wheat thin and the goat stops and wags his tail.

“Good, grab the paper please, that is a write up for one of the horses from the massage therapist.” Fiona stands in the aisleway door as I shimmy the paper out of the goat’s mouth and give him the wheat thin. He seems to smile at me and goes for the paper. I hide it from him and he goes towards Fiona, looking for more treats.

“I have nothing for you, you bad goat.” Fiona scratches his back as he walks by her. She looks at my mom and me and smiles. Fiona has bits of hay on her sweatshirt, her hair is sticking out like a strange crown and she wipes her hands on an old towel. “OH, let me put on my mask.” She grabs a faded mask from her pocket and puts it on.

Mom clears her throat and takes another looks around. “Hi, I believe you met my daughter Isabella Longo? My name is Nina Longo. I wanted to see about getting Isabella set up with lessons or an after school program? We are new to the area and my daughter loves horses.” Mom looks around again and she follows Fiona as Fiona waves us towards the barn.

It is a large building with a long aisleway and at least 10 stalls. At the back of the barn is a large covered area. There is someone riding a horse around in a large circle in the space.

“Yes, we can get her set up. Her and her brother stopped in last week. I need to have you sign the waiver online. I can send you the link. What is your email?”

Mom gives Fiona her email and they start to talk about scheduling and pricing. I look into the stalls and the horses are in. One is muddy and looks like it could use a good brush. I look up and a tag on the top of the horse’s door say Goldie. He’s the pony I will ride.

“Goldie, come here, here Goldie” the pony looks up at me and then goes back to munching his hay. I feel something against my hip and a large brown and black body is next to me.

“Hi Igor, I have no treats for you but I can give you scratches. Ms. Fiona said you liked shoulder scratches. I can do that.

Mom is talking to Ms. Fiona and they seem to have known each other in middle school. I walk down the aisleway and take in the scent of horses and hay. The goats are in the aisleway as well. One of them is leaning against mom and mom gingerly scratches it as Ms. Fiona explains the goat loves her shoulders scratched and that that goat is her police goat. Mom looks at her watch and I know that look. It is time to go.

“Alright kid, we need to go and get your brother. Ms. Fiona said you can come for a lesson on Saturday. So, we need to make sure all of your homework is done before then. Can you do that? You will have three days. Oh, if you are good you can come and help out. How does that sound?

“That is amazing! Mom, you are the best ever. Thank you, so much! I am so excited!” I link arms with my mom and we walk back to the car. “Bye! Ms. Fiona. See you in a few days. Bye, Goldie! Bye, Igor!”

We get back in the car and take our masks off. I smile as mom drives away from the farm. Now, I just have to make sure my homework is done and that I won’t miss my lesson.


Published by Hidden Meadow Equestrian Center

A small private horseback riding center located in central Connecticut. Our focus is helping you get back to nature.

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