Toby The Faithful Horse
In a small village, there
lived a brother and sister who had a horse for a pet. It was called Toby.
Both Tom the 10 year old brother and Tracy the 5 year old sister loved
Toby with all their heart. Toby too, was very attached to them and
understood their needs and wants.
Around their house, there
were green meadows and undulating land with a small stream at the edge.
After coming back from their nearby school the children were kept busy by
Toby. Their father, Jim, used to do the grooming of Toby as well as
Prince, the other horse. Whenever Julia, Jim's wife used to visit the
village shop, she never forgot to get sugar cubes for the children to give
One day, both the children
went riding on Toby and ventured a bit further than they used to go. They
discovered a valley full of lovely flowers and ripe fruits. They tied
Toby's rein to an Apple Tree and since no one was about, they plucked some
apples and berries for their mother. Just when they were about to leave, a
dark and burly stranger appeared and stopped them. "What do you think you
are doing eating my fruits?" he bellowed. The children were taken aback
because the man seemed to have come from nowhere. "We didn't realise these
were your fruits Sir," said Tom in a meek voice, while his sister hid
behind him. "Oh! Yeah!" said the man. "Well, this whole orchard is mine. I
own it and you are trespassing. You will have to pay for the fruits you
have taken." "But Sir, we don't have any money to give you." "That's all
right. I'll keep your horse till you get the dough from home." Tom tried
to persuade the man to let him go back with Toby to get the money but the
man was adamant. The poor little kids started for home on foot and it took
them quite sometime to reach their cottage. They told their dad all that
had happened. "Well, it is getting dark now. We will go and get Toby in
the morning. Don't worry, nothing will happen in the meantime," said Jim.
The children spent an
almost sleepless night and at sunrise went on Prince's back with their
father to the place where they had left Toby. When they reached the place,
there was no sign of either Toby or the stranger. They looked everywhere
but couldn't find them. The whole day was spent looking for Toby
everywhere in the small village but no one had seen the horse. Jim went to
the neighbouring villages too but couldn't trace the horse. The children
were very sad and Tracy could not stop crying. Everyone was in a pensive
mood for days and even the local police could not help them.
About a fortnight had
passed and the children were on the verge of giving up hope, when suddenly
they heard the sound of hoofs on the cobbled path leading to their home.
Everyone looked out to see Toby standing on the door in a very bad shape.
The children rushed out and hugged him. "Where did you disappear to,
Toby?", cried Tracy. "We really missed you Toby," said Tom.
Jim gave Toby a proper run
down and tended to the cuts and bruises. Toby's hoofs were injured too and
it seemed no food had been given to the horse. Tom and Tracy spent long
hours soothing and feeding their horse who became near normal in a few
days time. They thanked God for bringing back Toby to them and took
special care to lock the stable door at night.
Contributing Story Teller: Amita
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