Terri Farley
HomeBooksThe AuthorConnectEducationWild Horses


Today, Jake gave me and Jen a ride home from school and now I'm wondering if he did it on purpose – offered, I mean – because of what he knew we'd see.

We were squished three-across in the front seat of the truck when he pulled off the asphalt, onto the dirt shoulder of the road.

Dust roiled around us.

"What's up?" I asked. Not that it helped.

Eyes scanning the range past me, past Jen, Jake stared out the passenger side window at the same time he fumbled around on the truck floor.

"Hey! Don't get grabby," Jen complained.

"Binocs," Jake ordered.

What sounded like bye-knocks was Jake's verbal code for the binoculars nested safe inside a scarred leather case in the rubble of notebooks, gloves and who-knew-what-else on the truck floor.

I felt around, found them and passed them to Jake.

"What do you see?" I asked, but he already had his binoculars free of their case. He eased open the truck door, holding his breath against the creak of the hinges.

"I hate it when he does this secret stuff," Jen said, but I noticed she'd turned her torso into a pretzel, trying to glimpse what he was watching.

Jake gestured for us to get out of the truck, and then held his index finger to his lips, like we didn't know to be quiet. Sometimes he really does treat us like we're kindergartners. But I wasn't about to pout.

It took a few minutes to spot the movement in the shade of a big boulder. Really,it was a huge boulder, the size of a house.

Three horses stood there. Mustangs, I was pretty sure.

I wouldn't even have seen the foal except it mother was nudging it, trying to get it up on all four tiny hooves.

"Ohhh," Jen's voice drew the word out, "it's a little stranger."

The near-baby talk was not like her .

I guess that's why Jake mumbled, "Is that the scientific term for it?"

"Shut up and give me the bye-knocks," she said, but Jake passed them first to me.

I didn't recognize the horses, but both the mare and foal had the most unusual markings I've ever ---