Johannah sat on the floor with 2 books. One book was about horses and one book was about life in a big city. She had picked the horse book because she wanted to look at life in the wide open country with large pastures, fields of crops, and acres of woods. She knew about living in the city, but she picked that book because she wanted to learn something new. She opened the horse book and started reading about different breeds of horses, what they did, and how they lived. She read about draft horses, race horses, western cattle horses, and sport horses. She closed her eyes and starting thinking what it would be like to be a young horse living on a big farm.
Johannah opened her eyes to bright green grass. She was sitting in it, the books in her hands, and her back against a fence post. She looked around at pastures with old fencing and a few barn buildings that looked like they could use repair.
A young filly, jet black in color, came trotting up to her.
"What books do you have there?" The filly asked her.
Johannah looked at her suspiciously, but responded anyway with, "A book about horses and a book about the city."
"Tell me about the city book," the filly said and gave Johannah a serious look.
"Not until you help me with the horse book," responded Johannah with a similar serious look.
The filly relaxed her look and said, "Ok, what can I tell you?"
"Are you a young horse?" Johannah asked.
"Yes, I am a young two-year-old," the filly arched her neck and spoke proudly.
"You are big for two," said Johannah .
"I'm a horse, I'm supposed to be this big." The filly turned a circle to show Johannah all her young, strong beauty and muscle..
"What are you going to be when you get bigger?" Johannah asked.
"What am I going to be? . . That's funny!" the filly laughed, "I'm going to be a horse!"
Johannah leveled a look at the filly, "No, I mean what are you going to. . . . um . . . do? Like in this book?"
The filly dropped her head to Johannah as she spoke. "I don't know - I mean there are soooooo many choices. I have to test myself to know what I am good at. I need to know what I like. The farmer keeps telling me I will have a purpose. He says everything does. He always asks me to tell him ALL the purposes of that tree over there. I can never remember them all."
"Do you want to be a racehorse?" asked Johannah .
"Yeah, that would be great, but I don't know if I'm fast enough yet. The farmer has been testing me a little, but he is not saying much. I want to try ALL the things I could do AND see what I am good at. Yesterday I was jumping over the old fence that is leaning over there. That was fun!"
Johannah looked at the horse book and said, "I was just reading about horses that jump in this book."
"Really?" said the filly, "It's really fun. I can't wait to practice that one again. I just can't do it too much. It's not good for my young bones and muscles. I have to go slow."
"Now," said the filly, "it's my turn. What is in that city book?
Johannah told her, "It's about all the things that happen in a city. It tells you how city streets are planned, and it talks about businesses, apartments, condominiums and row houses. There are high rise buildings and lots of concrete and asphalt. It talks about city parks and what they do for a city. There aren't any places for horses in the city."
The filly asked her, "Have you ever been to a big city?"
Johannah realized the filly did not know where she lived. "Um . . . yeah. . .I've been there."
I would love to see one, but I need someone to go with me. Can we go to the city?
Johannah hesitated. "Um. . . .Sure . . . . but how?
The filly pranced around in excitement, "Jump on!"
Johannah got up and carefully placed the books against the fence post where she had been sitting. She looked at the big dent in the thick grass as she climbed to the top of the fence, put one leg over the horse's back and sat on her. She grabbed her mane with both hands.
"Are you ready?"
"Ummmm . . . I think so."
"Hang on," said the filly, and started off across the pasture at an easy canter.
Johannah closed her eyes again and opened them in time to see they were approaching the city streets.
She realized they could see and hear everything, but no one seemed to notice them.
The filly was fearless, which seemed strange to Johannah because the horse book said horses where afraid of new things in their environment . . . . and this was a LOT of new things.
The filly was asking question after question without waiting for an answer.
"What's that building?" "Who is that walking there?" "Do you know everyone's name?"
"Look, there's a horse!" the filly said, surprised.
"Oh," said Johannah, "I forgot about them - that's a police horse. It's the mounted police."
"Maybe I could do that!" said the filly.
"Yeah, you could, but it doesn't look good. Its hard pavement and I bet they stand and walk the streets for tons of hours," Johannah stated.
"What about the people? I would meet lots of nice people."
Johannah leaned down on the filly's neck so she could speak quiet. "And lots of not so nice people - it's a POLICE horse."
"Ok - I will just add Police Horse to my list. I don't know why you are discouraging me."
"I'm not discouraging you," explained Johannah, "It's just that where you are now you have room to run and wide open spaces - this is a city."
"But it's exciting!" said the filly, "There is so much going on. Sometimes I get bored out there. Wait . . .I didn't ask where you live. Do you live in a city?
"Yeah, I do," said Johannah.
"Wow - what do you want to be when you get bigger and older?" asked the filly.
"I'm going to be a person!" laughed Johannah.
"Ha . Ha . . . you know what I mean," the filly laughed.
"Yes, . . I know . . . you mean . . . what am I going to do?
"I don't know what I'm going to do," said Johannah, "I have to test my options, just like you."
The filly turned her head and looked back at Johannah, "But look at all these choices - it's endless."
"Yeah, endless, and sometimes a little confusing."
"True, very true," nodded the filly. "Ok, I'm getting tired, I think we should head back."
The filly turned and they headed back the way they came.
The filly carried Johannah back to her spot by the fence with ease. She even knelt down onto her front knees so Johannah could slide down to the ground. The filly stood up and Johannah gently stroked her soft muzzle. "It was so nice to meet you"
"You too - thanks for taking me to the city."
Johannah heard a faint bell clanging several pastures away toward one of the old barns.
"That's the farmer, I have to go. Come back and see me."
The filly turned, looked at Johannah briefly, and took off across the pasture at a full galloup.
Johannah and the filly -she later learned her name was Cleo - visited often. One of the most exciting times they were together was when Johannah graduated from high school.
Johannah was excited to tell Cleo all about this time in her life and she started with . . . . . . . .
Please finish the story with what you and Cleo talk about when you are about to graduate from high school and what happens with you and Cleo during that visit.
Where do you take Cleo?? What do you show her about what you are going to do??