“Here we go. I love riding in front of you in the saddle, Daddy.” Janie and Daddy are riding Blondie, Daddy’s new saddle horse, the prettiest horse on the ranch. She is almost a palomino with a white mane and tail. Six cows and their calves need to go to the hill pasture. “Hurry up, let’s get to the gate.” Grand Dad is herding the small bunch of cattle up the road ahead of his big brown Chrysler.
“I’ll hold the saddle horn real tight while you get off to open the gate,” Janie tells Daddy. “Oh, oh!” Blondie jerks away and the reins slip from Daddy’s hand. Janie holds on tight because she plans to ride right down the road. Bumpity bump. With no doubt in her mind, Janie, the young girl, and Blondie, the young horse, tear down the road past the Chrysler. “Whoa, Blondie,” screams Janie.
Tumbling to the gravel road completely surprises her. The blood trickling from a gash near her hairline, terrifies Mother who comes running from the yard. She grabs Janie fast and gets in Grand Dad’s car to whiz away on the bumpy road to town. When Grand Dad stops the car in front of the hospital, Mother carries Janie up to the second floor, where the emergency surgery is.
“I don’t like that bright light in my eyes,” wails Janie, “and I don’t like people holding be down!” Crying doesn’t make it better, but Janie does it anyway as Dr. Foster picks little rocks out of the gash on her forehead. “I…really don’t like this!” sobs the little girl as she begins to quiet down.
I told Gar he shouldn’t take her on that horse,” fumes Mother. “Nobody ever listens to me!”
“You never leave a small child on a horse while you get off! Especially a colt like Blondie.”
Mother planned to say a lot of things to Daddy when they got home, but after she and her darling daughter finished the three-mile drive from town, all Mother said was, “Janie is going to have a scar.”