IN WHICH THE LITTLE HORSE MEETS THE BABY KING
Once upon a time, in a barn far away, two babies were born. One was a little boy. The other was a Little Horse.
The Little Horse stood on his wobbly new legs and looked down at the baby boy, who squirmed in the prickly hay. The baby scrunched up his face and went red as a beet and began to cry.
The baby’s mother picked him up and held him tight and sang softly in his ear. The Little Horse looked from the baby and its mother to his mother. She was standing in their stall, swaying gently, asleep on her hooves the way horses do.
And the Little Horse was sad because his mother could not carry him or sing to him. She was just—
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK
The woman froze.
The baby froze.
The Little Horse froze.
But the man got up from where he had been sleeping in the hay and went to the door. He opened it a crack and looked out. Then he said some words to the people outside and listened to some of their words, and then he opened the door wide.
The woman gasped.
The Little Horse blinked in amazement.
There, in the door, stood a whole group of men. They were all dressed in robes and they had hooked staffs in their hands.
They must be princes! the Little Horse thought. They were not princes, and later, when he learned this, he felt very silly for having thought it.
The men approached the woman and her baby, and she turned so they could see the baby. When they saw him, their eyes sparkled and they bent their knees and they bowed down to the baby.
The Little Horse’s big eyes saw all this, and his little mind worked away. These were his thoughts: How silly I was to be sad that my mother can’t hold me the way this baby’s mother holds him. He is a prince—no! A king! And I was here when he was born. I will never leave him. I will follow him all the rest of my life and maybe, one day, he will sit on my back and ride me and I will be his horse.
Then, although no one noticed, the Little Horse bent his wobbly new knees, and he, too, bowed to the baby King.
IN WHICH THE LITTLE HORSE LOSES THE BABY KING AND FINDS HIM AGAIN ALL GROWN UP
Soon the baby King’s mother and father took the baby King away. The Little Horse neighed and stamped and made such a racket that his mother had to nip his ear. He quieted then and watched sadly as the door closed behind the little family.
The Little Horse vowed in his mind, I will keep my eyes open. I will find the King again, and when I do, I will never leave him.
But many, many years went by. And the Little Horse’s wobbly knees grew strong, and his shoulders grew strong, and his back grew strong, and his love for the baby King grew strong. But although he grew big and strong, we will still call him the Little Horse because that is how we feel about him; he is small enough to fit in our hearts.
The Little Horse kept his vow and looked always in the face of every boy he passed to see if he might be the baby King. None of them were.
But the Little Horse never stopped looking.
His huge eyes watched and watched, and he waited and waited because he never doubted he would see the baby King again and that the baby King would ride him and that he would be his Little Horse.
It finally happened one cloudy day by a river.
The Little Horse was pulling a heavy cart around a bend in the road, and there, suddenly, was a crowd. The Little Horse stopped and his big eyes took in all the people.
Most of them were standing on the river’s shore, but two of them were out in the water. One of the men in the water put his hand on the other’s back and dunked him into the water. The Little Horse thought this was a strange way of taking a bath. Why not everyone get in at once? Why do it one at a time and take half the day?
But then the man under the water came out of the water, and some wonderful things happened:
A ray of sunshine split the dark clouds and shone down on the two men in the middle of the river.
Then a white dove came down and landed on the wet man’s shoulder.
And finally a big booming voice from somewhere said something that the Little Horse could not understand because he was just a Little Horse. But the Little Horse knew, knew that this was the baby King all grown up, big and strong just like him.
CRACK! His master’s whip snapped at his ear. “Yah!” his master cried.
The Little Horse’s master wanted him to move and the Little Horse wanted to move, but he did not want to go where his master wanted him to go.
The Little Horse reared up on his back hooves. His master fell out of the cart. The Little Horse slammed down on his front hooves and kicked out his back hooves. BOOM! The wooden cart shattered into a million pieces.
He was free!
He galloped toward the crowd. The people screamed and dove out of his way – his master yelled angry words after him – but the Little Horse didn’t care; he wanted only to get to the King in the river.
He skidded to a stop at the water’s edge, his big eyes roving for the King, but he was not there.
Only the other man was there, dressed—strangely, the Little Horse thought—as a camel.
The man in the river dressed as a camel and the Little Horse on the muddy shore looked at one another curiously for a moment.
Then the camel man raised his arm and pointed. The Little Horse followed his finger and saw the King walking toward…
Now you see, horses have what we call “horse sense.” They know where there is food and where there is water and, generally, where they are going. They know this the way you seem to always know where your parents are. They live, as you do, by this sense, and when it is baffled, when it is confused, then they get afraid.
The Little Horse, standing in the mud by the river, was afraid now because his horse sense told him that the King was walking toward The Wilderness.
The Wilderness! the Little Horse thought. But there is no food! No water! I must have food! I must have water! Without them I will die!
The Little Horse was about to turn back to the shattered cart when a new thought struck him: He must have food. He must have water. Without them he will die!
I am a horse. I am stronger than he is. He can ride me out of The Wilderness – I can save him from The Wilderness!
All these thoughts went through the Little Horse’s little mind faster than it took a single drop of water to fall from the camel man’s finger into the river.
And, just as quickly, the Little Horse galloped after the King.
The Little Horse
A Short Story
When all seems lost, dreams come true.
After witnessing the birth of Baby Jesus, The Little Horse dreams of being ridden by Him. So he spends his life in passionate pursuit of the King of Kings – across the River Jordan, into the wilderness, and even to the Cross – but The Little Horse always just misses his chance to be ridden. Then when all seems lost, his dream comes true.
This heart-felt story will inspire your whole family.
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