by Abby Gayle
Mira receives the grand prize.
“We get it,” Betty, sitting next to her sister in the car, said, “You can't believe you won.”
“Sorry. I just can't believe I won!” Mira squealed again.
“We know. You've said it about a million times now. What did you win, anyway?”
“I don't know, but I won the grand prize, so it must be good. Although I don't know what they'd need my story about the talking horse for.”
“That thing? You must have been up against some kids with the writing talent of a baby to win with that story.”
“Mo-om! Betty's being mean!” Mira called.
“Tattletale,” Betty said under her breath.
“You called me a baby,” Mira accused.
“Did not!” Betty argued.
“No, I called your competitors babies.”
“Girls, stop it,” their mother said from the front seat. Mira smiled smugly while her older sister frowned and looked away.
The car drove through a huge puddle, splashing muddy water all over the place. The normally white car began coating itself with the mud it was driving through. Mira gazed at the horses in the pastures they drove by. Betty simply stuck her tongue out at the utter dirtiness of it all. Mira's mother parked close to an unpainted farmhouse. She stepped out, her sandals not completely keeping the mud from her feet.
“Is this the place where my daughter gets what she won for the contest?” Mira's mother asked.
“Depends,” the farmer asked, “Is your daughter Mira Nelson, the writer of that story with the talking horse?”
“Yes, she is,” Mira's mother answered, “She's right here.”
Mira smiled and waved timidly at the man.
“So, you're Mira?” he asked.
“Yes, sir. Your horses are really pretty.”
“Tell me, Mira, how old are you?”
“I'm eight. My sister, Betty, is ten.”
“Well, you just won yourself a horse, young lady.”
“A . . . horse?” Mira asked.
“A horse?” her mother asked at the same time.
“Yes. That's the grand prize.”
“I'm sorry, we don't have the space for a horse,” Mira's mother said.
“Oh, Mrs. Nelson, I figured most people wouldn't. She gets to keep the horse on my property. At any rate, I have a colt here that I think Mira will love.”
“A colt? That's a baby horse, right?” Mira asked, “And he's for me? Do I get to choose his name?”
“Yes, you do. If you come with me, I'll show you.”
Mira nodded and followed the man to a red barn. Inside, there were many horses. However, when she met eyes with the appaloosa colt, she knew they were perfect together.
“This little boy doesn't have a name yet,” the farmer told her and her mother.
“I'm gonna call him Spot,” Mira said, then whispered into the foal's ear, “Don't worry, Spot, I'll take care of you.”
“And in a few years, I can teach you how to ride Spot,” the farmer said, “Then the two of you can go off riding, eventually.”
“I suppose we can't refuse,” Mira's mother smiled.
“So I can keep Spot?” Mira asked.
“Yes, you can keep him,” her mother answered.
“This is the best prize ever,” Mira said, hugging the colt gently, “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”
“We get it,” Betty mumbled behind her.