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Nothing could have been a better Christmas present than the birth of Lady's foal, Star of Wonder. But with a scary sleepover, the discovery of someone's secret past, a daring escape (and rescue) and the terrible news of where Star of Wonder has disappeared to, the adventure is just beginning for best friends Mary and Jody in the second book in The Lucky Foot Stable series.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
A horse lover since childhood, JoAnn S.Dawson lives with her husband Ted and their two sons on a horse farm in Maryland where they operate a bed & breakfast and offer riding lessons, carriage rides, horse shows and a summer camp. JoAnn teaches Equine Science at a local college and is an actress and animal wrangler for film and television. She has enjoyed competing
over the years on her American Paint Horse, Painted Warrior, but it is Butterscotch the pony who accompanies her on school visits and book signings. Butterscotch is so comfortable around kids that he may be the only pony in the country who is allowed to go into classrooms!
Excerpt from Chapter 1: Welcome
"YOU'RE RIGHT, JODY, Star of Wonder is the perfect name for him," Mary whispered as they gazed at the newborn foal sleeping peacefully in the straw. "Look, the star is exactly in the middle of his forehead, just like his father's. It even has five points, like a real star. And it's a wonder that he's here!"
"I know," replied Jody. "I still can't believe we didn't figure it out. Lady was getting so fat and grumpy and I didn't know why!" Mary and Jody sat side by side on the thick bed of straw in Lady's stall at Lucky Foot Stable, in awe of the gift that had been given them on this cold clear Christmas morning. Colonel Sanders, the old white barn rooster, ruffled his feathers and peered down from his roost on the top board of Lady's stall while Gypsy Amber, Mary's pony, hung her head over the stall next door and nickered softly as if to say, "Welcome, Star of Wonder."
"Mary, look, under the stall door!" Jody giggled.
"Poor Finnegan wants to come in and see what's happening!"
A black nose and two front paws were all that could be seen of Finnegan, the farm's herding dog, as he snuffled and scratched at the packed clay under the door.
"Maybe we should let him in," Mary said sympathetically. "After all, he is the one who woke us up to tell us about the baby!"
Mary and Jody were "epic friends," brought together by their love of their two ponies. They had camped out in the stable overnight on Christmas Eve, trying to stay awake until midnight to hear the animals speak, a legend that Mary had read about in one of her many books. But they had both fallen asleep just before the stroke of twelve, only to be awakened in the morning by Finnegan's whining and scratching at Lady's stall door. When Mary got up to investigate, she experienced the shock of her life at the completely unexpected sight of the black-and-white foal struggling to stand on his spindly legs as Lady, his proud mother, gently licked the top of his head.
"OK, Finnegan, you can come in if you promise to be quiet and calm and not wake the baby!" Mary giggled, carefully opening the stall door. Finnegan's whole body wagged as he entered the stall, but upon seeing the sleeping foal, he stopped in his tracks, pricked up his ears, and cocked his head as if to say, "What in the world is that?" Mary and Jody covered their mouths to keep from laughing out loud at the look on the dog's face.
"Finney, meet Star of Wonder. We know you weren't expecting him, and neither were we, but he's here and we're going to help Lady take care of him," Mary explained.
Lady snorted and pinned her ears back at the sight of the intruder, and Finnegan took a step back, not sure what to do.
"Lady, it's all right-you know Finnegan! He's not going to hurt Star. He just wants to see him," Jody said, petting the hapless dog to show Lady that he was no threat. Lady shook her head up and down and extended her nose for Finnegan to sniff, and they were friends again.
"Mary, I just thought of something!" Jody exclaimed. "I don't know what time it is, but I bet it's almost milking time. We've got to get Willie!"
Willie was the old cowhand on Mr. McMurray's dairy farm where Jody and Mary kept the ponies. While he spent most of his time taking care of the cows, he sometimes helped the girls with the ponies-like the time that past spring when he hauled Lady to a horse show in the back of his old red pickup truck. The girls were now gazing at the result of that trip, when Lady had gotten herself into a paddock with a beautiful black stallion.
"You're right, Jode. I'll go see if he's here yet!" Mary started to jump up in her usual way, but remembering to be quiet around the foal, she raised herself gently from the straw. Before she reached the stall door, she was greeted by a familiar voice.
"Well, what in tarnation do we have here?" Willie said, looking through the open door and tugging on his earlobe.
"Willie! I was just coming to get you! It's a foal! Lady had a baby! We didn't even know! We fell asleep before midnight, and Finney woke us up this morning, and here he was in the stall!" Mary exclaimed all in one breath.
"Hmph," Willie said, taking off his hat and scratching the side of his head. "Willie, is that all you have to say? Isn't it a miracle?" Jody whispered.
"A miracle? I don't know about that," Willie smiled. "I reckon I can figure out how it happened."
"Oh, Willie, we did figure out how it happened. I mean, we knew Lady was in the paddock with the stallion at the horse show, but we just never thought about it-even when Lady was getting all fat and lazy!" Jody continued.
"Willie, you don't even look surprised!" Mary said suspiciously. "Willie-you knew all along, didn't you? You knew and you didn't tell us!"
"Hmph," Willie replied with a hint of a smile playing on his lips.
"Well, if you wanted us to be surprised, you did a good job!" Jody cried. "We were surprised, all right!"
"Now, who do you think has been givin' that old plug extra grain and makin' sure she was gettin' all the hay she needed to make sure that baby was growin' the way it should in her belly?" Willie asked.
Normally Jody would be offended at Willie calling Lady an "old plug," but she was still trying to absorb the fact that Willie had known about Star all along.
"Willie, guess what we named him?" Mary said, forgetting to be mad at Willie for keeping such a big secret. "You named him already?"
"Of course, we've been in here with him for anhour!" Mary exclaimed. "When we were trying to stay awake last night to hear the animals talk, we decided to sing Christmas carols, and the one we knew the words to was 'We Three Kings.' So we sang it, and the chorus goes, 'Star of wonder, star of night, star with royal beauty bright.' So since he has that perfect bright star, and he's such a wonder, we named him Star of Wonder-Star for short. And it was all Jody's idea," she continued generously.
Just as if Star of Wonder had heard his name called, he raised his head from the straw and blinked, first at Mary, then at Jody, and finally at Willie before raising himself to a more upright position. He blinked again, shook his head, and blew through his nose. Then, just as Lady had done, he stretched his neck and offered his muzzle for Finnegan to sniff.
"He's a right cheeky thing, ain't he?" Willie chuckled.
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Book Description Sourcebooks Jabberwocky. PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 1402209975 Ships promptly from Texas. Seller Inventory # Z1402209975ZN
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