“Looking for a pony for the little girl?” He smiled, but the smile did not reach his eyes.
As he looked at her slyly, Maggie realized he became less handsome and more evil-looking.
He looked at Maggie suspiciously, as if he knew her and had seen her doing something very naughty. “And your name, young lady?” He looked right in her eyes.
“Uh…Maggie. Maggie Thompson.” Maggie stuttered a bit.
“I’m Stephen. For a minute I thought you were someone else. Never mind, go ahead and step into that pen. Let’s see if we can find you the pony of your dreams.”
Jeff looked at Maggie apprehensively. “Go ahead, honey.”
So Maggie climbed through the warped fence and started walking around the horses: paints, grays, bays, and chestnuts. All dirty, all sad. It almost broke Maggie’s heart just standing with them. Then she spotted a bay mare, different from the others. She was quite cute! She looked utterly out of place in this barn of misfits. As Maggie started walking toward the pony, eyes glued on her, she barely noticed a dirty gray pony walking her way. She barely noticed until the pony stepped right in her path and stopped. Maggie practically bumped into the pony before she noticed her.
“Move, pony,” Maggie said impatiently.
“Move!” But the pony stood her ground. “Come on, pony, get out of the way.” But the pony looked right at her and wouldn’t budge. Maggie sighed and started to walk around the pony. The pony snorted and backed up, blocking Maggie’s way. Maggie couldn’t help laughing at the tenacity of the pony. She felt like the dirty gray pony knew exactly why she was there. She scratched the pony on the face and smiled. “Well, you do have a pretty little face—too bad about the rest of you. Now move out of my way so I can go see that lovely bay pony.” The gray pony snorted again and shook her head. She wasn’t moving. She turned and looked Maggie right in the eyes, then pushed Maggie to the ground.
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