by Carol McNairy Wight
by Carol McNairy Wight
Charlee lay under her Grandma's tree looking up at the clouds. She saw a dragon creep across the sky . Then, could you believe it? She saw a beautiful white horse galloping slowly , as only a cloud horse can do. It had a white mane flowing behind it and its long white tail was stretched out as if it was running like the wind. Charlee imagined his white legs pounding along, but ofcourse they weren't. Her horse, Charliehorse, she would call him, was only a cloud, afterall.
She took a stick and broke it into little pieces and stuck them in the dirt to make a little coral for him. If only she could put a real white horse inside a coral. She watched Charliehorse until he disappeared at the end of the sky.
That night she dreamed that Charliehorse came to her and she climbed up on his back and they flew off among the clouds. What a wonderful ride that was! Charliehorse really did run like the wind. His mane really did flow behind him and tickle her face. Her own hair flew behind her like a mane, too. She saw so many delightful things on that ride. She saw the sun shining in all its glory, but it did not hurt her eyes. Charliehorse flew to to the other side of the earth and Charlee saw the moon shining its eerie glow. Then she realized she was on her side of the earth and it was time to get back into bed. Charlee hugged Charliehorse and said good bye.
The next day she lay under her Grandma's tree and watched for Charliehorse. There were not very many clouds that day and Charliehorse never floated by. He didn't come the next day or the next. Charlee began to realize that seeing a horse in the clouds might be a one time thing. Horses are complicated creatures and maybe they were just hard for clouds to form.
But then, one day Charlee was riding her bicycle when she happened to look up and see Charliehorse in the sky! "You came back ," she squealed, as she put down her bicycle and laid on the grass to watch. Charliehorse was as beautiful as ever. His mane streaked behind him and so did his tail. The sun was shining just right and it made his nostrils look like they were shooting fire! " Oh my, Charliehorse , I love you!" said Charlee. She watched him all afternoon until he ran out of sky.
That night she felt a nudge at her elbow. It was soft and a little wet. She woke up and --there was Charliehorse! She threw her arms around his neck. "Charliehorse, are you real?" "As long as you believe in me, I am,"answered Charliehorse.
After that Charliehorse came to her many times in the night .He took her on fantastic rides all over the world. She looked down one time and saw the Eiffel Tower. Another time he took her to the Taj mahal. She saw a volcano erupting in Hawaii and the snow on top of Mt. Everest.
As she grew up Charliehorse came less and less. She had many things on her mind, like what to do with her life, who to marry and how many kids to have. Finally,she forgot about Charliehorse all together. Until one day.....
She went to a horse show with her husband and her three kids. She had married a man who loved horses and he would sell them to people who loved horses, too.
Well, this one day, she was looking at all the horses for sale when she saw him. "Charliehorse!" she screamed. She ran over to a beautiful white horse who looked like a cloud. He had a beautiful white mane and a long, flowing white tail. He was all white and his nostrils gleamed like fire. "How much is this horse?" she asked her husband. "He's a lot!" her husband said. "I don't care," said Charlee. "He is MY horse." She had her own money so she didn't have to argue with anybody. She had been saving for a long time. She never knew what it was she was saving for until now. She bought the horse, re-named him Charliehorse (Some stupid person had named him Whitey) and took him home.
Every day Charlee went for a ride in the hills and mountains with Charliehorse. What a wonderful ride it was.
Charliehorse ran like the wind. His mane flowed behind him and tickled her face. Her own hair flew behind her like a mane, too.
"See Charliehorse, I never stopped believing in you,"said Charlee. All the beauty of the world seemed to echo back to her and she knew it was telling her,"Never give up on your dreams!"
copyright Carol McNairy Wight 2009; author retains all rights to the story.