by Bob Leone

Lisa McGrath

It looks like a parade to the twelve-year-old as her parents and hired hands lead the mares in front of her. Lisa follows holding the lead rope, fifth in line. Lisa pulls the mare next to a fence and scrambles up, sliding onto the back of the mare. Using the lead rope as a rein she rides the mare into the pasture. Lisa can feel the mare's comforting rippling muscles and warmth as she rides bareback.

"Lisa!" her father shouts, while Her mother hides her smile behind her hand. "These mares are for breeding, not riding."

"Oh, Travis, let her be," Lisa's mother says, slipping her arm around her husband. "She's not hurting anything, they're not pregnant yet."

Lisa slides off the mare's back and unclips the lead rope. The young mare trots off joining the other mares in the large pasture.

"Why can't I have my own horse," Lisa begs, walking over to her parents. "My birthday is coming up in two months."

"We'll see," is all she hears her father mumble.


"What do you mean Dancing Girl's missing?" Travis shouts to his hired hand.

Juan, shrugs his shoulders nervously, "We brought all of the caballos in from the pasture like we always do, but she wasn't there."

Lisa's father straddles his all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and in a cloud of dust streaks away.

Lisa's father screeches to a stop in front of a broken fence. He grabs some rope from the back of the ATV and ties the top board together. He stands on top of the ATV, his hand above his eyes peering out for his lost mare. He slaps his head. "Oh, no!"


"What do I owe the pleasure of this visit?" Hector says as Travis jumps out of his truck holding a lead rope in his hand.

Travis growls, strutting to the back fence. "It's your horse!"

Hector spreads his arms as he follows. "What has Jackeroo done?"

"Hopefully nothing," Travis grumbles seeing Dancing Girl next to the Quarter Horse. "My mare is in season."

"I can't help it if Ol' Jackeroo is so appealing to your fillies," Hector laughs opening the gate.

Travis clips the lead rope on his mare and leads her into his trailer.

"I am sorry," Hector says. "Maybe we should get together and install a hot wire along the fence?"

"We should do that." Travis reaches out his hand. "Sorry, for yelling, but each foal we get brings a lot of money."


Two weeks later.

"Well, doc," Travis asks. "Is she pregnant?"

Dr. Kimble lays down his ultrasound transducer. "I'm afraid so, what do you want me to do?"

"Clip it," Travis says.

"No," Lisa screams. "You can't kill it!"

Lisa's mother places her arm around Lisa, "It's business, dear."

"But," Lisa eyes tear up. "But, maybe this is meant to be. Maybe this is how I can finally get my own horse."

"Lisa, do you realize how much money we will lose, by having Dancing Girl miss a season?" her father states .

"But," Lisa sobs. "With Jackeroo as the sire, he would be a perfect riding horse."

Lisa's mother pleads to Travis with her eyes.

Travis shakes his head. "Let it be, doc."


Eleven months later.

"She in trouble," Travis shouts stroking Dancing Girl's head. "Call the Vet."

"What's wrong?" Lisa asks. Clean towels are draped over her arm as she stands next to her father.

"She is having trouble pushing the foal out," her father says looking down. "Possible breach."

Lisa holds the towel up rubbing her eyes. "No, it can't be. My horse."

Lisa's mother peers over the stall wall, "Doc should be here in a few minutes."


"You were right, the foal is turned around," Dr. Kimble says. He reaches in with long vinyl gloves, Straining he says, "Got to turn it around."

Lisa's mother places her arm around her wide-eyed daughter. Fear and hope mix as Lisa watches the vet and her father struggling to turn the unborn foal around.

"There they are," Dr. Kimble says pulling the two front legs out. Next pops out its head.

"That's it girl, push," Travis encourages the mare.

With a plop, the foal lands on the straw covered ground.

"It's a colt!" the doc says.

Lisa's eyes sparkle with delight.

While Dancing Girl licks her new baby, Lisa rushes over with the towels and begins to wipe the colt down. Imprinting herself to the colt.

The vet and Travis back off while Lisa touches her colt.

Lisa mother's heart warms as she watches Lisa talking to her new friend, "You are so cute and lovely. You are my little soft furry delight. We are going to have so much fun, as I teach you of the world outside."

The colt looks at her with soft eyes that reflect love and promise.

"What are you going to name him?" her mother asks.

"Lucky!" Lisa exclaims hugging the colt's neck. "For I am so lucky to have him and he was lucky to be born."

Read more of Lucky and Lisa in "They Don't Cast Shadows"

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