Friday, February 17, 2012

"Johnny Mustang The Adventure Begins" by Ruth Thompson (Short Story)

Genre:  Children

Type of Short Story:  Short Story

Summary:  He lives in the desert of southwest Arizona where the wild Mustangs run free. Join him on his first wild horse roundup when he learns what it takes to catch a free spirited horse.

Johnny Mustang is an illustrated children's book aimed at readers ages 8-12, but suitable for all ages. It is 6,000 words long and includes 10 full color illustrations.


The River had long since dried up under the summer sun leaving large cracks in its surface. Every year the cracks got deeper and wider. Only the bravest dared to ride across. Unless you were a Mustang.

They lived and breathed these mountains, understood the intricacies that others called hazards and knew better than anyone how to survive. If there were an owner of these lands, other than God, it was them. That's one reason they made great horses for ranching and hunting. Their hardy nature and ability to learn quickly was the other. They also had one downfall, they would do whatever they could to avoid being captured.

Él va acted as though he were one of them paying no attention to any of Johnny's signals. Pulling back on the reins, leaning back in the saddle and yelling 'WHOA!' did nothing to get Él va to slow down. In fact, it seemed to make him run faster.

Ahead, Johnny could see a long black hole in the riverbed and the Mustangs were headed straight toward it. He had heard stories about riders who crossed the riverbed and never returned. He didn't want to be one of them.

Again and again he yelled for Él va to stop, but his throat became muffled as he choked on the dust. Johnny knew he was in trouble.

Two and three at a time the Mustangs began jumping, their manes suspended in the air like colorful string. Johnny knew it was a chance he didn't want to take on a horse he didn't know, but what choice did he have? If the Mustangs could do it he hoped and prayed Él va could too.

Grabbing the saddle horn and tightening the reins, Johnny squeezed his legs into Él va's sides. The horse adjusted his stride for the take off, then sprung into the air. For a moment, everything was silent. The dust cleared. Johnny couldn't help but look down into the endless black ravine. He froze with fear, his heart beating wildly. He hoped Él va wasn't looking down too.

They hung in the air for what seemed like hours. Then he heard the cracking of Él va's hooves on the rocks. The horse stumbled and caught himself, but the jolt lurched Johnny over the horse's head. Up in the air he flew, this time without Él va.

Buy this story on Amazon.  Check out Thompson's website.

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