Horseland #2: Back in the Saddle Again

Horseland #2: Back in the Saddle Again

by Annie Auerbach

ISBN: 9780061341687

Publisher HarperFestival

Published in Children's Books/Popular Culture

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Sample Chapter

Chapter One

It's a clear day as Shep walks around the stable. The Australian herding dog loves being at Horseland Ranch.

For humans, it is the perfect place to board, groom, and train a horse. It is also a great place to make friends and have incredible adventures.

For horses, it's a place to be well cared for and form wonderful bonds with their riders. It is also the ideal place to talk about what's happening—for at Horseland, all the animals can talk to one another without the humans having any clue.

For Shep, the ranch is home. His job is to keep the horses in line, and they respect him, even if they don't always agree with him. With seven horses—and seven different personalities—there's never a dull moment.

"At Horseland, there's always something going on," Shep says to Angora, as he turns the corner of the stable and sees the fluffy, gray cat sitting on top of a few bales of hay.

Angora yawns and stretches. "Yeah," she replies sourly. "So much activity, a cat can't even take a nap in peace." She jumps down and joins Shep.

Shep looks over at Angora and just smiles. He knows she can be moody. "Lighten up, Angora," he says. "It's beautiful outside."

As they start to walk away, Angora stops in front of a large mud puddle.

"What's so beautiful about a big mud puddle right in my way?" Angora asks in an annoyed tone.

"So go through it," suggests Shep.

Angora looks horrified. "You've got to be kidding!" she exclaims. She isn't about to get herself all wet and filthy.

"It's just a little mud. Come on, 'fraidy cat," teases Shep. "Give it a try!"

Angora narrows her eyes. She loves a challenge and she's ready to take this one on. "Think I can't? Watch this!" Then she rears back and with perfect catlike grace leaps right over the mud puddle. "Ha! Showed you!" she calls to Shep, as she continues on her way.

Shep smiles to himself just as Teeny the pig walks up.

"Hi, Shep," says the pig. "Nice day, isn't it?" Then she looks down at the mud puddle. "Ew. That looks messy."

"It's just mud, Teeny," says Shep. "What are you afraid of ?"

"I'm not afraid of mud," Teeny replies. "I just don't like it much." She shakes her head. "Nope. Not my kind of thing."

Teeny is quite an unusual pig—she doesn't like to get dirty! So the resourceful pig nudges a plank of wood and lays it across the mud puddle, creating a bridge.

Shep laughs at Teeny's creative solution. With her pink-ribboned tail bouncing, Teeny trots across the plank as the dog beside her plows right through the mud puddle.

When they reach the other side, Shep says, "There's nothing wrong with having fears. Everyone faces challenges at some point in their life. It's how you handle them that counts." Shep thinks back to a few days earlier. "Reminds me of when Molly had to face her fears. . . ."

Excerpted from "Horseland #2: Back in the Saddle Again" by Annie Auerbach. Copyright © 0 by Annie Auerbach. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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