Day by day, the horse started to recuperate. Lots of rest, good brushing, and good food had worked wonders for him. He started to look beautiful. But there was one thing about him that Burt was worried about.
“That horse hasn’t got the will to live,” he declared. And it was true. Even though the pinto was getting better every day, he had sunk into a listless state of not caring. It only tasted it’s hay and water, lipped at the oats, and didn’t even look at the tempting extra-special treats Susan brought him. Despite all that he was still gaining weight, but not as much as they would have liked.
Then one day the vet came. “If this horse doesn’t start to want to live soon, he’ll die.”
Now the family was desperate. They tried ever possible trick they knew. Tasty bran mashes, working on the lunge line, etc. Nothing worked.
“Susan, we’re going into town to get groceries. We’ll be back in an hour or so. Don’t get into trouble.” Susan’s parents drove off. Susan went over to the pasture where all the horses, including the pinto, were kept. She selected Bonfire, a feisty four year old gelding to ride.
Bonfire galloped along the pasture fence with Susan on his back. Suddenly a small bird flitted out in front of him. Neighing wildly he reared up, depositing Susan on the ground in a heap. With her leg twisted under her, Susan could hardly move. But she could call. “Help! Help!” she called desperately.
The horse remembered. A horse rearing up. His master falling to the ground not moving.
Suddenly the Pinto burst into view. There was nothing listless about him now. His head was up as was his tail. He looked eager and ready for anything. He came over by Susan and stood over her until he heard the car pull up in the driveway. Then he ran over to the gate, and neighed loudly until Susan’s parents heard him.
“Come on!” Burt yelled. “Something’s wrong!” They ran over, and there was Susan lying on the ground.
“Susan,” Laura asked, “Is anything wrong?”
“My leg hurts…but Dad did you see the Pinto!?”
“Yes, I did.”
“Do you think he’ll stay like that?” Susan asked anxiously.
“I think he will.”
Two weeks later, Mrs. Smith stopped by at Horseshoe Stables.
“Is he ready yet?” she asked.
“Susan, bring Prince out of the barn!” Burt called.
“Oh, is that what you call him now?” Mrs. Smith asked.
“Yes, but you can change his name if you want.” Burt answered.
“Oh, no,” she breathed as she saw him, “I will keep the name just as it is. It suits him.”
It certainly did. Prince was brushed and curried to perfection. He was a chestnut and white tobiano. The chestnut parts of his spotless coat shone like bronze in the deep afternoon sun. His head was erect, his bearing regal, and his whole body bespoke majesty and excellence.
“Thank you so much for all you have done. Thank you!”
Susan and her dad watched Prince being driven away into the setting sun and smiled in the knowledge that they had done well.