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HORSES   7' A horse unites a prince and a princess

Once upon a time a long time ago lived a very unusual princess.
Princess Michaela acted more like a Prince than a princess. She
loved to climb trees, shoot sling shots, and fight the boys with
wooden swords.

A prophet who lived in the kingdom told the king, "Some day this
princess will lead her kingdom in battle. She will win all
battles she leads, except one."

Everyone who heard the prediction gasped.

"Tell us more!" Said the Queen, "Will we lose that battle?!"

The prophet said, "That's all I can tell you now."

Sometime later, while walking through the woods with the queen,
Princess Michaela saw a white horse in a meadow beyond the woods
and pointed.

"I've never seen that horse before, Mother." She asked, "Why is
such a beautiful horse not in the royal stable?"

Her mother replied, "My child, I don't think that horse is from
around here. I think I'll have our stable boy capture it for our
stable."

"That's okay, Mother, I'll get it," Michaela said as she ran to
the meadow.

"Be careful, my child, that horse could trample you!" shouted
the queen.

By the time the queen caught up to Michaela at the meadow,
Michaela was patting and petting the horse and talking softly to
him. The horse nodded. He seemed to understand what Michaela was
saying.

"I think I'll ride him," said Michaela as she jumped up on the
big white horse and slung her leg over.

"No, my child!" shouted the queen, "He might not be tamed. He
could throw you off!"

"Don't be silly, mother!" replied Michaela, "He likes me!"

With that Michaela nudged the horse with her heels and off the
horse galloped.

"You should have a saddle!" Shouted the queen.

Michaela galloped the horse to the far end of the meadow,
turning left and right, left and right by pulling on the horse's
mane to show her mother that she had full control over the
horse. Then she turned and headed back to the queen at full
gallop. When the horse approached the queen, he showed no signs
of slowing. So, the queen covered her head. But at the last
minute the horse dug in his heels and stopped faster than any
horse the queen had ever seen.

"See, mother?" Replied Michaela, "I don't need a saddle. Can I
keep him?!"

The queen answered, "That horse has been well trained. He
obviously belongs to someone else. We need to find its rightful
owner."

Michaela was very disappointed but she rode the horse all over
the kingdom to try to find the owner. She didn't really want to
return him. She really wanted to buy the horse from the owner.
But she never found the owner.

"Can I keep him now, mother?" ask Michaela.

"Very well." Said the queen.

Michaela declared, "I shall call him Lightning because he runs
as fast as lightning."

And with that, off she galloped. When she returned to the
stable, the prophet was there and he touched the horse with both
hands and predicted, "One day soon, this horse will unite two
kingdoms."

The older Princess Michaela grew, the more time she and her
horse spent with the soldiers of the Palace Guard. By the time
she turned eighteen years old, she had learned to shoot a bow
and arrow, fight with a sword, and throw a spear -- all while
riding at full gallop. She was now the most skilled soldier in
the entire royal army. So, when Michaela asked to be the
commander of the royal army, her father the king could not say
no. Several times when the kingdom was attacked Michaela led the
royal army and drove the enemy back.

A short time later, the kingdom went to war against a
neighboring kingdom. Again Michaela and Lightning led the attack
and were driving the attackers back, when suddenly Lightning
turned and ran off at full gallop in another direction.

"What are you doing, Lightning! We were winning! I wasn't in any
danger!" Shouted Michaela as she tried to stop him. But he
galloped on. Then, suddenly, Michaela saw in the distance
another white horse. Lightning was galloping directly at him.

Michaela said, "Hey, Lightning, that horse looks exactly like
you!"

As she approached the other white horse, Michaela could see that
the rider on the horse was wearing full battle armor. Michaela
knew that only knights and princes wear full battle armor.
Michaela smiled and patted the neck of her horse and said, "I
see what you're doing, Lightning, you think that if I capture
the prince, the enemy will surrender.

As Michaela approached, Lightning turned so that Michaela could
approach head-on. And when the prince swung his sword, Michaela
layed back flat on her horse until the princes sword passed over
the top of her, missing her by inches, then Michaela kicked the
prince with the bottom of her foot, knocking him to the ground.
The prince's armor clanged and crashed as he fell.

Michaela jumped off of her horse and landed with one foot on
either side of the prince's chest and her sword against the
princes throat.

"Surrender or die!" She shouted.

The prince took off his helmet and shouted. "I surrender!"

Then all the soldiers around them laid down their swords. So,
the prince's whole army had surrendered. Then Michaela helped
the prince to his feet.

"Where did you get that horse?" He asked.

Michaela replied, "His name is Lightning. I found him in a
meadow near my castle. I tried but I couldn't find his owner.
Where did you get your horse?"

The prince replied, "His name is Thunder. He was one of two
twins. The other twin ran away right after our prophet predicted
that these two horses would one day unite two kingdoms."

Michaela replied, "Our prophet predicted the same thing for my
horse Lightning. But he also predicted that I would win all
battles except one."

And with that the Princess Michaela poked the tip of her sword
under the Prince's sword on the ground and flipped his sword up
into his hand, then she said, "Therefore, to fulfil this
prophecy, I cannot accept your surrender."

The prince bowed before the Princess saying, "I give you
thanks."

When he stood up again, the prince asked, "May I see the face of
the great conqueror who showed me mercy?"

Michaela removed her helmet and all the soldiers gasped when
they saw that their conqueror was a woman. The prince was the
most surprised of all.

He knelt again and said, "Your Majesty, I have heard about the
great beauty of the princess, but you are even more beautiful
than I had imagined." He was very handsome.

Needless to say, the prince and princess fell in love and were
married. They became king and queen over both kingdoms. And they
lived happily ever after.

2013 Bob Snook. Conditions for use:
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Pay no royalties, even if you make money from performances.
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