Ebony Ridge

The summer sun was setting low in the Clair Valley. Two horses were grazing quietly. The first was a tall bay stallion, named Ridge. The second, a fine black mare named Ebony.
In the house that stood on the land, a 15 year old girl lay in her bed, not being able to sleep. Kristen sat up slowly in bed, her blonde locks falling slowly down her back. She stood up and walked over to her window and sat on her window seat.
The moon was falling over the two horses, only a hundred meters from Kristen's window.
Kristen crossed her arms on the windowsill and placed her chin on top. Kristen had named her two horses after the small town she lived in, Ebony Ridge.
"Oh, how wonderful it must be to be a horse." Kristen whispered to herself. An owl hooted not too far from where Kristen was sitting.
Kristen sat back against the wall and watched her two horses graze. A flap of wings made the black mare lift her head. Kristen stuck her head out the window, when she decided nothing was wrong, she called gently to her horse:
"Ebony, it's okay, girl." Kristen's words hushed the horse and Ebony went back to eating.
Kristen stayed by the window most of the night, but eventually, pulled herself back into bed.

The next morning when Kristen woke up, she pulled on her boots and went down for breakfast. Her mother and father were already up. Her mother had milked the cow, and her father was reading the paper.
Kristen's brother came out.
"What was with that horse of yours last night? It got startled by the wings of an owl."
Kristen's brother didn't understand about the true beauty of horses the way Kristen did. He was constantly teasing her about the way she talked to them.
But Kristen knew something that her brother didn't. She knew the spirit of the horses, and the depth of the land. Kristen had a love of nature that most people wouldn't understand.
After eating her breakfast, Kristen went out and called over her two fine horses. Ebony stood tall and strong, like a mountain in the middle of the night.
And Ridge stood protectively beside Ebony.
Kristen stroked Ebony's muzzle gently. The softness was like stroking black silk. Kristen left the gate and went into her little shed. She got out the brushes and went into the horse enclosure. Kristen's friend, Keira, was coming over on that day, and Kristen wanted to her horses to be ready to ride.
She groomed Ebony first, as Keira was to be riding her. The brush glided over Ebony's already silky smooth coat, and the sun danced twice as brightly on her radient ivory.
Ridge wasn't as easy to brush, his coat was denser and he molted a lot. But Kristen didn't mind, Ridge was her prize winning Stallion, and she loved him.

Kristen stayed with her wonderful friends until Keira arrived. They saddled the horses together, and set off along one of the trails. The sun was glittering through the trees, and the leaves were causing shadows on the horses necks. There wasn't a cloud in the sky, and the temperature was perfect.
Keira was sitting perfectly in Ebony's saddle, and Kristen was riding slightly a head on Ridge. The two of them headed to the river.
At the river, Kristen turned to Keira.
"I often find Opals on the bottom of this river." Kristen said.
"Oh, I'd love to find one." Keira answered. Kristen smiled at her and reached down. She picked up and handful of stones and sorted through them. She recovered four opals. She passed one to Keira. Keira smiled.
"Kristen, I need to tell you something." Keira said. Kristen looked up to the face of her best friend. "I'm moving to Adelaide." Keira whispered, barely loud enough for Kristen to hear. "This is the last time I will see you, for quite a long tome." Kristen could see that Keira was now close to tears.
Kristen could feel tears burning in her eyes. She went over to her best friend.
"You can't move. I need you." Kristen said. It was true, both girls would break without the other.
"We can write letters." Keira answered.
"But it won't be the same." Kristen uttered. Both girls embraced, and they cried into each others necks.

The two girls stayed at the river for a long time. It was sunset by the time they headed home. They didn't want to leave each other's side. They had, after all, been friends since they were born.
When the girls got home, they unsaddled, and set the horses loose. They put feed out and headed into the house. Keira's parents were there, ready to drive the three of them to Adelaide. Keira and Kristen embraced for the last time, then Keira left her birthplace of Clair Valley.

It was a warm night in the Clair Valley, a 15 year old girl was laying awake in her bed, she was grieving over her friend that had just moved so far away from her.
She had had a long day, but didn't want to sleep. Although Kristen had her prize horses, they could never make up for the loss of her closest friend.
Kristen rolled onto her left side and touched the opal she'd picked up earlier that day. Memories of riding with Keira flooded through her mind. The tears fell wet and heavy onto her pillow.
Things at Ebony Ridge wouldn't be the same without Keira.

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