Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Story of Thanksgiving

Here's a little bonus story for you. It's actually a short excerpt from my longer book, "Cowgirl Cassie" but it seemed to be appropriate for a Thanksgiving post. Hope you enjoy it!

#1: The Missing Child

“Here, catch Cassie!” Conner’s voice jerked Cassie out of her daydreams and she nearly fell off her precarious perch on the top rail of the corral’s fence. She regained her balance before turning to her brother.

“No Conner, you know I’m terrible at playing football. Besides, I’m very busy right now.” She said stiffly.

Conner looked dubious. “You’re just sitting there. How is that busy?”

Cassie started to smile, but caught herself in time and frowned. “I was deciding when to clean Lightening’s stall and just concluded to do so next.”

“That’s just an excuse.” Conner rolled his eyes. “You forget that I was there when Dad asked you to clean it yesterday. I helped take out the last wheelbarrow, remember?”

Cassie groaned inwardly. She had forgotten that. Her excuses were running out. She made one last attempt. “I’ve got school to do…”

Conner gave her a look. “It’s the middle of summer.” He stated flatly.

“Alright, alright,” Cassie sighed, “You win. But I’ll only play if you let me be quarter back. I’m better at throwing, although that’s not saying much.”

“Done. It’s a deal!” Conner’s eyes lit up with excitement and made Cassie suddenly glad she had agreed to play. She jumped off the fence and joined her brother in a game of catch.


Mrs. White watched the antics of her two oldest children from the kitchen window. A faint smile danced around the corners of her lips and her hand went to her ever growing belly. Only a few more months…

Clara bounced into the kitchen and up to her mother. “Hi Mama! Can I go out and help Daddy with his horsey’s?”

Mrs. White smoothed back her youngest daughter’s wild curls. “Yes you may, but find one of your older siblings to go with you into the barn, and be very careful. Mama has to wash some dishes before starting on dinner.”

“Yes Mama! Thank you!” Clara bounced back out of the room again, her curls falling back over her face. With another maternal smile, Mrs. White went back to her dishes.


An hour later, Cassie and Conner dashed into the house, breathless from their play.

Mrs. White emerged from the kitchen, wiping her soapy hands on a towel. “Cassie? I need your help with dinner.”

Cassie pulled her boots off. “Ok. I’ll be right there.”

“Thanks for playing with me, however grudgingly.” Conner said, turning to his sister with a grateful smile.

“Sure.” Cassie grinned teasingly. “Don’t expect it every day. Today you merely caught me without a worthy excuse!”

Conner laughed. “I’ll figure out how to do that more often!” He exclaimed.

“Don’t even think about it!” Cassie replied, giving her brother a playful slap on across his shoulder.

“Cassie?” Mrs. White called again.

Cassie quickly hung her jacket up on the nearest coat peg and ran into the kitchen. “I’m right here Mom.” She said.

Mrs. White wiped a hand across her forehead, leaving a streak of flour behind. “Cassie, could you finish this recipe? I think I need to sit down.”

Cassie nodded. “Are you ok?” Cassie asked, with concern in her voice.

Mrs. White nodded, sitting down heavily in her rocking chair. “I’m fine; I just needed to sit down after washing all those dishes. I’m not as strong as I’m used to being. Please finish making dinner for me. You can ask one of your brothers to help you, but Charlie is doing a job for your father right now. Conner could help though.”

Cassie snorted. “I think I’ll do it on my own. Conner would probably eat faster than I can prepare!”

Mrs. White smiled, but her thoughts strayed to her youngest daughter, Clara. She had been gone a long time. “Cassie? Do you know if Clara made it safely out to her father?”

“Clara?” Cassie looked confused. “I haven’t seen Clara all afternoon.”

Mrs. White felt a twinge of worry. “Ask Conner to get Charlie and find out if he went with her out to the barn.”

Cassie gave her mother a quick nod and went from the kitchen. A moment later the loud clanging of the ranch’s meal bell was heard from the front porch. Cassie appeared in the kitchen again at the same time.

“We asked Dad and Charlie and the ranch hands about Clara and none of them have seen her.” Cassie reported.

Mrs. White put a hand on her forehead. “Send your father in here; I need to talk to him.”

Cassie disappeared again, and when she came back, Mr. White was close behind her. He sat down next to his wife, a worried frown creasing his brow. “What’s all this about Clara missing?”

“Caleb,” Mrs. White sighed and pushed the wisps of hair that escaped her bun away from her face. “I told Clara about an hour and a half ago that she could go and watch you train your horses as long as she went with an older sibling. She left as soon as I finished telling her, and now she’s gone and none of us have seen her since. I’m worried.”

Mr. White put a comforting arm around his wife’s shoulders. “Of course you are. I am too. I’ll get all the hands together, as well as our two boys and we’ll start a search next.”

“Thank you.” Mrs. White smiled wanly at her husband. “Be safe.”

“Of course we will.” Mr. White replied, smiling reassuringly as he left the room.

Mrs. White heard him call their boys and the hands together, telling them where to search and which directions to go.

Cassie walked back into the kitchen, a worried frown on her face. “Is Clara lost?” She asked.

“Yes.” Mrs. White nodded. “Cassie, let’s pray.” Obediently, she came and sat next to her mother.

Mrs. White bowed her head over her folded hands. “Heavenly Father, You know where my precious Clara is right now. I pray that You would keep her safe, and that you would lead my husband to where she is. All these things I pray in Your Name, Amen.”

“Amen!” Clara echoed. She glanced up at her mother’s pale face and silently added a prayer of her own. God, help me be strong for my Mom. As soon as she stood up again, Cassie turned to her mother. “Mom, can I help look for Clara too?”

“Go ahead honey,” Mrs. White sighed wearily. “But stay with your father.”

“Yes ma’am!” Cassie exclaimed, bouncing towards the door. Once there she pulled on her boots and ran outside.

She found her two brothers and father searching the loft of their hay barn, so she followed them up the ladder.

After a few minutes, Conner stood up, covered in hay. Cassie would have laughed at his appearance in any other circumstance, but right now nothing seemed funny, she just wanted her little sister back, safe and sound.

“She can’t be here.” Conner said softly. “Otherwise we would have found her by now.”

Charlie, Cassie, and their father had to agree. Cassie looked up at her father anxiously. “Dad, can I take Charlie and search the horse barn?” She asked.

Her father nodded. “Stick together.”

“Yes sir!” they both exclaimed at once. Soon both of them were running towards the barn where they kept most of the ranch horses. Just inside the barn, Cassie and Charlie skidded to a stop and took several deep breaths.

“Let’s go to Lightening’s stall first.” Cassie said, not wanting to pass up any chance to be near her beloved horse.

The stallion saw them coming and put his head out of his stall, whinnying a welcome to Cassie.

“Hey, Lightening,” Cassie crooned. “How are you doing, boy?”

Lightening nuzzled her affectionately.

“You’re talking to your horse?” Charlie asked.

“Yes.” Cassie said, smiling and rubbing Lightening’s favorite spot fondly. “I always talk to him, don’t I Lightening?” Lightening bobbed his head as if he understood and was answering her. “You haven’t seen my little sister, have you?” She continued.

“Oh brother, here she goes again.” Charlie muttered darkly under his breath.

To both their surprise, Lightening bobbed his head.

“You have?” Charlie asked, suddenly forgetting that people shouldn’t talk to horses as if they were human.

Lightening bobbed his head again.

“Show me.” Cassie commanded.

Obediently, Lightening moved over in his stall. There, on the ground and fast asleep, lay Clara, her arms around one of Lightening’s hooves.

“I bet you’re glad you’ve cleaned his stall recently.” Charlie grinned his relief.

“Oh I am!” Cassie was finally able to gasp out. “We need to let Mom and Dad know she’s ok!”

“I’ll run and tell them.” Charlie volunteered.

“I’ll carry her into the house.” Cassie replied.

As soon as Charlie had taken off on a run towards the house, Cassie slipped inside her horse’s stall. “Thanks so much for keeping her safe.” Cassie whispered to him, placing a loving kiss on Lightening’s soft muzzle.

Stooping down, Cassie picked the sleeping girl up off the ground and carried her into the house.


You can hardly imagine what great rejoicings happened in the White’s home that night. Everyone was relieved that Clara was back safe, and she was cuddled and scolded periodically throughout the evening.

However, Lightening was not forgotten. He was given carrots, apples, and oats alongside his regular meal as a thank you from the White’s.

Mrs. White said with tears of relief in her eyes, “It’s always funny how God can answer our prayers in ways we would never dream of. Think of Him using a horse to keep our little Clara safe!”

Cassie merely smiled and hugged her beloved horse. "I'm not surprised that you helped." She whispered.

Well, the White family certainly had a lot to be thankful for, didn't they? Remember, God answers your prayers, but He doesn't always answer them the way you think He will.

God bless you all!


  1. This is the first story I've gotten to read on here for a long time. I enjoyed it. :)

    1. Yay! I'm so glad! I thought it might be a little difficult to figure out who was who because I took the section from a longer book, so I'm glad the story made sense to you! :)

    2. It was a bit harder knowing how old the children are, but it wasn't too bad. :) If you try a small part of a longer book or story another time, you might want to mention, either in the story, or before the story starts, how old the children are. :) It just might make things a bit easier for your readers. :)

    3. Oh...good idea. Cassie is 16, Connor is 14, Charlie is 10, and Clara is 6. :)


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