Girls Horse Club Blog

Wild Hearts

Published by • May 8th, 2011 • Category: Competitions & Giveaways, Fiction

Story by Wildmustanglove, age 11 | Illustration by XDDXDD, age 11

1st Place - Girls Horse Club Every Picture Tells a Story ContestTaylor Lawson yawned, wondering what she should write. She was sitting at her desk in her room staring down at a blank notebook. At school two days before, the teacher had given the whole class an essay assignment that had to be done in one week, and Taylor had NO idea what to write about. She closed her notebook and gave up for the day; she had to go outside and do ranch chores, and she wanted to still have enough time for a ride.

She rushed outside  and fed and watered the horses, groomed the horses, mucked the stalls, watered and dug up the weeds from the roses, raked the leaves in front of the house, swept the porch and stacked hay, etc., then rushed in to ask her dad permission to go on a ride. Usually Taylor would not take the risk of asking and just ride out into the hills, on her own will, but last time she did that she got into trouble. Taylor was 14 years old, and just about as free spirited as any wild horse on the Nevada lands.

Taylor was rushing in to ask her dad, Roy Lawson, if she could go riding. She found him nowhere in sight. She rushed outside the back door and slid to a stop as she saw him lying on the ground next to the barn. Now she remembered! He said he was going out to do some work on the barn roof. Taylor had told him to be careful up there, in a joking way, but she didn’t really think he would fall.

Taylor gasped, “Daddy!” She ran and fell down beside him. “Dad, are you ok?” she said choking back tears as he was not responding. Taylor was so scared. Her mom had died when she was six and now it was just her and her dad. She couldn’t bear the thought of losing him .

Taylor rushed in and dialed 911. An officer answered and she rushed to explain. “My dad, he fell off the roof of our barn and I think he is seriously injured. He’s unconscious and our barn roof is a long fall down!”

“Where are you located?” the officer asked hurriedly. Taylor explained their location.

“That is pretty far out, but we will get there as soon as possible. But we can’t make any promises about how his condition will be once we arrive,”  the officer replied.

Taylor gulped knowing what that meant.

“But we will do all we can.”

“OK thanks,” Taylor said and the officer hung up.

Taylor rushed outside to her dad’s side, and made sure he was still breathing. Relieved that he was, she tried to stay calm. It looked like he had fallen and landed face down and hit his head on the hard desert floor.

One hour later the paramedics arrived and were carrying him into the ambulance. One of the officers walked up to Taylor. “Are you the daughter of Roy Lawson?”


“Your father took a very bad fall and is in very bad condition. There is a chance your father will come out of unconsciousness, but if he doesn’t, there is nothing more we can do.” He put his hand on Taylor’s shoulder. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I will have to ask you to go pack some clothes and things, cause you’re going to be coming to the hospital with us, and we will have someone come here and take care of the horses,” the officer said, then walked away.

Taylor didn’t want to leave the horses and her ranch, especially Promise, her own horse, but being with her father was far more important. She rushed into her room so she could let her tears out. She was in shock — she couldn’t believe this was happening on a day she expected to be just another day.

She grabbed her posters and decorations off the wall and threw them across the room. She picked up a picture of her dad off her desk. “Daddy, don’t leave me!” she said in tears, and laid her face down on her bed crying. Her phone started ringing, but she blankly ignored it.

After a half hour her dad was already at the hospital by now. The officer was waiting for her. She grabbed her stuff and rushed outside. She was too much in shock to care that she had left him waiting for so long. Instead she just walked outside and straight towards his car, ignoring all the sympathetic looks he was giving her.

She was quiet the whole long drive there, then once they got there the officer opened the door for her and she hopped out, rushing into the hospital and to his bed. The officer led the way, and they left her alone with him. “Daddy? Daddy please answer me!” Taylor’s voice was breaking up. ” Daddy, please don’t leave me!”

She felt her dad squeeze her hand as if he was telling her that he loved her, even though he was still unsconcious. It was a moment of magic. It felt as if he was hugging her close to him and telling her how much he loved her, then all of a sudden the hospital monitor went blank and lines went straight. “No!!!!” Taylor screamed and grabbed her dad’s hand again. “DADDY, NOOO!!!!!”

The nurse came in and saw that her dad had died. She was teary eyed as she looked at Taylor. “Daddy, no, please wake up!!!” Taylor was screaming and crying at the same time. The nurse was trying to take her away. “No, get away from me!” Taylor screamed at her and clung to the side of her dad’s bed.

The nurse ran out to get an officer to help. The officer was stronger than Taylor and he picked her up around her waist and carried her out of the room.”No!!! Daddy noo, daddy!!!! No!” She hit the officer trying to make him release her, but he had a strong grip. Taylor’s eyes wouldn’t leave her dad until they were out of sight. Next thing Taylor knew she was in the officer’s car on the way to who knows where.

* * * * * * * * * *

They stopped at the ranch and Taylor was horrified to see people leading her horses into a trailer. “Yeah, just find them good homes,” she overheard the lady saying.

“Promise!” Taylor said. Realizing what was happening, she jumped out of the car. “No, what makes you think you can take my horse?”

“They’re under our custody now. Don’t worry though, we will find them good homes sweetie,” the lady replied.

“No!” she screamed as the trailer engine started. “No you can’t do this!” She ran after the trailer until the police caught up to her and grabbed her and pushed her down to the ground.

“We’re gonna need you to cooperate,” one officer said. “I know it’s hard, but this isn’t making it any easier.”

* * * * * * * * * *

The next day Taylor woke up in a fresh smelling bed in some kind of place. She had no idea where she was. She looked out the window and it looked like she was on a farm, then a lady walked into her bedroom and she was surprised to see her aunt, Miranda. She had long black hair and light blue eyes, and she could see her uncle James in the background, sitting at the kitchen table.

“Good morning sweetie,” she said sitting at her bed. “We’re so sorry about what happened.” She hugged Taylor. “I know you loved your father and he loved you,” she said looking into Taylor’s eyes. “We’re having bacon and eggs for breakfast,” she said then rubbed Taylor’s back. “It will be ready whenever you are.” Then she got up and walked out of the room.

Taylor remembered her school essay, but surely she wouldn’t be going back to school anytime soon. But Taylor knew she would still have to write it so that when she did go back to school she could turn it in.

Taylor cried, still in shock from the day before, then when her eyes were all dried up she got up and got dressed and walked out of the room.

“Your breakfast is ready at your place at the table,” Aunt Miranda said.

“I’m not hungry,” Taylor replied. James and Miranda exchanged worried glances.

“Well then, why don’t you go outside and say hi to all of the horses,” Aunt Miranda said cheerfully.

Taylor nodded, then walked outside and ran down the steps and towards the barn. She walked into the barn and saw all the beautiful horse faces peeking out of their stalls. Then she couldn’t bear it any longer. She ran away from the barn and ran up a hill until she got to the top. She laid on her back crying, looking up at the clear blue sky. She missed her dad, and she also missed Promise and the other horses. She felt as if her life had tumbled down all at once.”Daddy,” she whispered and she closed her eyes, imagining he was there with her.

Taylor suddenly sat up at the sound of a horse’s shrieking neigh. She looked down and saw the most beautiful buckskin horse ever, strong willed and powerful all on its own, fighting the people around it . Taylor’s first impression of it was that it reminded her of herself.

She walked inside, hearing the horse neighing behind her and she asked her aunt what horse that was.

“Both her parents just died, and she is only one year old. She has lived with them all her life, so she is going ballistic, and no one has ever tamed her, so she is sort of a rescue. But if it doesn’t work out I’m afraid that mustang is going to the BLM.”

“No!” Taylor gasped, then she realized something. “A mustang?”


Taylor was looking out the window at it. They had so much in common.

She walked into her room, still saddened by her dad’s death,  so sad she couldn’t even keep her mind on the horse. She spent the next few weeks in her room, not willing to see anyone or go anywhere. She just wanted to be alone.

She was laying on her bed listening to her mp3 player when her uncle and aunt both walked in, determined. “Taylor!” her aunt said. “This needs to stop now! We both know you loved your dad, but right now you’re going against him!”

“What?” Taylor would never do anything to go against him. She loved and missed him so much.

“You and I both know that your dad wouldn’t want you to keep sulking around, consumed in your sadness. What happened isn’t gonna change Taylor! I know that you can get past the hurt knowing that your dad would want you to be happy. You can say you love your dad and I know you do, but really show it too.”

Taylor had tears streaming down her cheeks. She knew that her aunt was right. She knew it was time to move on. “I-I JUST don’t understand why this had to happen.” Taylor cried as she was talking.

Her aunt hugged her tight. “Some things just happen, and you can’t control it, but you can control what you do about it.” Taylor cried while her aunt was holding her. She was getting it all out. It was time to move on.

* * * * * * * * * *

The next day, it had been one month since her dad had died. She got up, got dressed and had breakfast, then went outside. She saw that beautiful mustang and headed toward the corral where the stable hands were working on training it in. She stood on the fence and watched. They hit it with whips and tried to make it behave.

“Hey!” Taylor shrieked. All three of the gruff men looked at her and she gulped, but then she went on. “That isn’t the kind of treatment that horse needs,” she said.

“We all have our own opinions, ” the biggest one said, then nodded a hello nod and kept going. They didn’t get it. What that horse needed was for someone to tell it it was okay, and for someone to understand how it felt.

Taylor wasn’t going to stand for it any longer. This reminded her of the history of wild horses, and how the people were wrong. Then she suddenly thought of something! That could be the topic of her school essay!

Taylor turned her attention back on the horse. The horse neighed out of pain as they slashed the whip down once more. Taylor wanted to yell at those stable hands, but instead she walked back inside and sat at the table. If they weren’t going to listen then she was going to take it into her own hands.

That night Taylor waited till everyone was asleep, then snuck out of the house with a few apples. She ran to the corral and stood up on the fence. The horse started running back and forth, waiting for a whip to come flying out of nowhere, but Taylor soothed it. “It’s okay, I’m not gonna hurt you. I understand you, and I want to help. I had a situation just like you. I understand what it’s like. Please just trust me.”

The horse was standing calmly now, as if it was listening to every word. She set an apple on the fence.

“I brought this for you,” she said softly, then reached her hand out.

The horse shied at first, but Taylor stayed calm, looking into the horse’s eyes and seeing its true beauty, until she finally felt a soft muzzle sniff her hand after it had eaten the apple. Taylor smiled and said quietly, “I love you. I’ll see you again as soon as I can.” The horse’s eyes followed her away and she smiled to herself. This was all working out as planned!

The next morning she was so tired from staying up so late the night before, but she still dragged herself up and to her desk to start her story “Wild horses and the west.”

She wrote all of her essay that morning. Her mind was wide open thinking about all that happened. She wrote it all down and was ready for the day after tomorrow, when she would start going back to school. And she would turn her essay in.

Taylor looked out the window and saw the beautiful horse. She walked out into the living room and sat down on the couch. Then her Aunt Miranda walked in. “Hey hon. Your uncle,  the stable hands and I are going to the rodeo. You coming?”

“I’m not coming today.” Taylor tried not to sound suspicious.

Aunt Miranda looked surprised. ” Oh, are you feeling ok?”

“Yeah, I feel fine, I’m just tired.”

“Well, get some rest then. We will be about two hours. Bye sweetie.”


Taylor watched out the window until they were gone, then rushed outside. She was going to train that horse and build trust with it… and nobody could stop her!

She walked up to the corral and smiled. “Hey, girl, you know you can trust me.”

The mustang perked its ears as if it remembered her.

Taylor smiled. “You remember me, don’t you Derora?” Taylor had decided to call the mustang Derora, which in Spanish means free.

She decided to take a giant leap of faith and go into the corral with the wild horse. She stepped in and the horse shied. She knew what she had to do… join up.

She went into the barn and grabbed a rope so she could hold it behind the horse and hit the ground with it to make Derora keep going. She came into the corral slowly and got Derora going in circles and circles around her.

An hour had passed. Taylor decided to sing while she was joining up. “Oh , let’s run wild and free, bareback and careless in motion.” Taylor felt as though magic was happening between her and Derora. “You’re all that I’ll ever need. You’re giving me the reason to keep believing,” she whispered to the horse.

Then the horse turned its right ear towards her and then made chewing sounds towards her. She turned around slowly and waited until she felt the horse beside her, and then walked around as the horse followed her. She stopped and smiled. She pressed her forehead against Derora’s and smiled and hugged Derora. “I love you, our bond will never break.” She couldn’t bear to leave her, but she had to, they would be home any time!!!

Derora whinnied after her and Taylor smiled and silently promised Derora she would be back soon. Taylor was proud of herself . If she had done it the forceful way then that horse would have taken tons of time to tame , and it would have only been tamed out of fear, but instead she did it the speaking from the heart way, and communicated with Derora the way no one else could. She loved that horse more than any other horse she had ever had. There was just something special about them. They were both free spirits.

Thirty minutes passed, then her aunt Miranda, uncle James and the stable hands got home. Taylor always wondered why uncle James hardly ever talked; it was probably a cowboy thing, cause you could see in his eyes he had a tender, loving heart. Taylor walked outside to greet them, and at the sight of Taylor, Derora rushed to the corral fence neighing and sticking her head out. Taylor hoped no one noticed.

“Hi everyone,” Taylor said.

“Hi, did you get some rest?” Aunt Miranda said.

“Yeah,” Taylor lied.

Aunt Miranda heard Derora’s neigh from behind them and she turned to the stable hands.

“Why don’t you guys go see if you can get anywhere with that horse? If not, you know what we have to do,” Aunt Miranda told them. Taylor turned suddenly.

“What’s wrong?” Aunt Miranda asked.

“What’s gonna happen to that mustang if-? Never mind.” No matter what Taylor said, it wasn’t going to change anything.

“Taylor, I told you that horse is dangerous — you better not have been around it.” Aunt Miranda seemed suspicious and Taylor knew she shouldn’t have said a word.

Then Uncle James finally said something. “No, don’t go near that horse. I don’t want you to get hurt.”

Taylor said something, that wasn’t a direct lie, that would make them think she wasn’t seeing the horse. “I would never put myself in danger,” Taylor said.

“Ok. We are not accusing you of anything honey, just making sure.” Aunt Miranda looked less worried.

Taylor walked into her bedroom and closed the door behind her once she got inside. She wasn’t exactly sure what to do. She heard a scream and ran outside. One of the three stable hands, Timothy, was on the ground now struggling to get up.

“What happened?” Taylor heard James ask Aunt Miranda.

“The mustang, it kicked him in the back. You know that could have been the head. We’ve made a decision. I’m just gonna call up the-”

Taylor couldn’t hear anything after that, and they were starting to come her way so she ran the other direction not wanting them to know she was listening in.

She ran into her room and shut the door. What could they have been saying?? She had a pretty good idea and she had to do something quick!! She was so tired now though and figured she had better deal with it in the morning.

Taylor finally fell asleep and fell into a deep sleep. “No!” Taylor was screaming, but it was coming out in a neigh. She was a horse!!! She was being led into a trailer, and she was looking for someone. She was looking for herself! Now she got it — she was Derora. She was waiting for Taylor. “NO!” Taylor screamed as she woke up, her hair was messy and her face was sweaty.

She heard people outside talking and decided to go outside. She walked outside and heard people talking, but she didn’t see anyone. They must be in the front, so she decided to go see how Derora was doing. She smiled and stepped up on the fence, but her smile turned to a frown when she saw that Derora was missing. She heard a loud neigh outside, and realized what was going on. This explained her dream.

She ran around the house and saw Derora was in a trailer. “No!!!” Taylor screamed. Tears were streaming down her eyes, she had never felt worse than this since her dad died. Aunt Miranda and Uncle James both gave her surprised looks. Taylor couldn’t keep it a secret anymore. “No , you can’t take her, she’s mine. I tamed her.” Taylor tried not to let the guy leave with her horse.

“I thought I told you not to go in there,” Uncle James said.

But Taylor didn’t care. “You don’t get it, Derora and I are the same. She’s scared, she wants to be able to see around her. Let her out!” Taylor was clinging to the trailer. “She’s everything I am.”

Aunt Miranda had sympathy and tears in her eyes. Taylor’s blond, wavy hair was wild in her face, and she was determined. She couldn’t let Derora go. Uncle James made his decision. “Take the horse,” he said, “and hurry up.”

“No.” Taylor ran and took a short cut trying to get to the path before the trailer did.

“Taylor, stop,” Uncle James said.

Taylor tripped on a stick and by the time she got up the trailer had passed. She ran and ran until the trailer was out of sight. “NOOO.” Taylor stopped and put her face in her hands. She looked back and saw Aunt Miranda looking down at the ground like she didn’t quite agree with Uncle James, but Taylor could tell she was disappointed in her.

Taylor didn’t care. She looked the other way and stood there, then she finally got tired and walked back to her bedroom. As she passed by, they both looked at her like they didn’t know what to say.

Taylor was ready to turn in her essay the next day. The day passed quick and before Taylor knew it she was on her way to school, with her essay in her hand. She got there and dropped it in the slot, then went to class.

The teacher took the essay and read it:

The Horse in History

The wild horses were there first. They were with their people and followed them everywhere they went. Wherever a settler left a footprint there was a hoof print beside it. More people came and they didn’t agree with their ways, so those people moved on with their horses. Some of the horses got away in the west while they were traveling and passed on their genes.

Then settlers came to stake their claim with their cattle and they claimed that the horses would restrict their land and starve their cattle, so that’s when the horrible mustang slaughter started. Lucky for us today, people have stood up for the horses, so they don’t get slaughtered as much. We need to keep in mind that horses have hearts too, and lots of times their hearts heal ours.

Taylor had just written a short but meaningful essay. That day passed by quick and Taylor was on her way home. She didn’t know what to expect from her aunt and uncle.

She got out of the bus and was walking slowly towards the house when she saw her aunt and uncle standing there with Derora.

“Derora!” Taylor came running and hugged her horse. “ I love you,” she whispered, and she couldn’t stop hugging Derora.

Then Uncle James spoke up, “I’m not proud of your untrustworthiness. I do understand, but you will be grounded.”

“OK.” Taylor didn’t even care.

“How did you guys get her back?”

“We called up the guy, and worked some things out.”

“Thank you guys so much.” She hugged them both and they hugged her back. Then she turned to Derora. “Wanna go running?”


WILD HEARTS is an entry in the Every Picture Tells a Story contest, where authors create a short story inspired by image submissions, then readers vote for the winning collaboration. Click here to learn more »

11 Nickers »

  1. Beautiful!!! Bravo! This is a great story. ☺☻

  2. WOW!!!
    This story was amazing! It made me cry. Keep on writing, you are amazing at it!

  3. Nice story! =) I can’t beleive those police officers shoved her to the ground! Those people had no right to sell the horses!! I like the little suspense you give the story. Sort of reminds me of the movie “All Roads Lead Home”. If you’ve never heard of it, its a champion horse story!


  4. Thanks so much everyone:)! Yeah i have seen that movie all roads lead home, it is really good!!:) I love giving my story’s entertainment:o glad you enjoyed it:)

  5. It was sad but very good. Well written. Although they couldn’t have took the horses since they were taylors. that be stealing. and I’d be so mad if they ever took my horse. But very good. hope to see more stories

  6. I would consider this a twist on Flicka-and I loved it!

    A few more descriptive details might have helped but just the ideas of the story alone were quite enough to make the it great.

    Beautiful job.

  7. yea it reminded me of flicka too

  8. Thanks:) flicka is my favorite movie, i watch it all the time !:) Maybe that is why my story relate’s with it;)

  9. The ending was sweet and felled my heart. But the rest of it was sad. it made me cried. But i loved it. Good Job!!

  10. dramatic and inspiring !
    very well written.
    kept my interest through the entire story.
    Great ending!
    Keep up the wonderful writing! :)

  11. Published on my Birthday! Only noticed now ;)
    Nice story!!