Chapter 1

Mac stepped out on the front porch.  The air was filled with the rich aroma of spring flowers in bloom.  She smiled as she saw the gardenia’s her mother had planted by the front walkway.  They were loaded with white blossoms and the little bees were very busy as they hovered over one flower and then buzzed to the next.  She breathed in deeply and stretched, enjoying the warmth of the day.

She walked along the front porch and descended the stairs at the side.  Mac gasped in surprise as she rounded the corner and caught sight of the corral.

“Oh, my!”, she exclaimed.

There, trotting around the corral was a young mustang mare.  Her black coat glistened in the morning sunlight.  She had a brilliant white tail.  The bottoms of her four legs were white too.  But the amazing thing was there was a streak of white running through her coat.  It started at the top of the mare’s head, zigzagged across her shoulder and down her side.

Mac said to herself, “I already know your name.”  “Your name is Lightning!”

When the beautiful mustang saw Mac standing there staring towards her.  She reared up and waved her forelegs in the air.  It was like the mare was saying, “Welcome.”

With a rush, Mac ran toward the corral fence.  She climbed up on the first rail of the fence, leaning over the top rail.  She began to clap her hands excitedly.

Just then, Mr. Reynolds came out of the stable, wiping his hands on the front of his leather apron.  He beamed a big smile when he saw his daughter leaning over the fence rail.  “She’s a beauty.”, Mac’s dad said as he walked up to her.

“Oh, Daddy”, Mac gushed “she is amazing!”  “How did you get her?"

Mr. Reynolds explained that Mr. Franks, from the farm in Millville, had asked Mr. Reynolds if he could take care of Lightning while his barn was being repaired.  When Mac heard her dad say, “Lightning”, she shouted, “I knew it!”  “The instant I saw her, I said to myself, her name is Lightning.”

“Oh really”, teased Mr. Reynolds.  “If you had heard the sound of her hooves running, you would say her name was Thunder.”  “If you saw her running, you would say her name was Tornado.”  “But, you are right, her name is Lightning.”

“So, we don’t get to keep her?” Mac asked.

“I'm afraid not.”, replied her dad.  “We are only keeping her until Mr. Frank’s barn is fixed.”

Mac wanted to be sad, but she couldn’t.  When she saw Lightning prancing around the corral she just had to laugh.  “Well”, she said, “I am glad we get to keep her for a little while.”

Mr. Reynolds stuck his hand in the pocket of his leather apron.  “Watch this”, he said as he pulled out two carrots.  He handed one of the carrots to Mac.

When Lightning caught sight of the delicious treats, she trotted over and nosed Mr. Roberts hand.  She gingerly nibbled the carrot and in a second it was gone.

“Now you try, Mac.”

Mac held up the carrot and watched intently has Lightning nibbled the carrot, her lips brushing across Mac’s fingers as she ate.

“That is so cool!”, Mac whispered.

About that time, Dahlia Roberts came out on the back porch and called out to them.  “Clyde, Mac, time to eat”

Mr. Reynolds said, “Come on, Mac.  You can visit Lightning again later.”

Mac reluctantly turned and headed for the bathroom to wash up for dinner.  She suddenly realized that she was starving!