Lightening flashed across the night sky. Suddenly, there was a loud bang. Andy sat straight up in bed. His heart felt like it was going to jump out of his chest; it was hammering so hard. He heard the horses panicking. Then he heard a loud splintering sound. He raced out of bed and ran down the hall to his parents’ room.
“Dad!” he shouted, “I think our horses in the corral are loose. After the loud clap of thunder, I heard a really loud noise that sounded like a wood fence breaking. I think we need to go check.”
“Alright, Son,” Andy’s dad said. “Get your boots and rain slicker on and we will go check.”
On their way out of the house, Andy looked out the window. “Hey, Dad, I think we need to hurry,” he said. “I just saw Star unlatch the gate and our horses are on the road now.”
Andy and his dad grabbed their ropes and hurried out of the house. First, they checked on the horses that were in the barn. They seemed a little nervous, but none of them had hurt themselves during the storm.
“Well,” Dad remarked. “Looks like these are the only four left. Choose one so that we can round up the rest.”
Andy picked Stormy, a light grey horse with a black mane and tail. It had four black socks and a star on its forehead. His dad chose Sunny, a palomino with two white socks on its back legs and a white streak called a blaze running down its face.
Meanwhile, Mom called all the neighboring farms. She explained that almost all of their family’s horses broke the corral and they needed help to locate them. Many of the neighbors had the same problem. They thought that since horses like to stay in groups, maybe they had gotten together and they might find them in one location.
Mom ran to the barn. “The neighbors have broken fences, as well,” she said. “They will meet you in the pasture where you can start the roundup.”
Andy thought it was a good thing that Stormy and Sunny had been in the barn. They were the best horses for a roundup. They rode out to the pasture where they met up with the neighbors. Mr. Amcha, a newcomer to the area, was worried about his prize horse named Princess. Princess was a big attraction at his Dude Ranch Resort. People loved to ride in the black buggy she pulled. She was a reddish brown mare with a black mane and tail. He asked Andy’s dad for help to find her.
Andy pulled his dad aside. “Dad, why do we need to help this guy? I mean, he has a funny accent, and he’s not even from around here.”
“Andy, how would you feel if you lost Stormy? Would you want Mr. Amcha to help you find Stormy if it was your horse that was lost? You know in Luke 6:31 it says, ‘Do to others as you would have them do to you.’ Mr. Amcha needs Princess for his business. We need to have compassion on him. He is a brother in the Lord, and we are supposed to be sympathetic and helpful when he has a problem. 1 Peter 3:8 says, ‘Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.’ Sure he has an accent, but that is one of the things that make him special and different. Think about how this world would be if everyone sounded the same and thought the same as everyone else. It would be kind of boring, wouldn’t it, Son?”
Andy was quiet for a moment, then he replied, “Yeah, I guess you’re right. We ought to help him find Princess.”
“Why don’t you ride with him and I will go with the others?” his dad said.
Andy and his dad rode back to the group. They were ready to start searching for the horses. Andy volunteered to ride with Mr. Amcha. They rode through a whole bunch of trees that had low hanging branches. Andy had to duck every little bit so he wouldn’t get knocked off his horse. Finally, they came to a clearing where they saw a really nice ranch. A little red-headed girl was standing out by the house watching them approach. Her eyes were filled with tears.
Mr. Amcha spoke, “Andy, I would like to stop at the ranch to pick up my daughter, Hannala. She will be helpful in finding Princess. When we bought the mare, she took a strong liking to my daughter. If she will come to anyone, she will come to my Hannala.”
Andy agreed, thinking about how he would feel if Stormy was the one missing and he was left home while his dad looked for him. While he was thinking, Hannala swung up behind her father on his big dapple grey horse. Then, they started looking for Princess. When they approached one field that was far, far away from the ranch, they heard a lone horse whinny.
“Papa, I think that’s Princess,” Hannala exclaimed. “Let me down to call her!” Mr. Amcha stopped his horse and Hannala leapt off of the grey horse.
They looked and saw a gorgeous bay mare with a long flowing mane and tail come running across the field and bury its face in Hannala’s arms.
“Wow,” Andy commented. “She’s a real beauty. What breed of horse is she?”
Andy thought Princess was perfect for that job. He was glad that his dad talked him into coming to help find her. When he returned home, all of the horses were back in the repaired corral. It was very early in the morning and soon it would be time to feed all the animals.