Children's Chapter Books

Children's Chapter Books
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Casey loved her horse. She was given her horse on her 10th birthday. He was beautiful. His coat was a reddish brown, except for white near his hooves, called socks, and a white spot on his strong forehead. He had a dark brown, almost black, mane and tail. She loved to rub his nose and feel his soft lips nibbling out of her hand.

She named him Galahad because she had read that name in a book about a valiant knight who sat at King Arthur’s round table. Casey loved to ride him and they traveled together over her parents' land. Jumping low walls or fences and galloping as fast as possible were thrills for both of them.

Casey visited Galahad in his stall every day, bringing him treats or just staying to talk. She confided in him with all her secrets, and he listened patiently. He loved the sound of her voice. He whinnied softly at her approach, recognizing her step before he saw her. Sometimes she would try to sneak up on him, but he was always alert for her. He would stomp lightly when he saw she had with her his saddle blanket. He knew they would soon be out galloping through the fields. He loved his mistress, Casey. He loved taking her for rides and listening to her talk.

Galahad got along well with all the people in his life and all the  other animals. He lived in a stable that had two other horses. All  of the stalls had the horses' names above the door. He remembered the day he watched little Casey paint his name on the plaque that her father then nailed above his door. Galahad liked his stall because it was his space. He knew he would always have clean straw, fresh water, and good oats to eat.

There were other animals on the property as well: cows, dogs,  cats, chickens, mice, birds, and a few snakes. Besides taking Casey for rides, Galahad had other duties, or jobs, as well. Some days, he would be attached to wagons to pull. Other times, he would be attached to chains and ropes in order to pull out stubborn tree stumps. No matter what the job was, Galahad got it done.

He was a strong horse. Horse breeds are grouped into three categories: hot blood, cold blood, or warm blood. Hot blood horses are the fast, race horses which are strong and have great endurance. Cold blood, such as draft horses, are big and powerful and suited for hard heavy work. Warm bloods are a combination and are great for lighter work and riding. They are also better around children. Galahad was a warm blood. He was a good runner and also able to do light work.

Horses are measured by a man’s hand width. A normal man’s hand is 4 inches wide. So, the horse is measured by how many hands it takes from the hoof to the withers. Withers are where the back meets the neck. So, for example: 18 hands would be 72 inches or 6 feet (18x4= 72).  

Galahad was 17 hands, or 68 inches, making him a little over 5 ½ feet tall to the withers, then his head was above that. His coat was sleek, and he was all muscle. Horses are herbivores and need 15-24 pounds of food a day and 10 gallons of water. Horses have small stomachs, so they need to graze all through the day. Galahad had oats in the morning and evening and was put into the pasture to graze during the day.

His groom, the person to take care of him, was named Daniel. Daniel was a wonderful and caring groom. He took pride in his work and loved the horses in his care. Galahad had other visitors besides Casey and Daniel. Casey’s parents also came by to see the horses. Dogs and cats were also in and out of the stable.

The other horses and the dogs and cats liked Galahad and loved to hear about his adventures with Casey. It wasn’t an odd thing to see the stable filled with animals. The people were not sure what the draw was, but the animals knew it was Galahad. He was so kind to them and peaceful. Chickens didn’t run out of his path because they knew he would not hurt them. Mice came to his stall, and he shared his oats. He told them to hide when the cats were close by. All the animals trusted him.

One night, when Daniel went out to fetch some more water for the horses, something frightening happened. Daniel, before he left, had set the lantern on the rail by where they kept the saddles, blankets, bridles, ropes, and such. As usual, there were a few dogs and cats about. The cats got frisky and were chasing each other around the stable.

Galahad had just told them to be careful, when two of them leapt up on the rail and collided with each other, knocking the lantern to the ground. It broke on impact and caught some hay on fire! The other horses stomped their hooves and yelled at the cats. Galahad knew he needed to get help! He took a deep breath and whinnied very loudly over and over again. Daniel heard Galahad and came rushing back. He got there just in time to put the fire out before it got out of hand. After cleaning up the mess, Daniel rubbed Galahad’s nose and told him thank you. He said he knew it was Galahad who had whinnied and he was glad he could count on him to alert them to danger.

A few days after the fire, Casey came in to take Galahad out for a run. They had so much fun galloping. Casey loved to feel the wind in her hair, and Galahad loved to gallop. When they got to the wooded part of the property, they slowed and made their way to her favorite tree. Casey loved to climb trees. Galahad got close to the tree so Casey could use his back to reach one of the limbs. She climbed as high as she could, then sat down and looked around. She loved to look at the wide open fields and sing songs. Galahad munched on grass and listened to her sweet voice.

Nearby, there was a field where a snake was sunning itself. A hawk, seeing the snake, swooped down and grabbed it in its talons. The hawk had found lunch. 

The snake was not having it! It wiggled and wiggled and slipped out of the hawks talons. It landed around Casey’s neck! She jerked, reached up to grab it, and slipped off the branch! She fell and landed hard on the ground. She didn’t move! Galahad trotted over and licked her face. He whinnied and nudged her. When Casey didn’t respond, he raced back to the stable. There he found Daniel and whinnied and stomped his hooves. Then, he went over and nudged Daniel with his head. Daniel, realizing there was trouble, jumped on Galahad and said, “Okay boy, show me.”

Galahad raced back to where Casey was. Daniel lifted her unto Galahad’s back and climbed up behind her. Galahad raced back to the house.

Casey had broken her arm and had a concussion. A Concussion is a brain injury that can cause unconsciousness, which is a deep sleep and  being unaware. Casey’s parents were so glad Galahad had been a dependable, quick thinking, and loving horse. Galahad received extra oats and a good rub down from Daniel that night. He also got an apple from Casey’s dad and two sugar cubes from Casey’s mom as a thank you. When Daniel was rubbing Galahad down, he whispered, “Galahad you are the most dependable, kind, and loving horse I have ever had the privilege of knowing.”

Galahad and Casey continued to be great friends. She knew that no matter what happened, Galahad would be there for her.

This was a story of a horse that was dependable. Do you know of someone who is very dependable? Someone who will always be there, who is always ready to help? That is being dependable. It is a very good trait to have. Wouldn’t it be great if you were known as dependable? I want people to think of me as dependable. The Lord wants us to be dependable. He wants us to be a person that others can rely on. God is the most dependable. What He says, He will do. What he has promised, He will do. He never leaves us. He says so, many times in His word. One of the places is Hebrews 13:5b For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” God wants us to rely on Him. Isaiah 50:10b Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely upon his God. We can trust in the Lord because he loves us and will never leave us. He is dependable. Isn’t it wonderful? We need to be more Like Him and be dependable too. When you say you are going to do something, then you need to do it. People need to be able to trust you and take you at your word. We all need to work at being more dependable.

Memorize: Hebrews 13:5b For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”   

Verses in NKJV unless otherwise stated. 

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