Rescue on the River

The pounding of the herd’s hooves could have been heard for miles. Olivia, Emma, Sophia, Charlotte, Mia and the other wranglers headed the herd towards the wide, deep river. When the herd reached the river, they plunged into the crisp water and began swimming towards the other side, and the town where the girls lived. Then, Olivia, fifteen and the oldest of the five girls, heard someone shouting for help.

“Help! Help! Daisy is drowning! Someone, please help!!

Olivia whirled Sage, her sturdy, small, and stubborn mustang around, and stared for a split second at the scene unfolding in front of her before giving Sage a low whistle and leaning forward in the big roping saddle.

“Come on, Sage. Come on girl, we have to get to Daisy!”

Levi, her thirteen-year-old brother, had been keeping a close eye on Daisy, a two-month-old mustang filly. Daisy had been closely following her mother, Dahlia, in the long, hard gallop from the peaceful meadow where the wranglers had surrounded the herd. But when Dahlia plunged into the wide river, Daisy and Dahlia had been separated. When the little filly realized she didn’t have her dam (her mother), she became terrified, and had plunged into the deep water before she noticed she couldn’t swim in the deep, fast-moving current. Now, as the girls and Levi looked on, horrified, Daisy’s head went under one, two, three times!

“She’s not going to make it!” Mia cried.

“Oh, yes she is!” Olivia shouted, already dismounting, and, with experienced hands, undoing the rope girth that held the heavy roping saddle on Sage.

“What are you doing?”  Charlotte said with a touch of unbelief in her voice.

“The current is really strong. This heavy saddle won’t do anything except weigh Sage down,” Olivia answered, finally shoving the saddle off Sage’s right side and jumping on the left.

“Here, you might need this,” Levi said, finally coming to his senses and tossing her a long lasso. Catching the rope, Olivia quickly tied a loop in one end and put it around Sage’s thick neck.

“Pray. Please.”

“Of course we will. Now hurry!!!”

“Come on, Sage, we can do this, little girl,” Olivia whispered into the pony’s ear. Sage stood on the bank of the river, snorting, muscles tensed, ready to plunge into the swift current at her human friend’s cue. Olivia wrapped her fingers around a handful of Sage’s thick mane, whistled, and nudged Sage with her heels. Sage leapt into the river, bravely fighting the swift current. As Sage’s sturdy, strong legs propelled them forward, Olivia crouched over Sage’s thick neck, oblivious to everything except Daisy’s small head going under, popping back up as the determined little filly fought for her life, oblivious to her friends cheering her on, oblivious to the huge tree hurtling down the river. Olivia didn’t notice the mass of branches until it was too late. The giant tree swept by, a big branch catching Sage’s bridle strap and jerking her roughly under the water.

“Sage! No!” Olivia shouted, as Sage was pulled under a second time.

God, please help us

Realizing that Sage, strong as she was, didn’t stand a chance against the combined force of the water and the huge tree, she quickly slid her hand down along Sage’s neck and felt around for the bridle strap. When she felt it, she loosened the buckle and carefully pulled it off Sage’s head. Now that she was loose, Sage shook her head and swam back into the current. Now that she didn’t have a bridle, Olivia knew she would have to rely on voice commands to communicate to her pony.

“Haw, Sage!” Olivia had trained her pony to respond to voice commands as well as with a bridle.  Sage obediently turned left, heading upstream. The river was rapidly sweeping Daisy towards Sage and Olivia. Olivia leaned forward, slipped the lasso off of Sage’s neck, and widened the noose. She hoisted her slim, athletic body up so that she was crouching with her feet firmly planted on Sage’s wide, sturdy back. She had to hurry! Daisy was being swept down the river, thrashing wildly and calling loudly for her mother, who at this point was frantically galloping back and forth on the opposite side of the river. As the river carried Daisy towards the place where the girl and horse treaded the fast-moving water, Olivia sucked in the crisp air, said a quick prayer, stood up on Sage’s back, and threw the carefully coiled rope.

“Oh no. I missed!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Oh God, help me!!! Please!!

Olivia rapidly pulled the rope back in, re-coiled it, and tossed it as hard as she could. This time the rope snagged on Daisy’s neck!!!

“YES!!!! I made it! Thank you, God!!”

Urging the tired pony beneath her, Olivia and Sage swam downstream until they were parallel with Daisy. Olivia reached down and tugged the limp little body up and over Sage’s heaving withers (shoulders).

“Come on, Sage. Come on, girl. You’re doing great. Almost there!”

Swimming toward the opposite shore, Olivia and Sage realized with relief that all the other wranglers were waiting on the other side. They had already made it across! As Sage dragged her exhausted body up and out of the water, she collapsed onto the sandy shore, Olivia right next to her.

“You did it!!!”

“Are you okay?”

“You and Sage did GREAT!!!!!”

“That was like something out of a movie or something!”

“That was INCREDIBLE!!!”

“We were praying the WHOLE time!!”

“Wow, Olivia. That was… amazing. You saved Daisy’s life!! Thank you so much,” Mia said admiringly, giving the tired hero a great big hug. Joining in on the hug, Olivia’s friends prayed,

“And thank you God for protecting Daisy and our best friend, Olivia!”

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Rescue on the River

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