Oliver snuggled close to his pony friend Disa. What a great week he’d had with his people, Morag and Callum.

On Monday, Oliver helped Morag learn to clean his feet. His tiny hooves were just the right size for her little hands. When Morag dropped the hoof pick he was so careful not to step on her.

On Tuesday, Callum learned to braid Oliver’s mane.  When Callum pulled a little too tight putting in those rainbow coloured ribbons Oliver stayed so still!

On Wednesday, both children rode Oliver.  Morag wore her princess dress and Callum tried sitting sideways. But Oliver walked quietly beside the farmer who led them all.

Oliver’s favourite days were when the children played with him. Morag brought friends to visit and Callum sang him songs.  Oliver loved their hugs the best. The children reached up on their tip toes and wrapped their arms around his neck. “We love you soooo much Oliver” they whispered into his fuzzy ears, “You are the bestest pony in the world.”

Oliver closed his eyes and drifted off to pony dreamland. He, Morag and Callum were just right together. He was 82 and a half centimetres tall and they were three and five years old.  Perfect for each other in every way.

One day, after more perfect weeks than he could count, Oliver was happily snoozing near the barn. Hearing a new voice coming out of the farmhouse he opened one eye. Ooh goody, a new friend. Oliver opened up the other eye too, I wonder what we’ll do today?

“Who’s that baby horse?” The new voice was loud. “We can’t ride that, it’s tiny, and I want to go fast!”  Oliver wrinkled his nose.

Morag and her friend came round the corner and Oliver looked up at them. When did Morag get so tall?

“That’s Oliver,” Morag shuffled her feet, “and he’s not a baby”.  She looked up at her new friend. “But that’s OK, we can ride Disa”.

“Cool” the new voice droned and the girls walked away.

Oliver let his head hang low. When did everyone else get so big?  He was still just 82 and a half centimeters tall. Come to think of it, when had Molly or Callum last ridden him? Or cleaned out his feet? Oliver shook his head. His mane was all tangled now and he’d lost those rainbow ribbons long ago.

While he’d stayed small everyone else had been growing up. Maybe he wasn’t the bestest pony in the world anymore?

Oliver was little but he was smart, and after a few days he had a plan.  He trotted across the field, tail up behind him like a banner.  He could make Callum and Morag love him again.

Day after day, week after week, while the other ponies napped in the shelter, Oliver ran up and down the field. If his people wanted fast ponies he needed to practice.

“Race you to the water trough!”

Disa blinked through the cloud of dust Oliver had stirred up in her face.  What was up with that little guy?

The next time he heard that unfamiliar loud voice, Oliver was ready.

“Disa, Finnegan!”  Oliver heard the call long before the other ponies and he was off!

Run Oliver, run!

Standing at the fence the girls’ eyes grew big and wide. The whole herd was running in with Oliver right at the front, while Disa had only just woken up.

The thunder of hooves behind him just made Oliver’s little legs run all the faster.  He felt 82 and a half metres tall today!  Racing round the final corner, he just knew everyone would love him now.  The whole farm would tell him he was the bestest pony in the world!

But just then the air move beside him. Finnegan, with his long neck and even longer legs, sailed past and ran straight up to Morag’s friend.

“Wow” the voice exclaimed, “let’s ride this one today!”

Oliver didn’t bother going to the gate. What was the point? Finnegan was twice as tall as him, he could never run that fast.  Turning back to the shelter, he didn’t see Morag send her friend away and run into the barn for Callum.

Head down, Oliver started walking slowly away. Time to face facts. He would never be good enough.

But then what was that noise? Twitching his little ears Oliver heard two sets of feet coming his way. Oliver turned his head and there were Morag and Callum. Were those tears in Morag’s eyes?

The children crouched down and showered Oliver’s little face with gentle kisses.  “We love you sooo much Oliver” they whispered into his fuzzy ears, “and we always will.”

Oliver closed his eyes, feeling his peoples’ long arms holding him.  He may not be the biggest, the fastest, or the bestest pony in the world, whatever that meant. But now he knew. He, Morag and Callum would always be ‘just right’ for each other, no matter how tall they got.

Oliver sighed, long and deep. Boy, did he need a good long nap!

If you’d like to have a fully illustrated pdf and/ or paper copy of this book, let me know in the comments below!

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