“You can’t have two best friends,” Cob Colt said.
“You have to pick between us,” Sorrel said.
Pinto shook his spotted head. “I like both of you. You’re both my best friends.”
The three young horses cropped grass in the warm meadow until their bellies were full. Cob Colt twitched his black tail and looked around at the older horses. It was all very well to eat until you were full, but then what could you do? He thought it would be fun to splatter through the mud puddle and swim in the brook. But that wouldn’t take all day. What else could he do? He thought and thought, but he couldn’t think of anything else to do.
Sorrel twitched her red-brown ears. She heard birds singing in the walnut tree in the middle of the meadow. She stopped chewing and watched the birds chase each other in and out of the branches. We could do that, she thought. We could play tag and hide behind the older horses. She knew that that would be fun, but it would not be a whole day of fun. What else could she do? She thought and thought, but she couldn’t think of anything else to do.
Pinto looked along the fence. Near the driveway was a pile of raked leaves and windfall apples. Windfall apples were sweet and juicy to eat, but Pinto wasn’t hungry—he had just filled his belly with grass. He needed to play before he got hungry again. His mind was so full of windfall apples, though, that he couldn’t think of a game to play.
Cob Colt thought, I can prove I am Pinto’s best friend.I’ll tell him my idea. He’ll like it so much that I’ll be his best friend. So Cob Colt told Pinto, “Let’s splatter through the mud puddle and swim in the brook.”
“That’s a great idea!” Pinto exclaimed.
Cob Colt shook his black mane and waggled his black tail happily. “I’m Pinto’s best friend,” he said. “I thought of what to do.”
Sorrel wasn’t happy at first, but she followed Pinto and Cob Colt to the mud puddles. When she began to splatter mud, she had to admit that Cob Colt’s idea was a good one.
Soon the three horses were covered in mud, then clean again after swimming in the brook.
“Now what shall we do?” Cob Colt asked.
“I’m hungry now,” Pinto said. “Let’s go eat the windfall apples by the fence.”
The three horses galloped across the meadow and feasted on the sweet, juicy apples until they were full. But the day was not yet over. The sun still shone brightly. What could they do now?
Sorrel remembered her idea. “Why don’t we play tag and hide behind the bigger, older horses?”
Sorrel stood behind the walnut tree while the others hid in the meadow. She counted slowly to twenty-five. Then she began to look. It was hard to find a little horse hiding behind a big one. You had to creep around the meadow quietly until you came up right behind them.
Cob Colt wasn’t happy at first, but he ran behind Old Gray. It was hard to stand perfectly still. If the big horse moved, he had to move with it, and that was lots of fun. He had to admit that Sorrel’s idea was a good one.
Pinto, Cob Colt, and Sorrel played tag until the sun set.
“This has been a wonderful day,” Cob Colt said. “I liked playing tag and eating windfall apples.”
“I liked splattering mud and eating windfall apples,” Sorrel said.
“Now do you understand?” Pinto asked them. “We had three good things to do today.”
Cob Colt nodded. “If Sorrel wasn’t here, we would only have splattered mud and eaten. We would have been bored all afternoon.”
Sorrel said, “And if Cob Colt wasn’t here, we would only have eaten and played tag. We would have been bored all morning.”
“That’s why I’m glad I have two best friends,” Pinto said.
Pinto, Cob Colt, and Sorrel ate their dinner under the stars. Each of them was glad that on the next day, there would be two best friends to share it with.