The Horse Philosophy

The Horse Philosophy

A Story by ElizabethAmBurns

One girl applies the rule that horses make everything better to every aspect of her day.


Mrs Scniff paused, her hands hovering above the ivory piano keys. “Becka…” she said threateningly, “You’re hoarse.”

Becka couldn’t help but picture herself as a prize-winning horse, complete with blonde mane and neighing to a cheering crowd. She giggled.

“It’s not funny missy.” She spun on her stool and squinted at the small girl who chose that moment to carefully examine the woman’s shelf of shiny awards. “What have you been doing?”

What Becka had been doing was screaming at her parents until 3am to let her have a pony which they had unfairly not yielded to on the basis that there was nowhere to keep it in middleclass suburbia.

“I was practicing a lot last night.” She lied. “I might have overdone it.” She added truthfully.

Mrs Schniff scrutinized her, then promptly gave up and returned to hitting the middle C. Becka sang as close to it as she could but her heart just wasn’t in it. She looked wistfully out the window at the kids playing on the road. They appeared to have salvaged whatever sports equipment they could find and were playing the old-school favourite ‘Whack It’ with a baseball bat, three wickets and a basketball.

Ignoring her obvious disability, Schniff led her through scales and into the first song of the syllabus. However, a music teacher is a finely tuned instrument for perfection. She survived two run-throughs with whispers and squeaks but she cracked when Becka started singing off-key.

"Can we do something about horses?" she pleaded in the despairing silence that followed.

"Why on earth should we do that?" Scniff asked icily as she tried to implode her with a single look.

"Because horses make everything better!" she declared brightly. "It's my new philosphy." she added when Schniff continued to just stare at her.

"Just get out."

Becka ran gladly into the street, plugging in her headphones and blaring “When Horsepower Meant What it Said” by Sandi Thom.

She bounced along the path, mouthing the words. 

It was a good day. The sun was warm on her back and there was a light breeze to play with her hair.

“…how easily forgotten…” she mouthed.

In front of her the kid with the basball bat swung with all his might, sending the basketball bouncing a full metre down the street and into an alley.

“…how easily we’re led…” sang the iPod.

Excited, he ran after it, throwing the bat aside as he hit the footpath.

“…how hard the path is trodden…”

As Becka passed them one of the boys cried something to the others. The kids scattered, dragging the wickets with them.

“…from when horsepower meant what it said…”

Up ahead the baseball bat rolled into the middle of the road.

“I’ve got a hundred horses…”

She watched a car pass and veer around the bat. The driver turned to yell at the kids for cluttering up his road.

“…hidden in between my wheels…”

Out of the alley ran the boy with the basketball, right in front of the car.

“…But I cant put my foot down…”

The driver turned in time to slam his foot on the brake.

“…and jump the fences in the field…”

The car kept sliding straight into the frozen kid, knocking him flat.

Her headphones fell out as she ran towards the accident. The screams of scared children filled her ears, competing with the blare of the stuck horn. She skidded around to the front of the car and stood back.

From under the bonnet the little boy crawled out, still clutching his basketball.

She looked from the boy to the driver fighting his airbag. She opened the man's passenger door. He looked up at her hopefully.

Becka took it upon herself at this moment to share the great wisdom of her current philosophy.

“Get a horse!” she advised and bounced away without a second glance.

© 2013 ElizabethAmBurns

Author's Note

Story written from the keywords 'horse', 'key' and 'baseball'.

My Review

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I wish I knew how to write with dialogue and in-the-moment kind of action; cool story.

Posted 5 Years Ago

Haha.. Awesome story based on only those words. You have such a creative mind :)

Posted 5 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on February 22, 2013
Last Updated on August 12, 2013
Tags: horse, hoarse, key, piano, keys, baseball, basketball, cricket, kids, car, run, over, accident, music, lessons, teacher, instrument



Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Wants to be the author of a sci-fi classic. Instead, is the author of Zombiism and Other Lies, so going to try her hand at fantasy next. Now on twitter at more..

Cold Cold

A Story by ElizabethAmBurns