FC: Written & Illustrated by: Riley Stenehjem Purple Penguin Press 2010 | The Blue Ribbon
1: The Blue Ribbon Written & Illustrated by Riley Stenehjem Purple Penguin Press 2010
2: Ella rolled in her wheelchair over to the window, and looked across the road at the big barn. Her sister, Allie, was sitting under the big tree in the yard of the farm. A white fence made a circle, and horses walked around inside it. Ella sighed. “Ella, come do your lessons!” Mrs. Daniels, Ella’s mom, called from the other room. Ella wished she could be a normal kid who could walk and ride horses and go to school, instead of being home schooled. She was stuck inside on a Saturday, doing math! Ella listened to her mother, and added the numbers in her book for an hour. | She loved horses, and would go visit the neighbor's horses when her mom let her go. Ella’s dream was to ride a horse in the annual horse show at the fair grounds and win a blue ribbon. No one knew this but Allie.
3: Ella was very happy. Allie had convinced their parents to let Ella ride a horse! She even had a horse to ride! Miss Elliot, the owner of the horse farm across the road, agreed to let Ella use her horse. The next day was Sunday, and on Monday Ella would ride a horse for the first time ever. | Mrs. Daniels and Miss Elliot lifted Ella from her chair and placed her on the saddle. Mrs. Daniels was very nervous. She was afraid Ella would fall and hurt herself more. Miss Elliot walked beside Ella and Jane. She held a rope that was connected to the pony's halter. Ella liked the way Jane walked. It felt like Ella was walking too! Round and round the ring they went, for a whole hour. Miss Elliot told Ella to hold these things called reins. She said they told the horse what way to go. She even let Ella ride without the rope attached to Jane. Finally the hour ended, and Ella had to get back in her wheel chair. | Monday finally came. Miss Elliot stood outside the ring, a black pony standing next to her. “This is Jane. I use her for all the first time children.” Miss Elliot introduced the pony to Mrs. Daniels and Ella. “Hi, Jane!” Ella said to the pony, reaching up from her chair to rub Jane’s neck.
5: Ella thought that maybe she could ride in the horse show! It was two months away from the show. She couldn't wait to ask Miss Elliot. Ella told Allie her plans. One day, when school had ended for summer, Allie went with Ella instead of one of their parents. Ella asked Miss Elliot if she could ride in the horse show. “I will have to talk to your mom and dad But I think you can ride Marco in the show.” Miss Elliot answered. That meant Ella would get to ride a different horse than Jane! “Oh, thank you, Miss Elliot!” she said. Ella rode very well for the rest of the lesson. She decided that she would ask her parents, that day at dinner.“ Mom, Dad, I want to ask you something.” Ella said at the dinner table. “What is it, Ella?” Mr. Daniels asked. “Well, I want to ride one of Miss Elliot's horses in the horse show this year.” Ella replied. Mrs. Daniels looked at Mr. Daniels. "Well..." Mr. Daniels said. "Ella, we think you should try." Mrs. Daniels finished.“Thank you! Thank you!” Ella said. She wished she could jump for joy.
6: Ella was going to Miss Elliot’s every other day. She was riding Marco now. Her legs were much stronger from riding. She knew that the blue ribbon could be hers. But the other kids who took lessons with Miss Elliot didn't think so. Actually, they were being mean and rude to Ella. One boy named James taunted Ella every time he saw her. She wished that he and all the other mean kids would leave her alone. But Ella knew everyone thought she couldn't do it. So Ella worked even harder.
7: It was the day before Ella showed. She was at the fairgrounds, preparing for her show. Ella was nervous that kids would be mean to her, like the ones at Miss Elliot's. "Is that your horse? He's beautiful!" a girl about Ella's age asked. "No, he belongs to the Elliot Farm. But I'm riding him!" Ella replied. "How? I mean, because you can't walk..." the girl said. "I can ride. It's just someone has to lift me onto the horse. I'm Ella, by the way." Ella answered. "Oh! I'm Kasey, I'll be showing in walk trot." the girl said. "Me too!" Ella told Kasey. Ella had made a friend, so she was a little less nervous. But now it was the next day, and just minutes before Ella showed! The announcer called for her class to come to the ring. Miss Elliot and Allie helped Ella onto Marco, and walked with her to the ring.
8: Ella rode around the ring, listening closely to the announcer's instructions. "Walk, trot, stop, turn your horses, back up, now trot, walk... " Finally he said to line your horses up in the center of the ring. Ella positioned Marco next to Kasey's horse, and waited for something to happen. "Now get off your horses." the judge said. Ella felt strong, all of a sudden, and dismounted Marco and stood. Her wheel chair was behind her, Allie had arranged it with the judge so Ella could have her chair. The announcer read the results. James, the mean boy from Miss Elliot's, got third place, and Kasey got second. "In first place is Ella Daniels with her horse, Marco!" the announcer said. Ella fell back into her chair, she was so excited. The judge gave her the blue ribbon, and the horses exited the ring. Ella led Marco, and the judge pushed Ella in her chair. Ella knew she could do it. All she had to do was believe in herself. THE END
9: Riley Stenehjem lives in Cambridge Springs, and is in 7th grade at Cambridge Springs High School. She enjoys riding horses. and playing volleyball & softball. Riley is twelve years old and lives with her parents. She has two sisters, one brother, two horses, one cat, and two dogs.