Once upon a time, there was a thirteen year old girl named Jenn, who thought the world of herself. She was a skilled horseback rider, but would try to put down anyone in her class who she thought was competition. She lived with her baby sister, father, mother, and grandmother in Ohio. Jenn had hazel eyes and light brown hair.
Jenn's classes were on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday evenings. She would normally ride a blood bay fourteen year old horse named Afro. Her class could groom, saddle, and bridle a horse in less than fifteen minutes.
Now this particular horse barn had a rule that if you completed more than three classes, you had to help out in a beginners class every Monday evening. Jenn would often scare the beginners with her tales of unruly horses. Some of the horses in the barn, such as Rue, Acorn, Snowflake, Lady and Hacre, were off limits to most of the riders, especially the beginners.
One Saturday evening, Jenn’s mom was checking her emails when she got a message on her phone. It was from her daughter's coach, informing her that the Monday beginners class had been switched with the Wednesday advanced class. When her mother told Jenn she could hardly contain herself. She felt all grown up with the advanced horses. This would be her chance to shine!
On Monday morning, she gobbled down her breakfast and left in a hurry for school. Jenn had never been more anxious for school to end than that day, as she sat at her desk waiting for the bell to ring. Once school was finished, she ran home and got ready for riding.
On the way there, she thought I feel bad for the riders, they’re probably so scared about which horses they have. Too bad they are probably not as good with horses as I am. But Jenn, caught up in all her excitement, didn’t realize that she wouldn’t be helping the advanced riders, instead she would be watching and observing them from the arena.
Jenn was rather disappointed when she got there. It's not fair that I can't take part, she thought, especially since I'm already the best rider! She could only watch. Once the advanced riders (Melissa, Amna, Alice, and Andrea) were finished bridling their horses, they all went into the barn to ride.
Everything was going well, until Acorn had trouble trotting. Acorn's rider Melissa called out for help, and a rather impatient and excited Jenn came running. She didn’t hear her coach Brittany calling her to come back to the middle of the arena.
Jenn didn’t know that Acorn was territorial; she took his halter and tried pushing him into a trot, but Acorn had other ideas. He pushed Jenn to the floor forcefully and stood up on his hind legs, while Melissa was thrown off her horse. Brittany came running to calm Acorn down as another girl helped Melissa to her feet. She glared at Jenn as she brushed dirt from her shirt and pants. She had bruises and a bloody lip from the fall.
Jenn rushed out of the arena, meeting many glares on her way out. She ran out of the barn, filled with shame because she felt responsible for Melissa’s fall. She phoned her mom, asking her to come pick her up right away. She peeked through the barn window just in time to see Melissa leading Acorn into his stall - she suspected that she was shaken after what had happened. Just then, her mom's car pulled up, and she hopped in and they left.
That night, Jenn couldn’t sleep. She thought about the events of the day, and for once, she felt sorry for someone else other than herself. The next morning, she felt uneasy knowing that her riding class was coming up. She tried to make things go as slowly as possible, but finally school ended and she got home and ready for riding.
As soon as she stepped into the barn, she started grooming and saddling Afro, but everyone in her class was unusually nervous and awkward around her, even her best friend Caitlyn. She suspected that Brittany had told them something. Jenn felt a little awkward and nervous as she led Afro into the Arena.
The lesson went surprisingly well, and that evening as Jenn stepped into the kitchen a delicious aroma filled the air. Sure enough, sitting on the counter were a fresh batch of homemade cookies. Then she went into her living room where her grandmother was watching a documentary. I’ll tell grandma, she thought, she’ll understand and tell me what to do. So she told her grandma everything that had happened.
Jenn's grandmother listened very carefully, nodding and shaking her head. Her grandma knew she was not the humblest of girls, so she told her what she should do. ”Just say you are sorry,” she said simply, "and remember that there is always opportunity for learning more, so we must keep humble and not think we know everything!" Jenn’s heart was light as she walked out of the living room. She knew what she had to do.
At her class on Thursday, she asked Brittany for Melissa’s address. The next day after school, she baked a batch of cookies and took them over to Melissa’s house. She rang the bell, and Melissa’s brother Cory answered the door. "Hi," he said.
"Hi," she replied, "Is Melissa here?"
“Melissaaaaa! One of your friends is here!”called Cory. “Who?” called Melissa from her room, as she came down the stairs. When she saw Jenn, she frowned and thought, She’s not my friend!
“Hi,”said Jenn. ”Hello”, said Melissa coldly. Jenn finally apologized, although it took a few minutes for Melissa to realize that Jenn was actually sorry and not just poking fun at her. Jenn had to be brave and humble at the same time in order to apologize.
After she had accepted Jenn's apology, Melissa asked Jenn if they wanted to be friends - after all, Melissa was 14 years old, and only one year older than Jenn anyway. So they became very close friends, and soon forgot they had never been in the first place. Jenn learned alot from Melissa, and realized you can always learn more, no matter how good you think you are.