Danny came into the house, slamming the door behind him, his face and hands dirty, holes in the knees of his jeans, and something that couldn't quite be deciphered staining his T-shirt. A strand of his brown hair kept falling over his left eye. But his freckled cheeks were rosy from playing outside, and his eyes sparkled with anticipation. His mother looked at him and sighed. How could a child, who was neatly attired in clean clothes, with hair combed when he left the house, come home in such a state?

"Mom? Can I have a pony for Christmas? It would really be neat, to have a pony. I could be a real cowboy."

"Danny, go into the bathroom and wash your face and hands. It is almost time for dinner. Grandpa and Grandma are coming in a few moments."

"But Mom...."
"No but Mom. Now go wash up, and it wouldn't hurt to put on clean jeans and a clean shirt. Combing your hair would be a good idea too."

Danny trudged into the bathroom to do her bidding. "It sure is hard to be a boy. Boys aren't supposed to be clean," he thought.

Later, after Grandpa and Grandma had come, with Grandma hugging him and Grandpa tussling his hair, they all sat down to dinner. All kept quiet while Dad said Grace. Then happy chatter began, as they ate the dinner Mom had prepared. Danny thought this might be a good time to again bring up the subject of a pony, while Grandma and Grandpa were here. They often sided with him.

"Mom. Dad, do you think if I wrote a really nice letter to Santa, he might bring me a pony for Christmas?"

His older sister Lila giggled. Danny looked at her with disgust. Girls giggled at everything.

"Danny," his Dad began. "We don't have room for a pony. This is the city and they aren't allowed here."

"Aw! That's not fair. Maybe we could move to a ranch."
Again Lila giggled.

"Danny, moving to a ranch isn't practical. This is where your Father works," his mother answered.

"Grandpa....Grandma.....please can you talk Mom and Dad into letting me have a pony?"

Grandpa stuffed a spoonful of mashed potatoes into his mouth to keep from laughing. Grandma hedged. She hated to refuse her only grandson anything. "We'll see what we can do." She said, not looking at his parents. Danny took this as a yes and quit pestering everyone.

As Christmas approached, nearer and nearer, he became excited with anticipation. He was sure he would get a pony. His parents tried to warn him, that no pony was coming. But he wasn't listening. He just knew he would get one. Then, Christmas morning came, and he dressed quickly, running outside to find his pony. His little heart was crushed when no pony could be found. Disappointed, he came back into the house. Breakfast was served, and Danny, Lila, Mom and Dad went into the living room to check out the tree and gifts. Just then, a knock on the door. Lila went to the door and let in Grandpa and Grandma. When they all sat in the living room, presents were distributed.

Danny had to admit the remote control car was almost as good as a pony. At least it wasn't underclothes, like his friend Jeffery got every year from his grandparents. And then, a long long gift, wrapped in colorful paper with a red ribbon, was brought to him. He happily tore off the wrappings.

There in front of his eyes was a stick with a pony's head, and with reins. When you touched one ear, it whinnied. Everything else was forgotten. Danny had got his pony. He spent the rest of the day galloping his pony in and out of the house. His Christmas was complete.



By Sharon (Sunyskys1943@aol.com)

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