Willa looked at her brother, Ben. “It’s Chipper,” she whispered. “You want to do it?”
Ben looked at the bucket above the door. The bucket was half full of water. A string was tied to its handle. The string was in Ben’s hand. He had been using it to play with New Cat.
Ben chewed his lip. Chipper Starling was his new best friend. Ben and Willa had lived on Chincoteague Island for only a few weeks. Ben thought for a few seconds and nodded at Willa.
“Yeah, we’re here, Chipper. Come on in.” Willa was at the back of the barn, out of the way.
As soon as Chipper poked his head in the tall double doors, Ben gave a yank. It could not have worked better. The water fell on Chipper, the bucket fell on the ground, and laughter filled the air.
“Got you back,” Ben said.
“That was a good one.” Chipper wrung out his shirt. New Cat, who also got wet, was licking the unwanted water from her fur.
“Nice job!” Willa gave Ben a high five. Chipper did the same.
Willa smiled when she saw the two boys laughing. She was glad her brother had found a friend who shared his sense of humor. Even better, Chipper had a sister. His sister was the same age as Willa, and she loved horses and other animals. How lucky could Willa get?
Kristin Earhart is the author of many books for young readers, among them titles in the Stablemates, Big Apple Barn, and Magic School Bus chapter book series. A former children’s book editor, she lives with her husband and son in Brooklyn, New York.
Serena Geddes has been illustrating children’s books since 2009. She has illustrated the Lulu Bell books and has also worked for Walt Disney Animation Australia on sequels to The Lion King, Peter Pan Return to Neverland, Lady and the Tramp, and The Jungle Book.