When Antonia and her friend, Jalissa, had first spotted the black Arabian stallion, Spirit in his ten-acre paddock, his head was down as he sipped water from the scenic pond near its center. He was standing beneath a willow tree with his faithful gelding, Ambush, by his side. It was like a scene from a movie…so beautiful, so serene. Jalissa felt the moisture in her eyes and cleared her throat, just as Antonia whistled to the stallion.
Spirit’s head shot up at the sound of Antonia’s whistle. He was every bit as stunning as the black stallion from the movie the young women both loved so much. Spirit turned on his heel and galloped toward the two women standing at the fence. Ambush ran behind him. Spirit slowed to a trot and the bay gelding managed to catch up staying at the gallop, and then he too slowed to a trot.
As they both watched Spirit trot toward them with tail held high, Jalissa cleared her throat again and said, “He’s magnificent, Antonia.”
“Thank you, Jalissa,” said Antonia.
“I won’t lie, Antonia. I’m a little jealous,” laughed Jalissa.
“Jalissa, I love you and I would never want you to feel jealous. I want you to share in my joy. I was so happy when my best friend called from New York and told me she was coming to Dallas to start her own law firm,” said Antonia.
“Best friend? Oh, you mean me,” laughed Jalissa.
The two women hugged, both laughing. Spirit snorted, reached over the fence and pressed his lips to Antonia’s head and then Jalissa’s. They broke apart laughing once more and Spirit drew back his head, snorting again.
“See Jalissa, Spirit approves,” said Antonia.
Now Ambush wanted to be part of the celebration too, so he softly nickered and shoved his head toward the women. Spirit stepped aside, ever respectful of the older gelding. Antonia placed both hands on Ambush’s cheeks and kissed him on the nose, “Oh sweet, Ambush, we would never forget you,” she said.
“C’mon Jalissa, let’s go to the house, I want you to meet my protégé, Gina Targoff. And then I have a surprise for you,” said Antonia. She then whistled three short bursts in the direction of the stallion barn and two Anatolian Shepherds appeared from deep inside it. They must have been napping because they stretched their legs for a couple of steps and then came running with tails wagging.
“Meet Ralph and Lauren,” said Antonia.
“Jalissa laughed, “Of course that’s what you named them. Still missing your days in Paris, at Louis Vuitton?” asked Jalissa.
“Those were good days, Jalissa, but this place is my destiny,” answered Jalissa in a serious tone, but still smiling.
The two women looked at each other for a moment and then Antonia, turned and headed toward the house with Ralph, Lauren and Jalissa falling into step beside her.
“Gina,” Antonia called out as she opened the back door leading to the kitchen and she with her entourage in tow stepped in.
“I’m here,” said Gina, stepping around the corner hopping as she pulled on her other boot.
Gina stopped in mid boot pull when Jalissa stepped from behind Antonia. Gina had always thought Antonia was beautiful, but Jalissa was breathtaking and at least ten years younger than Antonia. Her black hair tumbled down past her shoulders in loose waves. Her skin was the color of mahogany and her eyes were emeralds. Her tiny t-shirt which bore the name of Antonia’s fashion label, bigshotcowgirl, exposed the slightest midriff. She wore jeans that accented her hips and a very fit, gluteus maximus. A pair of red leather boots engulfed the lower part of her jeans to finish out the ensemble.
“Hello, Gina. I’m Jalissa Green,” said Jalissa.
Gina managed to regain control of her jaw and said, “Hello, nice to meet you.”
Suddenly, they heard a shrill whinny. Ralph and Lauren ran to the back door, whining and scratching at it. Antonia opened it and the dogs blasted out the door toward the sound. The whinnying continued…more frantic. It was coming from the paddock nearest the front pasture, northwest of the house.
“That’s one of the broodmares!” said Antonia as she bolted toward the gunrack in the hall and grabbed her shotgun. “Let’s go Gina!” she said as she headed out the side door to the garage.
“I’m coming too!” said Jalissa, running out the door behind them and jumping into the back of Antonia’s jeep.
“Gina, you drive!” commanded Antonia as she jumped into the passenger side, shotgun in hand.
The key was already in the ignition, so Gina started the jeep and shot out the back of the open garage.
The tires squealed a little as she put the jeep in drive and peeled out of the driveway. They sped over the cattle guard and then Gina wheeled the jeep a sharp right toward the commotion in the front pasture.
They all gasped. “My god!” said Jalissa.
At the top of the hill, they saw a baby black horse surrounded by three coyotes and her frantic mother, a chestnut, Arabian mare, running along the other side of the paddock fence, screaming. The baby was crying too, but could barely be heard over the mother’s frantic cries. As they sped toward the calamity, they saw Timmy, the golden pony, gallop up and start kicking one of the coyotes and then as if on cue, Ralph and Lauren burst onto the scene. Those coyotes didn’t have a chance. They were outgunned and they knew it. So as if they were connected telepathically, all three of them sped off at once. Ralph and Lauren took off after them, but Timmy was standing with the baby as they arrived at the scene. Antonia jumped from the jeep, shotgun at the ready before Gina brought it to a complete stop. She strode toward Timmy who stood protecting the trembling filly. Mom was still running the fence line whinnying frantically.
Gina and Jalissa were now by Antonia’s side. Gina put her arms around Timmy’s neck, and he nuzzled her while Antonia ran her fingers over the baby, checking for injuries. Finding no injuries, Antonia stroked the baby’s neck and said, “You’re okay, little Sapphire. That was a close call.” Then Antonia called out to the mare, “Rose, your little girl is okay.”
The chestnut mare, continued to trot along the fence, upset that her filly was not by her side.
Gina and Jalissa were now consoling the filly too, as Timmy sauntered off into the pasture, grazing again as if this had all been a normal day in the life of a plucky, little pony.
Antonia stood up and said, “Okay guys, help me herd this little girl back into the paddock and reunite her with mom. There’s a small gate just a little down the fence row, we’ll get her back in through there. Antonia began to coax the filly toward the gate, while Gina and Jalissa brought up the rear, tapping the filly’s rump from time to time. The process wasn’t too difficult because the filly was drawn to her mother’s cries.
As they watched the filly trot toward her mother’s side after encouraging her through the gate, Jalissa said, “She’s beautiful, Antonia.”
“I’m happy you think so, Jalissa. She’s yours. She’s the surprise I was talking about,” said Antonia.
The filly trotted back toward the fence as if to thank them. Jalissa bent down to touch her face and as she was tracing the star on Sapphire’s forehead with her finger she said, “Antonia, this is too much. I can’t accept this gift.”
“She’s not a gift,” laughed Antonia. “You have to work for her. You have to help Gina and me at the ranch, when you’re not too busy with your law firm, of course,” Antonia winked as she said it.
Jalissa stood up, tears in her eyes, and faced Antonia. The two women embraced as Gina looked on. “I love you, Antonia,” said Jalissa.
“I know,” said Antonia.
“Gina, come join this love fest,” said Jalissa, reaching out to her with one arm.
Gina joined their embrace. She shed tears too because she had never felt such love before in her life.
“We three are a team,” said Antonia. “Team Olympic Spirit, in honor of the legacy of our beloved black stallion!”