Author Topic: A Day At The Show (started by Dave)  (Read 2902 times)

Offline Jane

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A Day At The Show (started by Dave)
« on: October 14, 2009, 10:43:18 AM »
Early on Wednesday morning, 15th July, Steve, Ron, Dora and Hazel were in the kitchen eating soft boiled eggs and soldiers prepared, as usual, by Slugger. There was an atmosphere of excitement as all four talked about their full day outing and what they wanted to see and do when they got to the Great Yorkshire Show. The Colonel had offered to pay for their day and a cash bonus each to buy something of their choice as a thank you for all the hard work they had put in a Follyfoot since the new stables were built.

“I will go to see the horses first” said Dora with a beaming smile.

“Surprise, surprise” remarked Ron, who went on to say “I’ll be looking for the beer tent, then the burger stall! After that I’ll go and see how me old mate Harvey Smith is going on in the showjumping competition”, in a joking tone.

“Oh, can I go round with you Ron”, replied Hazel, who also liked the idea of the beer tent and then seeing the well-known ‘V-sign’ Yorkshireman.

Steve said “Well, I know what I’ll be doing… we need a new set of stirrups from one of the saddlery merchants, and if ordered on the day some offer a discount. And I could do with a new pair of riding boots, and isn't it time you had a pair of jodhpurs Hazel? Anyway, it’s time we got the horses ready.”
Hazel said nothing, but had already thought of spending the money on having a good time.

Across country Follyfoot Farm was a little under seven miles from the Harrogate showground. The only tricky bit would be crossing the River Wharfe just north of the farmstead. It had been a dry summer and Steve intended leading the riders across the river after being told a ford had developed where horses could cross safely.

It was just after 7.15am and Steve said “We should be there by about 9 o’clock, The Stables are expecting us.”

The Stables was a place on the south side of the showground where horses, as the name suggested, could be stabled for the day.

As the four riders set off from Follyfoot, Slugger gave them a wave and said “ Don’t you four get up to anything I wouldn’t do now”, with a cheeky grin on his face.

A clear blue sky promised another hot summer’s day in Yorkshire and all were dressed in lightweight clothing, even Steve exposed his arms by wearing a vest top.

It was not long before they had reached the river and Steve proceeded to look for the shallow crossing place he had been told about.


Offline sue

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Re: New fanfic A DAY OUT AT THE SHOW started by Dave
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2009, 08:00:24 AM »
The lack of rain had left the river very low and the ford was soon found. Already it was evident that others had used it to cross to the other side. Not only were there hoof tracks of both horses and deer but also tyre tracks, proof that motor vehicles had unfortunately found their way into the quiet countryside.
Steve led the way, followed by the girls and Ron bringing up the rear. As Steve and Dora emerged on the opposite bank , an engine roar in the distance spooked Hazel’s mount causing it to lose it’s footing sending Hazel slipping out of the saddle and into the shallow river. As Dora caught and calmed the horse, Ron reached down and pulled Hazel up from the river. The friends were watching Hazel with concern, hoping she wasn’t hurt but as she stood ankle deep in the water, Hazel began to giggle then burst out laughing. The others were relieved that Hazel was uninjured and joined in the laughter. Reaching the bank, Ron helped Hazel back on to her horse
“You’ll definitely need to buy those jodhpurs now.” Steve chuckled.
“Yes, I think I will. Yuck.” Hazel pulled a face as she squelch in the saddle. “What on earth was that noise,anyway.” She asked.
“Bloody idiots, by the sound of it.” Steve answered, shaking his head in annoyance.
“Sounded like motorbikes.” Dora said. “Hope they’re not on their on their way to the show as well. Don’t need that kind of trouble there.”
“Hey, not all bikers cause trouble, yer know.” Ron interjected.
“I’m sorry, Ron, of course not.” Dora smiled at him. “Better get going otherwise we’ll never get there. As long as your okay, Hazel?”
“Yeah, I’m fine. Just a bit soggy.”
“Never mind, girl, you’ll soon dry out in this heat.” Ron chivvied his horse on and followed the others along the bridleway.
The four friends continued their journey, still giggling at the sight of Hazel sitting in the middle of the river.

"all you are, and all you mean to me"

Offline Jane

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Re: New fanfic A DAY OUT AT THE SHOW started by Dave
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2009, 02:15:24 PM »
As they trotted towards the showground, Dora felt excitement at the thought of seeing David Broome, Harvey Smith and her favourite Graham Fletcher battle it out in the  
 "C o c k  O’ the North Show jumping Championship." She smiled to herself as she knew Steve was jealous that she fancied Graham Fletcher, the heart throb of the show jumping circuit.

As they approached the South side of the Showground, Steve stiffened when he saw a group of bikers hanging about near the entrance that lead to the stables.

“Damn, that’s all we need.  Hazel, shorten your reins, they’re like washing lines. As Oscar isn’t too good with motorbikes, you’d better tuck in beside me as we go past that lot.” Steve remarked.

“Oh stop fussing Steve, Oscars O.K.” Hazel said and continued to sit like a sack of spuds in the saddle.

As the bikers saw them approach, one long-haired greaser turned to his mate and grinned.  “Time to liven things up” He smirked as he turned the ignition key, kicked down hard on the starter and his bike spluttered into life. The greaser roared with laughter, deliberately twisting the throttle back hard, revving the engine. This was too much for poor old Oscar who reared, spun round and bolted…….

Offline Loopy

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Re: New fanfic A DAY OUT AT THE SHOW started by Dave
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2009, 12:06:09 PM »
The little WRVS tea tent had stood in the same place at the show for years.  It had signs of wear and tear but a panicky horse and rider was just too much for it.  Oscar's hind leg caught on one of the guy ropes as he charged across the showground.  His front leg caught on another and before Hazel could do anything about it the whole tent had collapsed in an unsightly heap on the ground.  There were shrieks and screams from underneath as the canvas covered all within.  

Steve, Ron and Dora sat frozen with their mouths wide open.  Then, when Ron noticed that Hazel had finally brought Oscar to an abrupt halt by the ice cream van, he started sniggering quietly and then laughing loudly.  Dora tried not to laugh but she couldn't help it.  Steve however, didn't share the joke and glared at them before dismounting and running across to help the stewards who were dragging people out from under the collapsed tent.

Luckily nobody was badly hurt but it could have been very different.  The money the Colonel had given them to buy something for themselves was given to the WRVS towards a new tent - it was the least they could do.

Ron and Hazel took the horses to 'The Stables' while Steve and Dora helped set up the teas outside on the grass.  It was lucky the sun was shining.

"I can't believe those pratts on their bikes." said Steve angrily.  "Don't they know how serious that could have been?"  

"They don't care." said Dora.  "The more serious it is, the more fun for them."  Steve sighed.  "Well, they'd better keep out of my way." he said menacingly.

Dora saw how cross he was.  "Come on Steve, let's go and find Ron and Hazel.  We've come here for a bit of fun, let's not let them spoil it, hey?"  

Steve nodded "Ok." he said unconvincingly and they walked off towards The Stables.

As they left one of the bikers had overheard what they had said.    So, he doesn't want us in his way... we'll see about that.  He laughed out loud and went to find his mates.


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Offline Jane

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Re: New fanfic A DAY OUT AT THE SHOW started by Dave
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2009, 05:49:49 PM »
"Come on Dora" Hazel grabbed her arm "I want to go autograph hunting. We might meet you know who!" and she winked at Steve.

"I'd rather look at the horses" Dora replied but seeing Hazels crestfallen face she sighed loudly and said "oh all right then!"

Steve watched them leave, frowning. Ron,who never missed an opportunity to wind him up said " They'll be trying to find that famous showjumping bloke. Now let me see. What's his name? oh yeah! Graham Fletcher, the one the birds all go ga ga over. I bet he'll like giving Dora his autograph, pretty girl like her. I heard he's single and available. She'll only have to bat her eyelids at him and hey presto she'll be the next Mrs Fletcher!

"Shut up Ron!" Steve growled. "You always talk rubbish"

Oh yeah? Well just look over there then mate. Talking rubbish am I?"

Steve followed his gaze to see Dora and Hazel talking to a tall, dark haired handsome man. Steve could see Dora was blushing and giggling like a schoolgirl. And to his consternation, they walked off together side by side with Hazel trailing behind clutching her un-signed autograph book.

"Never mind mate. I'm sure you'll be invited to the wedding" Ron creased up laughing and for once Steve joined in but secretely he was worried. He knew how easily Dora could fall for an older man.

Offline dave

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Re: New fanfic A DAY OUT AT THE SHOW started by Dave
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2009, 07:32:07 PM »
Meanwhile, the greasers had bought burgers and chips and whist stuffing their faces, washed down the meal with lots of best Barnsley bitter, brewed at their hometown. They caught sight of Harvey Smith who was leading Mattie Brown into the show jumping arena. Shouting across to Smith, one greaser asked sarcastically for his autograph whilst laughing and making a nuisance between themselves. Harvey glared at them saying nothing, just gesturing with a two-finger salute.

Fired up, Harvey went on to do a clear round in the show’s premier event, the ‘C o c k ‘o the North’ competition.

Graham Fletcher and Dora were getting on like a house on fire. He was fascinated by the fact that she was an attractive young horsewoman who was devoted to horse welfare, something he was also involved with. So much so that he asked if she would hang around until after his turn in the arena. At the back of his mind Fletcher knew he needed a stable girl, and thought Dora would be the perfect choice. Dora was thrilled at Fletcher’s attentions. Hazel, gave a wink to her and whispered  “You’re in there Dora.”

Graham was so elated by Dora that he went into the ring wanting to impress her. He had a perfect  round, easily clearing the fences, and one of only two faultless rounds in the competition. So, there would have to be a jump-off between Smith and Fletcher against the clock.

Steve and Ron had been watching the best Shire Horse judging and after the rosettes had been handed out by the judges, they decided to go to the beer tent for a pint before meeting where they had prearranged to go for lunch at 1pm, near the wine tasting marquee, at Hazel’s request, who else.

Offline Loopy

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Re: New fanfic A DAY OUT AT THE SHOW started by Dave
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2009, 10:35:14 PM »
They were six deep at the bar in the beer tent trying to get served.  "Oh blimey!" said Ron miserably.  "We could die of thirst before we get a drink here."  Steve looked around, trying to see a gap he could nip into before anybody else.  "This is a waste of time." said Ron.  "Let's go and see if we get better luck in the wine tasting tent."  Steve and Ron headed for the exit just as the greasers were coming in.  "Well, well!  Look who we have here." said one, thick set, biker.  "It's Mister Goodie Goodie and his little ginger friend."  Steve glared at him and stood tall but Ron grabbed his arm.  "Come on Steve.  We don't want any trouble do we?"  "Besides" he whispered in Steve's ear, "we don't stand a hope in hell against this lot.  They'll make mincemeat of us"  Ron smiled his best smile at the greasers.  "Morning gentlemen, we're just on our way out.  Excuse us."  He pulled Steve past the man who started laughing before pushing his way to the front of the queue.  Funny how nobody argued with him, Ron thought to himself.  Ron and a still seething Steve started walking towards the wine tasting tent when in front of them appeared Dora.  She had her back to them so didn't see them.  Steve was about to shout to her when Graham Fletcher appeared and took Dora's arm, leading her towards the VIP marquee.  Steve stopped in his tracks.  Ron recognised the look on Steve's face... the red mist was descending.  Ron followed Steve as he marched purposefully towards the marquee.  As they entered Graham Fletcher slid his arm around Dora's shoulders and


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Offline Jane

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Re: New fanfic A DAY OUT AT THE SHOW started by Dave
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2009, 02:03:25 PM »
…..gave her a peck on the cheek. Steve marched up behind them and grabbed Dora’s arm pulling her round to face him. “What do you think you’re doing with him?” he snarled at her.

Dora snatched her arm away from him but seeing his flushed and angry face she bit back a retort.

Graham looked faintly amused as he watched this spectacle unfolding. “I don’t think we’ve had the pleasure”….he said and held out his hand towards Steve.

Dora quickly pulled herself together. “Graham this is Steve, he works at Follyfoot with me.”

Steve reluctantly shook Graham’s hand and then put his arm possessively around Dora.  

Graham looked at his watch. “I must be off, have to pop over a few practice fences before the jump off. Dora, think about what I’ve said. Call me when you’ve made up your mind” He winked at her, nodded to Steve and strode purposefully away across the showground.

Hazel stared open-mouthed at the retreating figure. “Boy he’s something else. Dora you’re so lucky. I wish he’d kissed me on the cheek!”

Steve dropped his arm from Dora. “What did he mean, when you’ve made up your mind?”

“Oh nothing. Come on let’s watch the jump off”

“No thanks. I’d rather go back to the beer tent, coming Ron?”

“Suit yourself. Let’s go Hazel. I want to see Graham warming up his horse”

In the distance the roar of motorbikes could be heard….

Offline dave

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Re: New fanfic A DAY OUT AT THE SHOW started by Dave
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2009, 09:44:12 PM »
“Thank goodness they’re on their way” said Steve with a sigh of relief, as he realised the greasers were leaving the showground.

Dora and Hazel went to watch the jump off. Harvey Smith entered the main ring to the warm applause of the predominantly Yorkshire crowd. He made a fast round but had taken a brick out of the high wall fence.

Graham Fletcher then trotted into the arena. Dora yelled “Come on Graham” which he heard above all the other sounds around him. He knew a clear would win it, so planned a slower round strategy.  All went well until the wall, when his ride, Tina, refused. A second attempt cleared the fence and Graham went to complete the round without further faults, and thereby winning the competition by one less fault.

Dora was ecstatic and Hazel joined her in the rush to go and congratulate him. As they ran past the WI tent which had been put back up since the earlier incident, Hazel stumbled a little and sent the tea & biscuits table flying. Rich Tea biscuits littered the ground.

“Not you again” shouted the WI president…, adding “hooligans.” The two from Follyfoot ran even faster.

Steve and Ron had finished drinking a pint of beer and were now out of money due to donating most of it to compensate the WI after Hazel’s previous demolition of their tent.

Ron said “I know where that pair will be” referring to Dora and Hazel, “in Fletcher’s caravan I bet.” Steve was annoyed at Ron’s remark and said, “If I find out that Dora is up to something behind my back I’ll wrap that trophy ‘round his neck.”

As they approached the ‘van Steve could see Dora sitting next to Fletcher, giggling. Hazel was standing outside.

Offline Jane

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Re: New fanfic A DAY OUT AT THE SHOW started by Dave
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2009, 07:54:16 AM »
Dora gazed into Grahams eyes. She felt giddy with excitement. For a split second she could see herself standing in his spotless yard admiring the classy thoroughbred heads looking out over the stable doors, and a peek into the organised tack room revealing highly polished saddles and gleaming stirrup irons, row upon row of brightly coloured rosettes hanging on the walls.

“Dora!” a familiar voice yelled and she came crashing back down to earth with a bump.

Looking out of the window, she saw Steve staring at her angrily.

“Er…got to go Graham.”

“So I’ll see you at my yard tomorrow then Dora?”

“Um…yes O.K. then.” And she blushed as Graham kissed her on the lips.

Steve was beside himself with jealousy. What the hell was she playing at?

“So you’re going to work for him am I right? What about your beloved old nags at follyfoot? Bored of them now are we? I don’t believe you Dora. I don’t believe you’d abandon them to work for that jumped-up creep!!”

“I’m not abandoning them…I’m not!” She shouted, the tears starting to flow. “I’m going to help him start up a rescue yard.”

“And how are you going to fit all that extra work in. Aren’t we busy enough at follyfoot? Steve sneered at her.

Ron and Hazel were standing close by pretending not to be listening.

“Maybe Dora is going to make you mistress of follyfoot Hazel, while she goes off and plays horses with Graham” teased Ron.

Hazel stared into the distance; a gleam came into her eyes.  For a spit second she could just see herself in the yard at follyfoot giving out orders….

Offline Loopy

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Re: New fanfic A DAY OUT AT THE SHOW started by Dave
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2009, 11:58:34 AM »
Hazel was rudely awakened from her day dream by shouting.  She looked towards Dora, who was so upset and angry with Steve that she had forgotten where she was.  "Just get this into your thick head Steve... I'll do exactly what I like, when I like.  I'm mistress of Follyfoot and if you don't like it you know what you can do."  With that, she stormed off in the direction of 'The Stables'.  Ron and Hazel were dumb-struck.  They didn't know what to do.  Hazel whispered in Ron's ear and then ran after Dora.  Ron went and stood next to Steve but before he could say anything, Steve turned to him "Just leave me alone Ron." and he too stormed off.  Ron looked to the heavens.  Oh blimey... here we go again, he thought.


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Re: New fanfic A DAY OUT AT THE SHOW started by Dave
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2009, 08:39:19 AM »
Dora ran and ran, not knowing or caring where she was going.  She eventually found herself at the far end of the showground and turned into a small wood.  She stopped, breathless and confused, leaning against a tree.

Somehow, the rough bark of it's trunk felt comforting beneath her fingers - like the comfort she always found when she leant against her beloved lightening tree at Follyfoot. 

"Follyfoot", she thought, "how could Steve ever even consider that I would do anything to jeopordise Follyfoot". 

She sank down into the soft leaves beneath the tree and rested her head backwards against the bark.  Her head thumped from crying and running.  She must have sat there for a few minutes when she heard the rustle of leaves and a voice calling her name.

"Dora........Dora".  It was Hazel.  Dora sat quietly, not responding.  She wasn't sure whether she wanted to see or talk to anyone just now.  But Hazel soon spotted her and came quietly across and sat down beside her.

"Dora.........what is it, what's this all about" she asked gently.  Dora didn't respond and kept her head turned away from Hazel.

"Dora.....why don't you answer me.  Silence won't solve anything".

Again, no response.

"Dora.......look at me"  Hazel was more insistent now. 

"DORA - I SAID LOOK AT ME".  Hazel's tone was more insistent now and she grabbed Dora's shoulders to turn around to face her.

Dora slowly turned to look at Hazel, her face tear stained and puffy.

"Oh Hazel" she said.  "What am I going to do.  Steve will never understand.........". 

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Re: New fanfic A DAY OUT AT THE SHOW started by Dave
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2009, 07:20:25 PM »
“Oh Dora” said Hazel, “I’m sure it can’t be that bad!”

“No, I suppose it isn’t really,” said Dora “But Steve has jumped to the conclusion that it is - that there’s something between Graham and me.  No amount of discussion will get him to see past that to  understand what’s really happening”.

“I see.  So if there’s nothing going on, why did Graham kiss you – what’s it all about” said Hazel gently. 
 
“The kiss?” said Dora “Oh that was just Graham larking about.  He saw Steve hanging around and was just trying to make him jealous.  It was just a prank, but he didn’t realise just how hot headed Steve can be.  He just reckoned that if Steve thought there was someone else interested in me, then he might make a move.  Some hope after all this time!   Graham is really sorry that he might have made things worse.  But he’s not interested in me – well not in that way anyway.  He’s already engaged to David Broome’s sister.”

“Dora – do you love Steve?” asked Hazel, surprised at her own boldness.  Dora didn’t respond and looked away.  “Say no more” said Hazel quietly to herself.

After a minute of two, Dora turned around and smiled weakly.  “Well Hazel, I guess there’s nothing else for it - I have to go back and face the music and try to tell Steve what this is all about.  I can’t keep sitting under this tree forever”.

“Oh no” cried Hazel.  “Not so fast.  I didn’t scoot all the way across the showground to find you only to see you disappear back to Follyfoot without learning what on earth is going on.   Come on – spill the beans, boss!”

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Re: New fanfic A DAY OUT AT THE SHOW started by Dave
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2009, 08:45:01 PM »
Dora nodded and said “OK, I suppose telling someone else before I tell Steve will help me clear my head about it all.   Well, it’s like this.  Show jumping is big business.  Expensive horses, chasing big prize money and big sponsorship.  The trouble is, a horse’s time at the top, earning big money, is quite short.  A few years at most, sometimes less if there’s an injury.  Oh, the mare’s and stallions tend to be OK.  Even after they finish high level competition, there’s a nice amount to be earned from stud fees and breeding.  But the geldings – well that’s another story. “

“I don’t understand” said Hazel quizzically.

“Oh wake up, Hazel” said Dora.  “What do you think happens to the geldings who are past their prime?  They can’t breed from them .  They are highly bred and often highly strung, like racehorses.  It’s almost impossible to find them homes.”

“So what happens?” said Hazel innocently.

“Oh Hazel”, said Dora, with tears welling in her eyes.  “Can’t you work it out?”  Dora was crying now.  “I’ve never thought about it before now - our world at Follyfoot is so small, rescuing local ponies and ex working horses.  But Graham says that a lot of ex showjumpers are just shot – and those are the lucky ones.  Others are transported, in cramped horse boxes – with no food or water.  They can spend days like that, with no room to lie down or rest, injuring themselves, only to end up in some European abbatoir, to be shot for meat.  I wouldn’t have believed anyone could.............”  Dora’s voice tailed off as the tears flowed and she bent her head into her hands.

Hazel put her arms around Dora and held her gently until she stopped crying.

“So Graham has a plan?” asked Hazel.

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Re: New fanfic A DAY OUT AT THE SHOW started by Dave
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2009, 06:23:28 PM »
“Yes” said Dora, struggling to compose herself.  “He wants to start up some stables where ex-showjumpers can be semi retired.   His idea is to establish riding academies, which run lessons and courses for experienced riders.  A lot of these horses are still perfectly capable of being ridden, just not at the absolutely top level .  So, competent riders, who otherwise wouldn’t ever have the chance to ride top class horses, can enjoy the thrill of it.  Not beginners, of course, just experienced, capable riders.  The money from the lessons and courses will go towards paying for the retirement of those horses who are injured or whose temperament makes them unsuitable for riding.”

“That’s a fantastic idea” exclaimed Hazel.  “But where does Follyfoot fit in?”

“We can help in so many ways, Hazel” said Dora.  “Graham has the commercial acumen, of course.  But we have the knowledge about the special needs of retired horses.  How to care for them.   How to make a little money go a long way.  We also have the skill to help re-school some of them -  remember how successful Steve and I were with Dancer and Shadow?  Graham wants us to get involved.  He thought we could take some of the horses initially, to assess them and re-school where necessary, to be sure that they are suited for amateurs to ride.  It’s what Steve is always going on about – expanding, diversifying – bringing in the money to keep Follyfoot alive. “

“But you’ve always been so against commercialisation at Follyfoot”, said Hazel.  “Why is this so different?”

“I know I have” said Dora.  “Steve and I have argued about it so many times.  But this is different.  It fits with the ethos of Follyfoot – the Follyfoot that my Uncle established and that I have tried so hard to continue.  It’s all about rescue - a useful life - retirement  – and a day in the sun.  And if I can stop just one horse from ending up as meat, then it will be worthwhile.  I just need to get Steve to listen for long enough to understand”.  Dora was shining now through her tears – eyes bright with excitement at the possibilities ahead.

“Dora, you absolutely must get back to Follyfoot to talk this through with Steve” said Hazel.   “There must be some way to get past your silly argument and get him to see the opportunities ahead.  Come on – let’s get the horses and go back there now”.