This is a story about one girl, named Ahmed who lives in the scorching desserts of Arabia. Up until now, she was an orphan who lived on the small money she made tending people’s animals and was fed pig scraps. She was scrawny and homely, but now she is a vigorous, healthy, happy child who lives with a rich family as a groom. Every day she goes down to the family’s stables and cares for their horses, but one horse, a white, smoke point Arab named Chamna, is very special to Ahmed.
When an angry servant sets the stable on fire as a nasty revenge, Ahmed knows she must do something. Will Ahmed learn of the fire in time to save her beloved horse and his companions?
“Look at this poor filthy child!” said Jenna to her husband Gregory. Gregory replied, “Such a homely creature. We can’t just let it sit there to die, I guess we can nurse it back to health and keep it as a groom if it’s good around the horses.”
Gregory and Jenna Cravitz were kind young couple who were a rich that had been attracted to the lifestyle of Arabia and decided to build a house there. They maintained a small chapel for the Christian Arabs and also owned a splendid house with a stable full of beautiful horses. So Jenna picked up the child out of the garbage heap and placed her into the carriage on her lap. All cleaned up the found out that it was a little girl, underfed and overworked.
When they had arrived at the Cravitz estate, Jenna took the girl and gave her a bath and washed her until she was completely clean of dirt and grime. Then Jenna fed her and let her rest in one of the spare rooms. “Come dear, look at her now.” said Jenna to Gregory. As he peered into the room he saw the young child sleeping peacefully on the bed. “Well now. You sure did something with her Jenna. You’re a real saint saving that child.” “Dear,” she replied, “I only did it because it was what the good Lord would have done in our position.” He smiled at her and left the room. Jenna was looking at the child when she woke up. The child said to Jenna something in Arabic. “Matu!” Jenna yelled for her servant who knew English and Arabic. He came to the room and said in a heavy accent, “Yes, you called for me?” she replied, “Matu, can you please translate what this child is saying?” He said something to the child and she said something back. “Her name is Ahmed,” he paused, “and she is grateful of your kindness.” “Ask her if she has ever seen a horse” said Jenna. He spoke to the girl in a gentle tone and said, “She said she has. And that they are her most favored animal.” Jenna replied, “Ask her if she would like to take care of a horse and be it’s friend. In return she may stay with us.” He spoke to the girl again and the child’s face brightened up and nodded her head. Jenna smiled and hugged the girl and said, “Welcome to our family,” she then paused and let go. “Matu, can you teach me Arabic?” “Yes, I would love to teach you my native tongue.” he replied.
So the next morning when Ahmed woke up she was fed a huge breakfast and taken down to the stables by Jenna. She explained, “This” and she pointed to a smoke point Arab stallion, “is Chamna. This one?” Ahmed wrapped her arms around the horses thick neck and kissed him on his nose. He nicked at the affection. Jenna just stood there astonished. Chamna was a wild horse that few could even get near accept Jenna. He was her ‘baby’ and she pampered him. He, on the other hand, had a fiery temper and very strong will. Jenna was amazed at the patience he had with Ahmed. “Hello” said a voice behind Jenna. She turned around to see Matu. “Shall I ask her if she likes him...” and he paused and looked up at the horses name plate. “She and this animal are soul mates. He looks like he is in love with her.” And they watched the horse playfully lip Ahmed’s hair and allow his forehead to be scratched. “Ask her if she would like to take care of him please, Matu” asked Jenna. He spoke to the girl and she answered him. “She said that this horse is the one she wished to care for” Jenna nodded her head in approval. She hugged the horse around he neck and kissed his milky white forehead.
The next day Ahmed woke up and went to wake up Jenna. Jenna had a Arabic-English dictionary on her bedstand. She flipped through it’s musty pages and said “Good morning” to Ahmed. She smiled in reply and said “Good morning” in English. After Jenna got dressed she went down to get breakfast ready for them. Today was the day Ahmed would learn how to ride a horse. Jenna and Ahmed walked down to the barn and went to Chamna’s stall. Jenna tacked him up and lead him into a ring. Jenna was thought very strange by other English women because instead of wearing a huge dress and riding side saddle, she wore breeches and riding boots. After she had made a complete circle around he ring to burn off any excess energy, she showed Ahmed how to mount. Ahmed took it like a charm. She learned very quickly how to mount and dismount and had a good seat and balance. After this Jenna taught her how to turn and other fancy stuff like that. “Ahmed, you ride very well.” said Jenna. Ahmed smiled knowing by the tone of Jenna’s voice that it was a compliment. Ahmed dismounted and patted Chamna on his shoulder and kissed him on his nose. Then Jenna clipped on his lead rope and they took a walk to cool him down. After this Jenna put him in his stall, and with Ahmed’s help, fed him a nice lunch of carrots and bran mash.
The room was comepletely dark, accept for the brave little light that a small oil lamp dared give. He was sitting on a bale of hay crouched over with his elbows on his knees and hand folded. The man across from him was seated similarly. “You do not like the master and mistress?” he whispered. “No, they treat us like dirt, we work, work, work for them. But what do we get? A measly 100 quia a day, a room, and some food. I need more. This life is not for me brother. What do you say we torch the place?” The other man pondered a moment, absorbing what his brother had just suggested. “100 quia is certainly not a small amount of money. The beds are comfortable, but can be cold. The food was great, accept for when Mistress Jenna cooked.” He thought. “Will you help me brother?” the other man demanded. “Well, I do not have any problems with the place. I think they treat us fair.” “But brother! Do you not hate it when they summon us like slaves? And when they ask us to do tasks for them that they are well capable of doing?” “Well, that is what our job is.” “But brother! I cannot stand this! I must leave at once, after my revenge.” “Revenge! What have they done to you?” “Worked me like a dog. You will not go with me, but all I can tell you is that you should take what horse you most prize. For that is what I intend to burn, the stable.”
She ran, as fast as she could. The noble servant ran all the way to the house and beat the door with her fists. She had to wake them. Already she had alerted the rest of the servants, but they would need more help. “Master! Master!” she cried. Soon the door was opened by Matu. “What do you want you crazy woman? Why are you banging on doors this late at night?” “The stable is one fire!” With that he ran up to wake Jenna and Gregory. Ahmed was up already, sensing that something was wrong. She was dressed when the other servant had banged on the door. At once she fled down the path to the stable. Her instincts told her to bring a handkerchief, but she didnt know why. When she arived at the stable, she saw other servants hurridly leading horses out with bandanas over their eyes. So she did the same. Ahmed searched for the Chamna’s stall. But at the moment when she needed most, she could not rememeber where he was. There was something at her back, pulling on her sleeve. She spun around and it was Chamna tugging on her for her attention. Ahmed quickely untied him and put the hankerchief over his eyes. He allowed himself to be led out and went quietly. After someone grabbed his lead shank from her, she rushed back in to bring out another horse. In the end, all the horses were saved, but the amount of money lost in tack, grain, and building was mind-boggling. It had had taken them years to build their Indian empire, and now it was all lost. Now nothing but ash and scorched wood.