A Tongue Twister Tale
Harry Horse loved to watch television. He loved the cartoons and the sitcoms. He watched the movies and listened intently to the talk shows as the sounds drifted through the open window in the kitchen.
Every day, Mrs. Harvey would watch her favorite show on the small white television set on the kitchen table. Many an afternoon, Harry would stick his head through the paddock fence and follow The Trials and Tribulations of Raymond and Julia Tanner. Harry would lean as close to the open window as he could to catch every word.
“Come roll in the grass Harry,” the other horses would say. “Race with us across the wide, green meadow.”
But instead, Harry would watch television.
One afternoon, a brand new commercial came on.
“Worried about hair loss?” said the television. “Is baldness creeping up on you? Get Miracle Hair Tonic and fight back!”
“I should get some of that for Sam,” Mrs. Harvey said, jotting down the toll free number.
Mr. Harvey had a bald spot at the top of his head. Harry liked to blow on it when Sam gave him his grain.
“Harry, what are you doing?” Harriet Harvey asked.
Harry pulled his head through the fence.
“Come on. I’m going to clean you up for a ride.”
Harry loved having Harriet curry comb him. She scratched all the itchy places.
“You’re going bald, Harry,” said Harriet.
Harry looked around. The curry comb was full of hair. More hair was drifting down from his side. Harry could not believe it. Bald! Just like Sam.
As he jogged around the ring, Harry pictured himself losing all his hair. How the other horses would laugh!
When they got back to the barn, Harry watched Harriet curry his itchy spots. Maybe she had been joking. But again, the curry comb was full of hair.
Harry was so embarrassed that he stayed in his stall for the rest of the day.
“What’s wrong, Harry?” asked Sam when he brought Harry his grain. Harry shook his head. Several hairs floated off his neck.
“Soon you’ll be as bald as me!” Sam said. “Amelia should get some hair tonic for you.”
Harry perked his ears. Mrs. Harvey had ordered hair tonic. Maybe, if he could get some of it, he would not go bald.
Harry waited all week for the hair tonic to arrive. The only time he went out of his stall was when Mrs. Harvey turned on her show. While he was watching The Trials and Tribulations of Raymond and Julia Tanner, Harry could forget his creeping baldness.
On Friday, Mrs. Harvey came into the kitchen with a box. Harry hurried over to the fence to watch her open it. It was the hair tonic!
“Dilute in water and spread over balding area,” Mrs. Harvey read.
She put the bottle down by the sink.
Harry stared at the bottle. If he could get his nose in the window, he might be able to reach it. Harry squeezed his neck as far as it would go through the fence. He got a mouth full of curtain, but no bottle. Then Harry shoved his shoulders through the fence. This time, the tip of his teeth touched the bottle. It rocked a few times and then landed gently in his mouth.
Harry trotted to the barn. He broke the bottle gently into the water trough. The water turned green. Harry ducked his nose into the water. He rubbed it over as much of his body as he could reach. He planted his feet on each side of the trough and lowered his belly into the water. Then Harry sloshed some water on the grass and rolled in it.
“What are you doing Harry?” asked Harriet. She was sitting on top of the fence. Harry stood up quickly. Harriet’s mouth fell open.
“Ma, Dad, come quick!” yelled Harriet. “Harry’s turned green!”
Harry looked down at himself. He was green all over. Harry bolted into his stall, followed shortly by the Harveys. Sam Harvey took one look at Harry and started laughing. Harry tried to duck behind his manger.
“How do you suppose he turned green?” asked Mrs. Harvey.
“It looks like he’s been dyed,” said Sam.
“Daddy, the troughs filled with green water,” shouted Harriet, running into the barn. “I found this beside it.”
In her hand was the broken bottle of hair tonic.
“Miracle Hair Tonic?” asked Sam.
“I got it for your bald spot,” said Mrs. Harvey.
“Oh Harry,” said Harriet, “I was just teasing you. You’re not going bald. You’re just losing your winter coat.”
Harry hung his head.
“Just think, Dad, if you had used the hair tonic, your hair would be green instead of Harry’s,” Harriet said.
“We’d better wash him off,” said Mrs. Harvey.
So Harry had a bath. In fact, he had several baths. He ended up a light green color with patches of brown here and there. His nose remained dark green because he had dipped it so many times into the tonic. And Harry stayed green until he lost the rest of his winter coat. The other horses were very understanding about the whole thing, but Sam Harvey laughed each time he fed Harry.
Harry never watched television again. Instead, he rolled in the grass and went running across the wide, green meadow with his friends.
Copyrighted content: This is an original story by S.E. Schlosser, who owns the copyright. It may not be reproduced, reprinted or used in any other way without the permission of the author. Teachers may link to or photocopy this story as part of their classwork.