Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Image

0901 Image The Bulletin
of the Center for Children's Books

Each month we choose a favorite quote--something fun or something to make you think. See the archive for quotes from previous months.

     There was Del Magnifico le Noir.  If you didn't know better, you migh have mistaken him for a dark blue Norco bike, but to six-year-old Alex Ford, Magnifico was a three-year-old Thoroughbred, reminiscent of the Black Stallion.  Like the Black Stallion, Magnifico was given to bursts of thrilling speed, which is why Alex kept a red dog leash tied to his handlebars.
     Alex rode Magnifico around his rural neighborhood, whispering "whoa" at stop signs and using an assortment of what he imagined were horsey noises, such as clucks and peculiar trills, to urge the bike through puddles and over small obstacles.  Using a Pony Club-approved slip knot, he tied Magnifico outside the school each day and each night brought the bike into the garage for a brisk rubdown, and covered it with an old blanket, fastened with a leather-like belt he'd take from one of his mother's old pantsuits.  Alex kept a dog dish filled with water in front of the bike and hung an aluminum fishnet full of dried grass clippings just over Magnifico's handlebars.
     Once, when Alex's teenage cousins were visiting, they stole Magnifico and rode him to the store to purchase cheese-flavored snacks.  Upon their return, they left the bike on the lawn.  When Alex found Magnifico lying in the rain, his deflated front tire spinning helplessly, his red leash muddy and sodden, Alex burst into tears.  This was just like the time when the drunken stableman ruined Black Beauty's knees by galloping him with a rock in his shoe. 

           --Susan Juby,  Another Kind of Cowboy

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This page was last updated on December 1, 2007.