The following is inspired by a writing prompt that was in itself inspired by words that exist somewhere on a piece of paper - an actual EHCP (Education Health and Care Plan). Those words are "Haycock the Rainbow." For the writing prompt a friend added the word "Pony."
Forty-eight hours later, in an afternoon free-writing burst following on from the prompt circulating in my head, this is the result. A 2000 word children's tale.
|A little of what a rainbow garden feels like|
Haycock The Rainbow Pony
Haycock the Rainbow Pony knew she had a lovely life.
There was nothing she liked to do more than to frolic in her garden, planting new beds of flower seeds that would grow up to produce the most fabulous plants in the animal world. They had stems of many colours and each stem would be topped with seven different flowers, one of each colour and one of each shape.
One plant might have a circular yellow flower, a triangular blue flower, and a shining diamond purple flower among its blossoms.
Another might have a beautiful green dodecahedron and a red rhombus and if Haycock was very fortunate it might display a fantastically rare indigo icosahedron.
Haycock the Rainbow Pony liked all the colours and shapes but she liked the indigo flowers the best. It didn't matter what shape they were. The colour still produced the warmest electric buzz in Haycock's head.
Sometimes the rainbow flower plant would produce more bell shaped blossoms than usual. Then it would rain and the whole garden would chime out melodies and harmonies and the animals would raise their voices in joyful celebration. Even the worms would wriggle out of their holes in the ground and sing thankful worm songs.
Haycock loved her garden. She loved her house too and loved to sleep in her bed and dream of the next crop of flowers and how happy they would make the other ponies when she took them to the market.
Haycock was never going to get rich from her flower selling. She didn't want to. She had a little house but that was enough for her. Haycock's reward was knowing that she was a good rainbow gardener. Her second reward was seeing the smiles on the faces of the other ponies.
Haycock's life was everything she wanted it to be. How could it not be? She had enough for her needs and her work helped the other ponies have a happier life. She thought she was probably the most fortunate rainbow pony in the whole land. Every day she would wake up smelling the flowers and every night she would lay her head on the pillow and tuck her legs under her duvet and fall asleep in total contentment.
Until the horses came.
Three of them.
She was still in bed one morning when she heard them outside. They were shouting.
"Come outside you pony. Come and see what we're doing."
They didn't sound like they were doing anything to spread the love of rainbows. Haycock quickly got out of bed and ran out of her door even without stopping to brush her teeth.
The three horses were in her garden. In the flower beds. Cantering up and down them. They were neighing and laughing and looked like they were trying to kick every flower. Haycock's garden was almost destroyed already. Would there even be enough seeds to save?
Haycock shouted. "STOP! What do you think you are doing you horses? Why are you in my garden?"
The horses stopped. Glared at Haycock and shook their manes at her. They walked up to Haycock and stood menacingly over her.
"Hello Haycock. Horrid Haycock. We're going to destroy your garden until there aren't any flowers left and then we're going to destroy it some more. And you can't stop us."
Two of the horses went back to their trampling. The other stuck his tongue out at Haycock and made a very rude noise.
"But why?" asked Haycock.
"Because we can," said the horse. "We hate rainbows and we hate rainbow ponies even more. Horses can't make rainbows so you shouldn't have them either. Especially as you're just a little pony. You're much less than a horse and we want to prove it to you so that you never try to be better than a horse again."
The horse joined its friends and they laughed even more. Haycock watched as the bell flowers were smashed. And then the last rare indigo icosahedron was trampled into the ground. Haycock shouted and shouted for the horses to stop but they wouldn't. And then she fell to her knees and cried.
"Ha ha," shouted one of the horses, "Look at the silly little pony. It serves her right."
By lunchtime every rainbow plant had been destroyed. The earth was a mess of fragments of colour. There wouldn't be smiling ponies at the market that week. There wouldn't be smiling ponies for a long time. Perhaps there would never be smiling ponies again.
The horses gathered around Haycock. One of them said, "We're going now. I think there is a Shetland pony in the next valley who makes colourful lollipops. We're going to break his lollipop factory. You're just ponies. Don't try to be colourful. Because we're horses. Better than you. Don't forget it or we'll be back."
The three horses turned there backs on Haycock and trotted off, still laughing.
Haycock lay on the ground among the broken flowers. She cried so much that she was still crying the next morning. Then she slept on the earth until the rain woke her. There were no bell flowers to chime out their melodies. The worms appeared and they cried too when they saw the scene.
On the next day Haycock worked very hard. She collected all the broken flowers. She dug through all the beds. She hunted and hunted. There would be just enough seeds to start gardening again. If the horses didn't return. Haycock knew the horses were still out there. By now they had probably destroyed the lollipop pony's tasty treats. Maybe they would move on from there to other ponies. Perhaps soon there might not be any colour left in pony land.
Haycock thought hard while she replanted the seeds. She decided that while everything was growing she would try to stop the horses herself. Make sure they never came back to pony land.
Haycock had a plan. She would trot all the way to horse land. Once there she would join the EHCP. The Evil Horse Control Police. Once she wore her very own shiny Sheriff badge she would call on the police horses to control the evil horses who had invaded pony land. Haycock knew that if any horse was evil it was the three horses she had met.
What could be more evil than hurting ponies and trying to destroy all the pretty rainbow colours? What indeed?
The next day Haycock left her home and garden in the safe hands of the three rainbow cats who lived nearby. They promised to water the flowers on the days it didn't rain and to regularly chime any bell flowers that grew.
Haycock took plenty of food and water with her. If she needed more she would just have to eat grass. That was free in pony land. She said goodbye to the cats and the worms came out to wave her goodbye. Or at least, they wiggled her goodbye because they couldn't wave very well.
She trotted all that day and slept in a field under a full moon, chatting with the man in the moon until it was late. He said that if he saw the horses being naughty he would try to do something to stop them. He couldn't promise though because he lived a very long way away even though it looked like he was just there in the sky and because he only woke up at night when the horses were probably asleep. Haycock thanked the man in the moon anyway. He was a very optimistic man and cheered her up somewhat.
She trotted all the next day too. And all the next. Horse land was a long way away. Finally she crossed the border and came to the big town, Hoofsville. There were thousands of horses. None of them were rainbow coloured. All of them looked a bit sad. Everyone stared at Haycock. It was as if they had never seen a rainbow pony before. It was almost as if they could hardly believe that a rainbow animal existed.
Haycock eventually arrived at the EHCP headquarters. She walked into the building. It was full of horses who looked even more grumpy than those outside. She walked up to the main desk and rang the bell.
"Er. Can I help you little pony?"
"Yes, you can. I want to join the Evil Horse Control Police. Then I have some evil horses who need to be controlled. They're causing lots of harm back in pony land."
The mare constable behind the desk laughed. "You? YOU? Ha, ha ha. YOU!? But you're not a horse. You're a pony. You can't join the EHCP or tell us which horses to control. That's so funny. Wait until I tell the sergeant."
The mare constable went off to find the sergeant. He was a black stallion. When he appeared, two hours later, it looked like he had almost been crying from laughing so much.
The stallion sergeant looked at Haycock and said, "It's true. And on my watch too! You're right constable. This is the funniest thing ever. A rainbow pony in EHCP headquarters. Wanting to join."
"That's right sir," said Haycock. "There are some evil horses in pony land and I want to join you and stop them."
"Stop them? In pony land? Why would we want to do that? You're just ponies. You don't matter. You don't have any rights. Why should you? You're not horses. And you look so stupid too. Try to be better than us horses with your rainbows but you're worse. You're hardly even equine. So what if those horses are hurting you. Good for them, that's what I say. You deserve it the lot of you. For being ponies. Only horses are important you know. Now go away. Before I arrest you."
"But ... but the evil horses. They're evil. Please stop them."
"No. Go away rainbow pony. And get your hair dyed brown on your way out of town. Or I'll throw you into prison. Constable. Take the silly pony to the hair shop."
So Haycock was escorted out of the EHCP building by the constable who kept calling her stupid. Poor Haycock. She was dragged into the hair shop and wasn't allowed to leave until every single strand of her hair was a muddy brown colour.
"There. That's better," said the constable. "You almost look normal and acceptable now. Except you're a pony. Go back to pony land and don't come back. Ever."
Haycock had to go back to pony land. She had failed. And she was a boring colour. It would take months before her hair regrew in glorious colour again. It was true. Legally ponies had no rights. They had all been taken by the horses. It was unfair. Desperately unfair. Haycock had hoped to find help and support anyway but the unfairness of the system had obviously turned to hatred and spite.
Then it got worse. Haycock had run out of food. So she ate some grass from a field. Grass isn't free in horse land. Nothing is free. Haycock was spotted and a horse shouted "Stop! Thief!" Haycock had to run as fast as she could and only just reached pony land without being caught and arrested for eating some grass.
Haycock walked home, crying all the way but thankful that she was able to eat without fear in pony land. When she got home she had a cup of tea and then fell asleep on her bed, totally miserable and defeated.
The next day she looked at her garden. She was able to smile a little when she saw that the new rainbow plants had begun to grow. She had a shower. Then another. Then six more. After eight showers she had managed to wash out some of the dismal brown hair dye. She could just make out her rainbow colours under the brown when she looked in the mirror.
The cats visited her and brought her a tasty dinner. The worms gathered round and said the most kind and sympathetic words they could think of. And Haycock went back to bed. She was still very sad.
The next morning she had an idea. Perhaps, if the ponies worked together they could rid pony land of the three evil horses. Perhaps they could go further. As a collective they could fight against the oppression of the horses and gain rights for themselves. Perhaps one day there would even be some kind of equality and no pony would ever have to worry about being a pony and the rainbow ponies could spread their colours without fear. Perhaps it could be done.
So that's what happened. Haycock gathered the ponies together. They organised. Became strong together. Fought back against the three evil horses. Defeated them. And then fought back against the repressive system. The horseiarchy was smashed.
Haycock the Rainbow Pony became a hero. But that's a story for another time.
She didn't really mind about being a hero. Once the victory had been won she went back to her garden. Expanded it. And spread rainbows not only in pony land but in horse land too. Even the horses began to smile. Haycock continued to fight when she had to. But her reward was to see the creatures smile.