“Knights need horse!”

“Henryk looked up with a new light in his eyes. Meagan softened. Perhaps, she thought charitably, the horse’s lop ears did not hang out of laziness. Perhaps the white blaze across his forehead made him look simpler than he really was.” —excerpted from Eclipsed by Shadow (Book #1 of ‘The Legend of the Great Horse’ trilogy (p. 230)

Medieval Horsetrading c. 1240 AD…

The Mighty Chouchou The man seemed to be having difficulty waking his enormous horse, and finally resorted to kneeing him in the side. The horse grunted and raised his head. “Ach, see! Much the calm horse!” Gathering that Meagan was still unimpressed, the trader bore his attention down on the young knight. Great gestures accompanied an inventory of the horse’s virtues, given while Henryk ran a hand down each of the horse’s stovepipe legs and nodded appreciatively.

“Henryk,” Meagan complained, “this horse would be much too slow.”

The trader wagged a finger. “Fraulein, bitte! Of course, knight he needs such horse. How so he conquest Tournament St. John and no horse?”

Henryk looked up with a new light in his eyes. Meagan softened. Perhaps, she thought charitably, the horse’s lop ears did not hang out of laziness. Perhaps the white blaze across his forehead made him look simpler than he really was.

“Ach! Der holzkopf!” the trader screamed as the huge animal settled on his foot. After being slapped repeatedly, the horse removed his hoof reluctantly, as if being deprived of a soft place to stand. The trader recovered and patted the horse’s shoulder as if nothing had happened. Tears stood in his eyes.

Henryk crossed his arms, still nodding in approval.

“Henryk,” she pleaded, “remember we have no money.”

Fraulein, bitte. Pleasing.” The trader spread his arms. “Knights need horse.”

Meagan walked around the huge beast. The horse’s eyes were small in his coarse, heavy head. His throatlatch was undefined and the upright “mutton” shoulders meant he would offer an uncomfortable, jarring trot. “No Henryk, I think you can do better.”

“The horse from this finest bloodlines!” the trader insisted with a flourish. “His fathers have sweep this infidel from Holies Lands! Ach! See the chest, it is large—so! This animal can carry too much weight. He stop at nothing.”

“He is about to fall over asleep. Henryk, please warn the man about the Tatars, and we should go.”

But Henryk was stroking the horse’s nose with growing confidence. The animal’s eyes were half-closed and he was beginning to doze. Seeing the knight’s interest, the trader dismissed Meagan. “Now we set price,” the man said firmly. The trader’s eyes alighted greedily upon Henryk’s garment of chain mail, and the two began negotiating in earnest…

Eclipsed by Shadow (Book #1 of the trilogy) won national awards including the Eric Hoffer Award for best Young Adult Fiction, and the Mom’s Choice Award for best family-friendly Young Adult Fantasy.

The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy is an adventure through history … each section is about a different time period. The above excerpt is from “Home,” the 1st section of Eclipsed by Shadow, set in modern-day California.

Eclipsed by Shadow (Book #1 of the trilogy) won national awards including the Eric Hoffer Award for best Young Adult Fiction, and the Mom’s Choice Award for best family-friendly Young Adult Fantasy.

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