"So they said they'd rather stick to trucks and utes, but the horses looked nice and plump and would probably be tasty. So I brought them home."
Keiq snickered. "So, how many horses do you own?"
"Four. I haven't a clue what to do with them, now."
"Can we ride them?" Zwyk, the thirteen year old looked around from the screen that she might not have been paying as much attention to, as Ice had thought.
And Qwik, aged eleven, bounced. "Can we? Where are they?"
Elk snickered. "They've been taking lessons for years, and trying to get our parents to buy them their own horses."
"You do too!" Qwik stuck out a belligerent jaw.
"Yeah, but I'm not horse crazy."
Ice grinned. "I'd let you, but I doubt your parents would approve of trampled lawn."
Keiq glowered at him. "And they might not be safe for kids . . . where are they, anyway?"
"I, umm, have them in a dimensional bubble." Ice stood up. "Would you like to see them?"
"Ice!" Keiq jumped up and jabbed a finger at him. "They don't ride until I've checked them out . . . I'm going to go change into riding gear."
Which led to a chorus of "me toos" and they all disappeared. Ice strolled out to the ute and pulled out the "walking stick." One up to the front of the ute, the top of the bubble lifted up over the edge of the roof, then the stick brought down and stuck on, with the butt on the ground. Then he walked the other half down to the back of the ute.
And grinned at the horses peering apprehensively around.
"Don't worry. I took you far away from the people who wanted to eat you. Now you just have to survive being loved by a batch of kids."
:: Good. People foals are fun. ::
"Ice . . . where did you get these horses?" Keiq eyed them. "I heard that, you know!"
"Comet Fall. Wolfson assured me they weren't Smart Horses, but I think he was wrong.
Lightning, the mostly black gelding nodded. :: He was scary. We didn't say a thing! ::
Pineapple shivered. :: He was like a big black tornado, sucking us in. ::
The kids galloped up, eyes widening as they peered around the opening of the bag, to the lack of anything on the back of it.
"Whoa. That's weird." Elk held a hand out to be whiffed. "They're big!"
"Pintos!" Zwyk grinned. "All different colors!"
"What are their names?" Qwik had her hands up scratching the bay's jaw.
"That's Triple, the palomino is Pineapple, the buckskin is Dusty, and the black is Lightning."
Keiq slid up closer, "One! They're tall. And broad. So, let me take one for a spin and see how they behave. Just because they can talk doesn't mean they'll behave for a kid."
:: We'll be careful! :: Dusty
:: People foals this old usually ride like maniacs. :: Lightning pointed his ears at the kids.
Elk gulped. "Did he just . . ."
Ice nodded. "Shh! It's a secret."
Keiq glared. "Right, let's take a test spin."
By the time Azek and Wacky got home all the kids were mounted and Keiq was giving lessons from Lightning's back as they wound through the topiary.
:: I don't think there's really any such animal! :: Lightning stopped and looked up at a leafy green giraffe.
Azek eyed the horse. "You know, Ice, I think you're the strangest man I've ever met. And now you've got strange horses."