"That's it, then," said Deborah "I don't want you to beat me at Scrabble with horse words. I don't want you to read to me from your horse books. I want each of you to tell me a real-life story that really happened to you."
"Great," said Stevie. "There was the time Belle and I--"
"No. I want to hear stories that don't have anything to do with horses."
"What for?" Carole asked.
"Well, my baby is going to be surrounded by horses and horse talk all of his life. Horses are fun, but they aren't everything. I'd like to know that somehow, something other than horses was ever important to the three of you. I've got to admit that I find the idea that I'm about to be a mother even scarier than the idea that I'm about to have a baby. So, I need some help. I know I can always get help from you about horses. Give me some help about mothering."
The girls looked at one another.
"No horses?" Carole asked.
"Not a one," Deborah said.
There was a long silence.
"How about a cup of tea?" Lisa asked.
"Sure," Deborah agreed. "It'll probably help inspire your storytelling. I'll let you fix the tea. The doctor said I shouldn't eat anything, so just bring me some ice chips to munch on. I'll wait here for you." She put her feet up on a chair, leaned back, and closed her eyes.
The girls hurried out of the living room into the kitchen, where they had a quick conference.
"Is she okay?" Stevie asked.
"No horses?" Carole echoed, still stunned by the idea that she might actually have something to say that didn't have to do with her favorite subject. When she wrote a history paper, it was about the cavalry in the Civil War. In English, she'd only been happy when they'd read "Charge of the Light Brigade." Horses were everywhere in Carole's life. She always assumed that that was fine with everyone around her. Now Deborah wanted something else.