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    Chapter 23

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    Chapter 23
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    Twinkleheels never had any great liking for whips. Johnnie Green kept a long one in the socket beside the dashboard of his little red-wheeled buggy. And he had a shorter one that he carried in his hand when he rode on Twinkleheels' back.

    Whenever Twinkleheels drew the buggy he seemed always to keep at least one eye on the snapper of the whip, for Twinkleheels could see behind him easily.

    He rarely needed urging. On the contrary, Johnnie Green often had to pull quite hard upon the reins to keep him from going too fast. And when a lazy mood came over Twinkleheels the merest shake of the whip in its socket was enough to send him forward with a jump.

    When Johnnie rode him he never had to give Twinkleheels a cut with his riding whip. Just a touch of it was all that was needed--if Twinkleheels happened to be a bit headstrong and didn't quite agree with Johnnie as to where they should go.

    Well, on a certain summer's day, after school was out, Johnnie Green decided to go fishing in Black Creek. His mother made him a luncheon to take with him, he dug some angleworms in the garden for bait, and the hired man consented to let him take a long pole that he used himself when he fished in the river.

    Then Johnnie backed Twinkleheels out of his stall and threw the saddle on him. Farmer Green chanced to be in the barn at the time.

    "You don't intend to ride the pony and carry all those things, do you?" he asked Johnnie. "It seems to me that a basket, a tin can, a fish pole and a boy would ride much better in the buggy than horseback."

    Now, Johnnie Green did not always agree with his father. He expected to meet some other boys at the creek. They were going on horseback. And Johnnie wanted to do likewise. Besides, there might be a horseback race. And he didn't want to miss that.

    "I don't want to bother with the buggy," he told his father. "This way's easier. I shan't have any trouble carrying these things."

    "Suit yourself, then!" said Farmer Green. "I think my way's better. But if you want to try yours, go ahead! You won't be half as comfortable, though, as you would be if you went in the buggy. And you know you may have some fish to carry, too, when you come home."

    "Yes!" said Johnnie. "But I won't have any lunch."

    Being determined to ride on Twinkleheels' back, he buckled the saddle girth and slipped on the pony's bridle. Then he led him out of the barn, clutched the basket, the tin pail, and the reins as well in one hand, mounted, and then reached out his other hand for the pole, which he had leaned against the side of the barn.

    "I'll show Father that he's mistaken," he said to himself.
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