Andi and the New Girl

by Annabella

            It was a chilly afternoon, but Andi wasn’t paying attention to that. She was thinking about the people who had just moved in, quite closer than all of the other neighbors.
She wondered what the kids would be like. She had overheard Mother mention the couple had two boys and one girl. She hoped the girl was her age.
Different thoughts and questions buzzed through Andi’s brain, but she shrugged them off. “Well, I’ll meet them tomorrow at school,” she said aloud.
With that she jumped off the porch and ran to ride Taffy one last time before dinner. When she got back inside, she quickly ran upstairs to get changed out of her overalls, then she sat down at the dinner table just in time.
While she ate, the thoughts and questions came back. This time they worried her. What if the boys are bullies? What if the girl was mean?
Then came Chad’s voice crashing in, “Whatcha thinkin’ about Andi?”
“The couple that just moved in.”
“What else?” Chad pestered.
“I was wondering about the children, because we don’t need another bully in our class.” She shot a look at Melinda, and Melinda gave her the same look.
Mother said, “No need to worry,” in her calming voice. “I ran into their parents in town and met their children. They seemed quite nice. Their two sons are named James and John, and their daughter is named Ruth, she’s almost 10.”
Right about my age, Andi thought. “And James and John are 3 and 4, and they aren’t bullies,” she said grinning.
Andi and Melinda shot glances at each other, as to say, “That’s a relief!”
            The rest of dinner was quiet. Afterwards, Andi went upstairs to her room, said her prayers, and went to sleep. She dreamt about riding Taffy and catching the biggest trout you ever saw!  
Andi awoke. She wasn’t at the creek fishing. She was in bed. Suddenly she remembered she had to go to school. Andi jumped up, dressing as fast as she could, and ran downstairs in time for breakfast. She grabbed her lunch pail, and was on her way to school.
When she was about to jump out of the buggy, Justin said, “Don’t worry Andi. Try to make friends with the new girl, Ruth. Okay?”
“Okay, I’ll try”, said Andi. She ran as fast as she could to the school grounds.
Andi noticed a new girl whispering something to a pretty lady driving a buggy. Andi started walking towards her, but stopped in her tracks, because she saw Johnny reach her first.
Johnny was the top bully at the school, and she had learned to stay away from him. Uh oh, Andi thought, this is going to mean trouble!
She waited until Johnny left, then ran over to Ruth, who was now crying but trying hard not to show it. “Are you okay?” Andi asked her.
Ruth nodded shakily, “Who was that anyway?”
“Johnny,” Andi answered quickly. “He’s a bully!”
Ruth nodded again, “He teased me about my freckles, and told me I was ugly as a rat, and then…”Ruth stopped talking.
Andi sympathized, “I like your freckles, and you’re not ugly. Trust me, I have seen a lot of rats. Hi, I’m Andi.”
“I’m Ruth.” They both started to laugh. The school bell rang, and two new friends hurried to get inside the classroom.
At recess Andi and Ruth hung out together and talked. “Do you want to come over to my house after school?” Andi asked.
“Yes!” said Ruth.
Andi looked at her, surprised at her sudden burst of energy.
Ruth looked surprised at herself too.
As they walked back to class, Andi noticed that Ruth walked with a slight limp.
After school, they told the pretty lady, who apparently was Ruth’s mother, to pick Ruth up after dinner.
Justin came and when he saw Andi and Ruth together, he smiled. “So you did become friends after all. Told you there was nothing to worry about. Hop in.”  
When they rode into the front of the house, Andi jumped out and pulled Ruth out with her. She quickly told Mother Ruth was staying, and then gave Ruth a tour of the ranch. Andi took her last to the barn, showing her Taffy. To her great disappointment, Ruth wasn’t very excited about the horses.
Andi said, “She’s a purebred quarter horse, and she’s the prettiest horse on the ranch.”
“Yeah,” said Ruth, unenthusiastically.
“Do you know how to ride?” Andi asked.
“Sort of.”
“Do you want to ride before dinner?”asked Andi.
“No! I mean, no thank you.”
“You’re not afraid, are you?” Andi asked, giggling. Andi wasn’t trying to be rude, or hurt Ruth’s feelings, she just thought it was the silliest thing in the world to be afraid of horses, especially Taffy.  
Ruth didn’t know that. Her face turned red. “I AM NOT AFRAID OF HORSES! I thought you were going to be my friend. But you’re not. You’re just as bad as Johnny!” She stormed out of the barn. Her limp showed more than ever now.
Ruth didn’t say a thing to Andi for the rest of the night, not even when her mother came and picked her up.
That night, Andi went to bed sad, she prayed, “Lord, please don’t make Ruth angry at me.” She felt a little better, and she knew what she had to do. Tomorrow she would tell Ruth she was sorry.
When Andi arrived at school the next day, Ruth wasn’t there. That night when Andi got home, Ruth’s mother was there talking about how Ruth was missing!
“Andrea, why were you and Ruth so silent last night?” Mother asked.
Andi told them everything. By the time she finished, she was sobbing.
Andi ran outside. “This was all my fault. If I hadn’t teased Ruth, none of this would have happened.” Andi knew what she had to do. She would go find Ruth. The thought scared Andi, but she knew she had to do it, and she had to do it alone.
Andi hurried to the barn, saddled Taffy, and started on her way. She decided to look by the creek. She was about to cross the creek, when a wild dog jumped out of the bushes growling at Taffy.
Taffy started to run, and the dog chased her. Taffy spooked and bucked Andi off.
She landed in the creek, which was deep and running fast like a river. Andi was being swept downstream!
Taffy watched her for a second, then galloped away.
Andi felt hopeless. “Lord please save me from this river. Please!”  
Andi heard someone say, “grab on!” and a rope was thrown into the water. She grabbed on as tight as she could, and she felt herself being pulled up to shore.
“Are you okay?” someone asked.
Andi looked up and saw Ruth sitting on Taffy. “Ruth! I thought you didn’t ride!”
Ruth smiled. “It’s a long story.  Get on. We have to go home.”
On the way back, Ruth told Andi everything. “When I was little, I loved riding horses, but one day my horse threw me. I broke my arm and my leg. My arm healed, but my leg was permanently damaged. That’s why I walk with a limp.”
Andi apologized, “I’m sorry I teased you. Do you want to be friends again?”  
“Yes, I do!”
They both laughed as they rode home.


  1. Lovely, Annabella! Perfectly splendid, and so beautifully thought of for a girl your age. Your story is spectacular!


  2. Great job, Annabella! That was an amazing story for your age category! Good job!

  3. Yes well done Annabelle! So good!

  4. Wow Annabella! Your story was so awesome! I would not expect something like this from your age category. This story is really amazing! Please Annabella, write, write, write, on! I think you could be an author someday, and that's not exaggerating one bit! Excellent! (I would think you were in the 10-13 age category) Beautiful! Amazing! Awesome! Lovely!


  5. I am Annabella’s mom and have read her these comments and she is beaming!! (She has no technical devices or social media yet) Thank you for such kind words. She loves reading and writing, and writes new stories weekly...lots of unfinished books :-) she is 9 years old. I will post a pic of this little “Andi look alike on the FB page”

  6. Great story Annabella! Really good for your age category.
    - Patience