Free $3.99

Two For the Herd by Linda Hughes

Camilla and Carli Cardwell, 9-year-old identical twins, live a charmed life on the Cardwell Ranch, a working cattle operation in the Texas Panhandle, owned and managed by Austin and Ella Cardwell, former rodeo champions. The twins learn from the land and the animals who graze it. Two for the Herd is the first book in the Cardwell Ranch Stories. The book gently deals with bullying, how to deal with being considered different, death and dying, family unity, and friendship. The reader is asked to suspend reality and accept talking horses, birds, and dogs. The talking animals teach the lessons, one at a time, through positive adventures and moments of adversity. Miah was Ella Cardwells’ mare and barrel-racing mount during her rodeo career. Miah was almost twenty years old, and Ella wanted one more foal from her. No one was worried about the foaling. Miah had never had problems, but she had shown signs of discomfort that troubled Austin and Ella. Ranch-hands Daniel and Sam were at the ranch to support the birth. Carli and Camilla made bets whether the foal would be a colt or a filly. They also picked names and planned to make a big deal for Miah and her new foal. Foaling was problematic, and the twins quickly learned how to deal with sadness. The book takes place during a tragic drought in the Texas Panhandle. Ranchers and farmers had suffered great losses during this time and had been forced to take drastic action to survive. Shiloh, a horse, owned by Jess Cansler, owner of Star Farm, is one of the drought victims. Jess needed to trim his herd, and Shiloh was the first to go. He loved his horse but could no longer afford to board her. His decision surprises him, and his actions open up a story of a Pony of the Americas with a black and white spotted rump. The book has moments of comedy, sadness, fear, positive adventures, and near-catastrophic events. It addresses the strength of family through moments of sadness and the celebration of life, and the challenges it can present. It is gentle and loving and family-friendly. The reader will fall in love with the characters, the humans, and the animals. Two cardinals watch over the family. They are the only two characters who do not speak. The reader is asked to name them as Shiloh has.
Book Length: