Diversity and Values Stories

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For Love of Sunrise


A farmyard in Nebraska. A Japanese American man in his forties is walking out of the barn. His twelve-year-old daughter MAI runs up to him.

MAI: Dad! I just saw Sunrise in the horse trailer. What’s going on?

DAD: (Looking sad) Morning, Mai. What are you doing up with the birds?

MAI: Where are you going with Sunrise?

DAD: Mai, you know Sunrise is old.

MAI: You’re not taking her away?

DAD: She’s had her day. I can’t use her on the farm anymore.

MAI: I know she’s old. She was here before I was born. She’s always been here. Let me keep her. I’ll take care of her.

DAD: It costs money to feed a horse.

MAI: I have money. Mr. Harris in town pays me to walk his dogs. And there’s my lawn-mowing money. I can buy her hay.

DAD: You’ll have to exercise her.

MAI: I can do that.

DAD: I don’t know.

MAI: Please. Let Sunrise be my horse.

DAD: All right. We’ll try it. But you have to take good care of her.

MAI: I will. I promise.

As MAI hugs her father, KANE walks up.

KANE: What’s going on?

MAI: Dad was taking Sunrise away. I saved her. Now she’s my horse.

KANE: Hey! That’s not fair. Why is she Mai’s horse?

DAD: (Looking at KANE with surprise) I didn’t know you gave a hoot about Sunrise.

KANE: Well, I do. I’ve known her my whole life. And I’m older than Mai. So I’ve known Sunrise longer. She should be my horse.

DAD looks KANE and then at MAI.

DAD: This is a hard one. I don’t know what to do. Just a few minutes ago, I thought no one wanted Sunrise. Now everyone does.

KANE: (Folding his arms and looking stubborn.) Sunrise is mine. It’s only fair.

DAD: I do want to be fair. There’s only one thing I can think of. I’ll take Sunrise away and sell her. I won’t get much. Maybe twenty dollars. I’ll bring it back and split it. Each of you can have ten dollars.

KANE: (Smiling) Great idea, Dad. It’s the only way to be fair.

MAI: (Choking back tears) No, Dad. Give Sunrise to Kane. At least that way she’ll still be here. I can still see her.

DAD: I guess that decides it. She’s your horse, Mai.

KANE starts to say something, sees the look on Dad’s face, shuts up and walks away. MAI runs to let Sunrise out of the horse trailer.


Copyright 2002 by Helen Tracy

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