Horse Maiden

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I love to learn and take courses, but I also love not spending money. For me Coursera is a great way to take courses as an audit and not have to fork over my hard earned money to learn the things I want to learn. I’m taking a creative writing course right now. Because I am auditing of course I’m not able to actually do a few things. For instance, I’m not able to share the story I just wrote with the class so that I can get their input. Oh well, that doesn’t mean I can’t share the story here. LOL.

The course is called Creative Writing: The Craft Of Plot and is offered by Wesleyan University


Here is the assignment in case you want to leave a little input for me considering I can’t get it from others taking the class. Thanks in advance.

Write a scene of 250-350 words featuring a character with one concrete want (a table, a moose, a toothbrush, anything physical is fine!) and one weakness. Use these two features to drive the action of the plot. Set up the story where every other sentence is a rising action. To help you come up with rising actions, use one word from the following list of twelve words in each sentence that has a rising action. In other words: Write your first sentence introducing your character. Make the next sentence a rising action using one of the following twelve words. Write your third sentence, which may introduce the weakness, then write your fourth sentence with a rising action that includes one of the remaining eleven words you haven’t used. And so on.

trick
memory
aboard
tiger
pretend
carrot
appliance
cage
rings
crow
filthy
explode

You must use at least 6 of the 12 words, but you are encouraged to challenge yourself to use as many of the words as possible while still meeting the word count.


Once there lived a scullery maid who wanted to train horses. She hated cleaning up everyone else’s filthy messes and longed to sit on the backs of the beautiful beasts she watched every day from a small window above the kitchen sink she was confined to. However, women were not allowed to train horses.

At night she would sneak into the stables and feed the horses vegetables that had been tossed out. She would pretend that she was their trainer, giving them all pet names.

One night a philly she called Crazy Eyes decided to get rambunctious and nipped her hand while she was feeding her the end of a carrot. The wound was noticeable and her nighttime dalliances were discovered.

Her father was embarrassed by her escapades, and to keep further exploits from happening he decided to lock her bed in a large cage that he would release her from every morning. The maiden was miserable.

One day a circus came to the village and that night a tiger escaped and broke into the horses’ pen. The girl had not yet been locked away for the night and her father left their home frantically to join into the fray of townspeople watching the horse trainers’ failed attempts at shepherding the frightened horses into their stalls.

The girl had a trick for getting the horses to get back into their stalls after her visits. She would throw a final tidbit of vegetable into each stall and call them in by their pet names. The memory of her voice was still strong in the horses’ minds, so when she called the horses they immediately came to their stalls, and the trainers were able to get them locked away safely.

After the townspeople witnessed the girl’s acuity at working with the horses, her desire to become a trainer was debated, and most everyone agreed that she should be given the opportunity to train them.

Without restraints put on by others the girl was able to succeed as a trainer, and explode onto the world stage as an innovator in the equestrian arts.

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