Written by Molly and Stuart Baum
Illustrations by Fred Plewa
In Wisconsin, just two hours
north of the Illinois border, there was a riding stable with
four horses. The four horses were named Butterscotch, Sugar,
Diamond, and Fooey.
Butterscotch was called Butterscotch because he was a light
yellow and brown color, just like the candy. Diamond was named
Diamond because of the white, diamond-shaped marking on the
center of his forehead. Sugar was named Sugar because he was
the sweetest of all the horses. Fooey was called Fooey because
that's what everyone said when they rode him. "Fooey!" they'd
say, "My horse just walked into a haybale." Or "Fooey! My horse
just stepped in a puddle." Fooey was always walking into things
instead of around them.
The stablehands loved Fooey, but they usually made him stay
in the stable while the other horses gave rides to the boys
and girls who came to the stables.
One day, four children came
for rides at the same time.
There were two boys and two girls. Their names were Jason,
Arthur, Nyssa and Molly. As soon as they arrived at the stable,
they jumped out of the car and ran to the horses. Jason was
the fastest, but he stopped to tie his shoes, so the other three
children got to the horses first. Arthur picked Diamond. Nyssa
picked Butterscotch and Molly picked Sugar.
"Fooey!" Jason said. "I have to ride this dumb horse!" He
picked the only horse left, Fooey.
All four children got onto their horses. Arthur got onto
Diamond. Nyssa jumped onto Butterscotch. Sugar, the sweetest
of all the horses, lowered himself down so Molly could get on.
But just as Jason was about to get on, Fooey let out a huge
sneeze, "Ker-neigh-neigh-choo!" and took a small step backwards.
Jason missed the horse and landed on the ground.
"Fooey!" Jason said. "My stupid horse sneezed just as I was
getting on!" Jason tried again and got onto Fooey just fine.
The four horses got into a line, as horses do. Diamond was
first, because he liked being in front. Sugar was second and
Butterscotch was third. As always, Fooey was last.
"Fooey!" Jason said. "My horse is last. I don't like being
The four horses began to
walk the field on their way to the forest. They quickly came
upon a large haybale. First Diamond walked around the haybale.
Then Sugar walked around the haybale. Then Butterscotch walked
around the haybale. But Fooey, who was thinking about lunch,
walked right into the haybale, getting hay all over himself
"Fooey!" said Jason. "My horse walked right into the haybale!"
Soon the four horses came upon a mud puddle. Diamond walked
around the mud puddle. Sugar walked around the mud puddle. Butterscotch
walked around the mud puddle. But Fooey was trying to get the
hay from his face and did not see the puddle. He stepped right
into it, splashing mud onto Jason's legs.
"Fooey!" said Jason. "This stupid horse just splashed me
Next they came to a stream
with two rocks to walk over. Diamond carefully stepped onto
one rock and then the other rock and safely crossed the stream.
Then Sugar carefully stepped onto one rock and then the other
rock and safely crossed the stream. Then Butterscotch carefully
stepped onto one rock and then the other rock and safely crossed
the stream. But Fooey had mud on his hooves and as soon as he
stepped onto the first rock his hoof slid right into the water
and Splash! Both Fooey and Jason tumbled into the stream.
"Fooey!" said Jason. "My dumb horse just fell into the water
and now I'm all wet!"
Jason got back onto Fooey and all four horses and children
continued on their way.
Next they came to a pile
of leaves. Diamond went around the pile. Sugar went around the
pile. Butterscotch went around the pile. But Fooey did not see
the pile of leaves until it was too late. He walked right through
them, getting leaves all over himself and Jason. "Fooey!" said
Jason. He wanted to say more, but he had to pick the leaves
out of his mouth, "Blech!" he finally said.
Next they came to a hill. First Diamond went around the hill.
Then Sugar went around the hill. Then Butterscotch went around
the hill. But Fooey, of course, walked right up the hill.
"Fooey!" said Jason. "My dumb horse just walked right up
this hill. How could any horse be so stupid? Stop, Fooey! Whoaa!"
But Fooey ignored Jason and just kept walking. Soon Fooey and
Jason were at the very top of the hill.
"Fooey!" Jason said again. But then he looked down. From
the top of the hill he could see miles around. There was the
stables where the horses lived! There was the hotel! The little
blue circle next to the hotel must be the swimming pool! And
there was the apple orchard they picked apples at yesterday!
"Wow!" said Jason. "This is a great view!"
"Hey everyone!" Jason called to Arthur, Nyssa and Molly.
"Come up here, the view is great!" Arthur, Nyssa and Molly looked
all the way up the hill and they saw Jason and Fooey.
"We want to go up the hill, too," they told their horses.
But the other three horses, which always went around things,
never learned how to climb hills.
So Fooey came all the way
down, picked up the other three children, and climbed back to
the top of the hill. ‘Wow!" all the children said. "This is
a great hill. We are glad we came up here!"
"And my horse found it!" said Jason. "Fooey is a great horse!"
All the children agreed. "Yeah for Fooey!" they yelled.
From then on, whenever Jason, Arthur, Nyssa and Molly came
back to the stables, they all wanted to ride Fooey, because
he was the only horse that could climb the hill. (But they still
wished he would not bump into so many things.)
©1993 Stuart B Baum, Illustrations by Fred