The field where they played was really a big grassy waste ground that the village hadn't found any other use for. To get home, Midge had to walk up past a stream and round by the farmer's fields. He stopped as he always did at the field nearest to home. The two horses, both a chestnut brown colour, were grazing as usual. Midge stared at them longingly; that was what he really liked – horses. He had asked over and over if he could learn to ride, but his mum's answer was always the same.
"You know we can't afford something like riding lessons, Mark, since your dad died and anyway you're a bit small yet for even a pony you know." And she always finished with, "Wait till you're older and you might get a pony ride at the beach."
As Midge watched the smaller of the horses nuzzle the other one before they cantered off across the field, he longed to be on the back of one, riding off like the boy in a film he had seen on television. He was nine already and somehow he thought he was never going to get much taller.