We hope all our subscribers have had a chance to read the new January/February 2013 issue of Stone Soup. There are so many great stories in this issue, it was hard to choose one to feature on our website. We finally settled on “Friends Forever,” by 11-year-old Naomi Vliet, about a girl named Rachel who has always wanted a horse of her own. Then one day Rachel’s brother helps rescue a wild mare and her foal from some mustangers. Will Rachel’s wish finally come true? In alternating chapters, Naomi tells her story from two points of view: Rachel’s and the mare’s. The mare is separated from her herd, she is alone and she needs help. She knows Rachel is kind, but she won’t feel right until she’s back with her herd. Rachel falls in love with the mare and her foal, but deep inside she knows what she needs to do. In five short pages, the author paints a multi-layered portrait of a young girl and a wild animal, each with her own needs and desires. And illustrator Jessica Birchfield brings Naomi’s vision to life with her beautiful drawings. Well done, Naomi and Jessica!