I promised to post this story a while ago, so here it is. In case you're wondering, I had been reading a lot of Black Stallion and Marguerite Henry around the time I wrote this, which explains the stallions, the desert, and the Bedouin boy.
The Tale of Adorkhed
Adorkhed's luck began the day he traded his parents for a horse and a bird.
The old Dutch trader, Yuneed Smit, looked slyly at the dark Bedouin desert boy as he led out the stallion. Adorkhed gasped in awe as he glimpsed the horses' mangy, flea bitten coat, shaggy mane and tail, and sunken, hollow eyes.
"What is the horse's name?" he asked, holding his breath. He knew that the name would be as magnificent as the horse itself.
Yuneed smiled wryly. "Ah, so you are liking horse? He is good horse, dutch warmblood, pride of Holland. We call him - " his tongue struggled over the Bedouin words. "Dock Fud."
Adorkhed let out a sigh.
"Dock Fud," he murmured, entranced.
"And here is bird," said Yuneed Smit, lifting the cage. "He is Chinese, called by, eh, Pe Brane."
Adorkhed accepted the cage and admired the bird's bedraggled feathers and downcast expression.
"You tie bird to horses's saddle, you don't lose so easy," said Yuneed, handing him a rope.
"Salom elekam," said Adorkhed, tearing his gaze away from his new possessions to salute Yuneed Smit and his parents as they rode away.
Still unable to believe his luck, he decided to take Yuneed's advice and tie the bird to the saddle. He reached into the cage to grab the bird's ankle, but Pe Brane angrily pecked his finger.
"So, then," mumbled Adorkhed to himself as he tied the handle of the cage to the saddle bags. "I know he is a good bird for hunting.
Adorkhed eagerly mounted Dock Fud and, kicking the horse with his heels, shouted, "On, on!"
The horse instantly reared and Adorkhed slid off the horse's back to fall with a thump on the ground.
Picking himself up he shouted, "Stop! Stop!" after the retreating figure of the horse with the bird cage thumping around, and frightening the horse as much as the bird inside.
Adorkhed raced after him, chasing him over sand dunes and through oases, whooping and calling to him, until at last he found him in a town on the edge of the desert.
Dock Fud was rearing and bucking, but his bridle was held securely by a girl with matted hair, dirty clothes, and a sour expression on her face.
"Boy!" she shrieked. "Is this your horse?"
"Y-yes," Adorkhed stammered. He had never before beheld a girl like this, and his heart was beating loudly.
"Well, come and get him before I let him loose," she snapped.
Adorkhed adored her more and more with every word she spoke.
"Wh-what is your name?" he breathed.
The girl glared at him.
"What's your own?" she retorted.
"Adorkhed," he said simply. "And yours?"
"Con Tenshuss," said the girl.
"Con Tenshuss, will you marry me?" asked Adorkhed.
"Of course I will," she growled. "Just as soon as you take this horse off of my hands!"
Adorkhed grabbed the reigns and swung into the saddle, with more luck this time, and Con Tenshuss mounted behind him. They rode off to a mosque where they were promptly married, and with Pe Brane and Dock Fud the Dorkheds sailed over the sea until they came to Holland, where the old dutch trader and Adorkhed's parents lived. There they lived out their days, and whether they were happy or not is for others to say.
But I can say that the Dorkheds were a very respectable family in those parts for years afterwards; most of their fortune came from breeding finer horses and hunting birds than any one elsewhere.