Jill Meadows dashed down the steps of Carlton Middle School. It was the first day of summer vacation, but to Jill it was more than that. Mrs. Meadows was having a mare delivered today from an animal sanctuary in Carlton. Mrs. Meadows had fostered some animals from time to time, and had even fostered a stallion named Joey. The mare had been abused, and Clara Meadows had made it her mission to retrain, and possibly adopt the mare.

The Meadows owned a farm just outside of Carlton. It was a small farm that matched the small size of Carlton. Carlton was a quiet, Christian, country town, more of a village really. The town consisted of a church where the Meadows went every Sunday and Wednesday, a general store, a one-room schoolhouse, and a small pizza parlor that doubled as an ice-cream parlor. That was all there was to the town of Carlton, Colorado.

Jill sat down to wait for her best friend Jamie Martin, as she had promised to do earlier. Soon after she sat down Jamie came thundering down the steps in her normal jean skirt, and T-shirt. "Hi, Jill." Jamie said as she slung her backpack over her shoulder. "Does your mom have the mare yet?" "Not that I know of." Jill replied. "She told me that if I came right home I'd help her get a stall ready." "Come on." Jamie said. "I want to be one of the first to see her." Both girls got on their bikes and began to petal to Sunny Oaks farm.

When they got to the farm, both girls were red and panting. They put their bikes under the large oak tree in the yard, and went into the barn. "Goodness girls!" Mrs. Meadows said as they walked into the barn. "You look as if the police had been chasing you." "We were just excited." Jill explained. "I see." Mrs. Martin replied. "Could you girls get some straw to put in a stall?" "Sure Mrs. Meadows." Jamie said. Jamie went to get a bale of straw and Jill decided to go see the cow Clover and her new calf, Lilac.

Jamie soon returned with the straw, and the girls happily set to work.

Ten minutes later the girls heard a vehicle coming into the driveway. Both girls hurried out of the barn in time to see a white truck park in the driveway. The truck had blue lettering on the side that said "Carlton Animal Rescue Sanctuary." A man stepped out of the truck. His face was browned from the sun and he had a friendly smile. "'Name's Markus." He said shaking hands in turn with Mr. And Mrs. Meadows. "I have the horse for ya'." Jill ran over to the truck to get a closer look at the mare, and Jamie followed. Markus and Mr. Meadows went to the back of the horse trailer to get the mare. Mr. Meadows opened the door and Markus went to get the horse. He led out a sleek black Paint/Quarter Horse. The mare sniffed the air smelling new humans gave a high whinny of fright. "Whoa, girl. Whoa, Ladybug." Markus said soothing the frightened horse. "Good girl." He said once he had the mare calm. "Is Ladybug her name?" Mrs. Meadows asked. "Yep." Markus said, petting Ladybug on the neck. "More like King's Ladybug." Jamie said. And the name stuck. From then on she was called King's Ladybug.