There is a scene in FARMER'S BOY, the Laura Ingalls Wilder novel about Almanzo, her husband's, childhood, which I keep thinking of.
It's sheep-shearing season in this scene, and Almanzo is too little to help shear. His job is to run the bundled wool up the ladder into the barn's loft while his father and--uncle, or brother; I forget which--do the shearing. He's working as hard as he can, running up and down as fast as he can, but they're faster at shearing than he is at bundling and carrying the wool, and they keep teasing him about it. Eventually it's lunchtime, and they go to lunch while Almanzo has to finish carrying the wool they've done upstairs.
While he's at it, he hauls a sheep up there, too.
Then he, too, goes to lunch, and the afternoon is spent doing exactly the same thing: Almanzo running his legs off while he's teased mercilessly about falling behind. At the end of the day, they've sheared all the sheep, and are crowing over having outpaced Almanzo, who turns to *them* in triumph and says, "No! I've got a fleece upstairs you haven't shorn yet!"
Turning PHOENIX in before I've gotten the COYOTE revisions feels distinctly as if I've got an unshorn fleece upstairs, and have every right to dance triumphantly. :)
I'm going to go slather myself in sunblock and see if I can find the riding school now. In theory it's about a 3 mile walk and fairly straightforward to find, but the Irish don't believe in road signs, which may make it an adventure. OTOH, it's an island. I can't get *that* lost. :)