POLAND, ME—Studying the youngsters in front of the stable as if she alone possessed the insight into who belonged with whom, Rockbrook Camp counselor Melissa Burke, 19, reportedly assigned kids to horses in a beginner horseback riding class Thursday like a sage town matchmaker presiding over marriage arrangements. “Sarah, I think Nutmeg would be perfect for you—he’s a nice, kind horse,” said Burke, who skillfully paired the 11- and 12-year-olds with horses by character and temperament as if they were village sons and daughters for whom she was shrewdly brokering a wedding dowry. “Oh, and Alicia? You should be with Cookie. He’s a little anxious, but I bet you’ll be able to calm him down just fine.” At press time, Burke was guiding a shy camper toward a rambunctious horse named Shadow as though she were a naïve maiden being pressured into wedding the town’s most drunken and irritable landowner.

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