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Bordeom led Culver sophomore Morgan Brandon to transform her horse in an unexpected way.

COURTESY PHOTO: OLIVIA BRANDON - Morgan Brandon, 15, of Culver, puts the finishing touches on the first side of her horse, Dancer. Brandon transformed Dancer into a zebra to escape the boredom of stay-home orders during COVID-19. She used nontoxic, washable paint.When Olivia Brandon came home Friday morning, she wasn't expecting to see a zebra.

Well, not exactly a zebra. Her daughter, Morgan, was painting black stripes on her white horse, Dancer.

Morgan is finishing her sophomore year at Culver High School, and boredom during the first couple of weeks of Gov. Kate Brown's stay-home orders has led to more creativity.

"It's been good to be outside and do something creative," she said, "and figuring out some creative way to do something with what you have instead of being stuck inside like most kids are."

She and her best friend "were thinking of things that we could possibly do that were extra special and not really thought of," she said.

She saw a video of a dad taking his 2-year-old to the zoo and got the idea to paint her horse like a zebra.

"Me and my best friend thought it was one of my best ideas yet," she said.

So Morgan googled what to use to paint horses. There was plenty of information, since a lot of people paint their horses for parades.

She used nontoxic, washable tempera paint, "so it's completely safe for the horse," she said.

In fact, "it was temporary enough that once Dancer rolled in the dirt, most of the paint came off," she said.

Dancer moved around quite a bit when Morgan was first painting, but a bucket of hay and Morgan's sister Julia feeding her carrots was enough to keep her happy and relatively still.

"It took about five and a half hours," she said. "I looked up a picture of a zebra and kind of based it off that, but it was all freehanded."

She got to share her handiwork with a couple of neighbors who stopped by, as well as her best friend and other classmates through social media.

"And then my mom posted it on Facebook as well," Morgan said. That meant her grandparents and other family and friends got in on the fun, too.

"Everybody absolutely loved it," she said.

Morgan said following the stay-home orders has been all right.

"You don't get to hang out with or be around people anymore, so socially, it's kind of hard, but I make it work," she said.

She's also involved in more than 10 extracurricular activities, including dance, 4-H and archery.

"It's been really frustrating to see so many things that I love to do or events I want to go to canceled," she said.

But Morgan has focused on riding horses, shooting her bow and gun, going fishing and finding free and cheap projects to do around the house.

She comes by that naturally. Her father, Don, works in construction, "so he's building or doing something all the time," Morgan said. "And my mom loves handmade things."

Olivia was impressed with Morgan's application of her unique art skills, turning something normal into something unusual.


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