My Horse Tale: He Makes Me Laugh

I see two horses on my neighborhood walk. They’re the highlight of my day.

If they’re not in sight, if a dust storm — we get lots of them here in Idaho — starts up suddenly…I worry about them.

I make up stories about where they could’ve gone off to. I check their ribs, to make sure they’re muscular and strong, not emaciated.

My father loved horses. More than dogs. To hear him talk about them, the majestic beauty of them, the rare times he wasn’t enraged and on a murderous tear, is to truly have lived. My father was also a magnificent orator.

He could make you love whatever he loved, too. In time, I grew to love horses from afar.

I’d never seen one up close, much less in person. Unless you count those long country drives. But they don’t count.

Here, you can see lots of horses and other animals up close.

One day, I went around the bend and saw one of the two neighborhood horses eating grass right over the fence. So close I could touch his mane if I wanted.

I walked up and stared into his brown, unblinking eyes, and said hi.

He stopped chewing, grass sticking out his mouth, making me laugh. I wanted so much to pet him. But I respected his boundaries, and moved on.

I’m not one to impose my will on any being.

Later, I read online that horses can’t see you directly in front or behind. You need to approach them gently from the side.

Every time I pass them, they stop if they see me, stare for a few long seconds, then go back about their business.

When we make our final move into our new build (almost done), I’ll miss them.

Originally published at on April 19, 2021.

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