|The Trust of One (standard:non fiction, 1757 words)|
|Author: E. Creely||Added: Jul 21 2001||Views/Reads: 1777/1077||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|This is a recollection/narrative about a particular little girl who I hope I gave a lasting gift to.|
I have thousands of photos, and only a small portion ever end up in some sort of photo album. The rest remain in shoeboxes, giving them a much more dignified existence. Every now and then I grab a stack and peruse them expectantly, as their non-temporal arrangement makes each one seem new, since I don't know which image I will be seeing and feeling next. Occasionlly I cull this unruly herd of memories, deciding I don't really need another shot of some tree or flower, and this culling also involves the pictures I can't remember why I bothered saving. There is one particularly random picture I have never thrown out. It is of an earnest-faced girl gently brushing the face of a horse. It is a close-up, a portrait I took for a class in college. Her gentleness and utter submission to the act she is performing is complete. This 9-year-old girl who lived underneath my apartment was a hesitant and gentle little thing. Soft-spoken, and wearing dorky glasses, she wore wal-mart clothing and a thrift-store disposition. Her mother was a nice, overweight, simple woman who did god-knows-what for a living. All I know was that shortly after meeting her mother, this girl wanted to show me her model horses and was enthralled when I spoke of horses I've known. This is why I adored her. She was an under-dog, didn't give a hoot yet about her blatantly poor looks, hadn't been corrupted yet by the teasings that were sure to come her way. She's pure still and will only last this way for another year or two. This is how she remains in my memory. She will turn hard later, with no choice because those who turn hard do so when it becomes clear that no one really cares much except her mother, and sometimes that isnt good enough. That is why I took a shine to her and devised a way to get her out of the apartment. Across a little gulley from our complex is a green, dapple-sunlighted pasture with a horse in it, as equally underappreciated as this girl. For 3 months I manage to create a little allegiance between her and this horse, which wasn't my conscious intention at the time. I just felt bad that she spent her days by herself, either inside the basement apartment, or outside on the lawn not doing much of anything. It started by asking her mother if she'd let her daughter go with me to see if the owner's would mind us grooming the horse, ostensibly to show her the right way to do it. We traipsed over to the big, wooden-style house and knocked on the door. She was fidgeting and highly suspect that this will work. I let her know that the worst they can say is no and that if that's the case, we can always sneak in petting sessions since they rarely seem to be home. A nice 30-ish man answers the door and I introduce us, indicate where we live and say 'Ive noticed your horse in the pasture ... I have trained before and I was wondering if it would be ok if she and I come over a few times a week and groom him.' He asks me if we want to ride him and I resist the urge to say 'oh could we??" But instead I do the prudent thing and say 'no, no, I just want to show her how to groom a horse.' He tells me the horse is his mother's, adding 'nobody does much with him anymore - go ahead.' He tells us that we can anytime and we don't have to come and ask every time. He closes the door and I turn around to see her smiling as much as I've ever seen her smile. "We're in" I say, and we return to my house to pull down a few boxes and look for an old pair of curry combs and brushes I've held onto. Walking back to the fenced, hilly pasture, I tell her that I'll approach him first, just to see what kind of mood he is in. Thus the first lesson begins: how to gage his body language. 'You see, when he doesn't want to be bugged, his ears will go back and his eyes will dart all over the place and he'll wag his tail kinda violently,' I tell her in my of-course-I-know-what-I'm-doing voice. I walk to the fence and make a smacking with my lips. I'm still convinced this an insider's way of talking to a horse, a sign that someone who really knows horses does this, of course. I learned it from the Black Stallion movie, my bible of horse sense. The horse, who had been grazing, pricks his head up and measures us with Click here to read the rest of this story (88 more lines)
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