It was a November full moon. The snow was shin deep. I talked two of my little brothers into going outside to play with me after supper. They happily bundled up, thinking snowball fights, or moon shadow-tag, or some such little kid game. I was thinking … there are ponies in the pasture ….
We played in the snow for a while, but it was too cold to pack and too deep to run in. Finally, we ducked under the single strand, electric wire into the horse pasture.
There was a big horse, a black momma pony, and a white baby pony. The adults evaded me like professionals. The baby was curious, happy to be social but petting her was small consolation for the ride I had hoped to get on that beautiful night. (Though I’d never ridden, I watched plenty of westerns in my nine years. I was pretty confident I knew what I was doing.)
Since I couldn’t ride, I thought one of my brothers might as well. “Hey, Lee. want to ride her?” He was the older of the two, so he had first dibs.
“No. I just want to pet her. She’s nice.” Typical first grader.
“Come on. It’ll be fun.” One of us was going to enjoy a ride on this sparkly night. I don’t know how long it took me to talk him into it. After I did, I didn’t realize what a chunk he’d be to hoist up onto that hairy little back.
In hindsight, it’s amazing the filly let us wallow around on her like she did. As soon as his legs clamped around her little sides, however, she took off like a shot; bucking and running.
Lance and I watched in amazement. Huh. Who’d’a thunk?
Lee stuck on for a couple of bucks and jumps before neatly sliding off, poofing in the snow. The filly kept on going, bucking and running. When she reached her herd, all three disappeared into the woods in a cloud of white dust.
I picked Lee up out of the snow, brushing him off. I had to get him to quit crying before we got back to the house.