‘A horse is a horse, of course, of course.’ Remember the theme song to the tv show, Mr. Ed? Gosh, I loved that show. Mr. Ed was a horse’s horse, a horse above all others, the king of horses. If only we could all have such a wonderful steed as he. And he could talk. Who’d have thought?
When we were kids, Grandma and Grandpa bought us grandkids a pony. She was a beautiful horse. A Welsh pony named Velvet, dark brown and with blond mane and tail. Just the right size for the range of the ages of me, my sisters, and our cousins. She sounds like a dream, doesn’t she?
Dear Velvet was the meanest, orneriest, crabbiest pony this side of the Equator.
This new addition to the farm was delivered one afternoon as we kids hung on the paddock fence in excited anticipation. We were on top of the world to have such a gift. Being that I was the oldest, I was hoisted up on her back first, while the young woman that brought her, held onto the bridle. I was beyond thrilled.
When I was old enough, this trusted steed and I were going to explore field and forest, creek and backroad. I was certain that Velvet and I would cut an impressive picture wherever we went. Who knew, with her beauty and my equestrian skills, that I would surely acquire, we may be asked to lead parades, people may drive out just to see us prance across the field, wildflowers bowing as we pass.
As soon as Velvet’s former owner stepped away leaving me sitting atop, my hands gripping the reins, the critter took off at a gallop, going full speed toward the back fence. I dropped the reins and held on to her mane for all I was worth, my blood-curdling screams could be heard across the county, while the adults yelled for me to grab the reins. Couldn’t they see, I was so in the clutch of terror that I couldn’t respond? All I saw before me was the barbed wire fence in the distance looming nearer with each beat of Velvet’s hooves. I was going to be sliced to pieces. Yes, it was harrowing, terrifying, nightmarish, if you will. My brief life flashed before me. This was it. I close my eyes and waited for the angels to come get me.
Within moments, the young woman caught up, grabbed the bridle, and brought Velvet to a stop. I was saved. My lifesaver, wish I knew her name, led us back to everyone waiting at the fence where I could barely make out their anxious faces for the tears blinding my vision.
Over time, and after several attempts to thwart Velvet’s wicked ways, a truce was established. She didn’t like us any more than we liked her, and we all accepted that fact. She remained at the farm where we’d gaze at her from time to time and when feeling brave, we would venture close to pet her, fingers crossed she wasn’t in a nippy mood. Yes, she nipped at us something fierce.
Poor Grandma and Grandpa had been so excited at the prospect of giving us this gift, but what are you going to do? Velvet, for all her beauty, was the spawn of the devil. Mr. Ed would have chewed her out big-time.