hold the filly and pet her from head to tail, rubbing
my hands in small circles like Linda Tellington Jones
teaches us to do. The way Larissah does as she nuzzles
this filly that I hope will someday race far and wide
across the country and in other countries as well …
Will those countries still be there, I wonder? …
Oil prices climb to all-time high … stock markets
react … warships moving toward Asia …
go back to Honey Babes and brush her, remembering when
she first came here. “You were pretty skinny,”
I say, brushing her bright Chestnut hair and untangling
her flaxen mane. (Just between you and me, she’s
made up for it since then and I’m ready to call
Weight Watchers). She munches on a carrot and I put
the saddle on her as a car pulls up next to the barn.
Sandy’s right on time for our morning ride. We’ll
go out on the trails. We’ll see a few wild rabbits,
maybe a deer or two, and gallop as fast as we can up
the mountain. We’ll laugh and talk about business
and life and what we must do today. We’ll be young
and free and overflowing with ideas. Sandy’s going
to a polo seminar this weekend and, as we ride, she
practices swinging her arm like a polo player. Her horse,
Rhazzle, doesn’t seem to mind. But, I notice his
lower lip flapping the way it does when he’s worried.
Sandy and I have ridden like this since we were kids
and she is the one who inspired the character “Sassy”
in my novel “Fate of the Stallion.” …
Drought takes France, U.S. Midwest, Portugal, Spain
ride is over, good-byes are said and I pedal out the
lane. Maxine and Bonnie and Ken and Jared will be arriving
soon to clean up the kennels, feed the dogs and work
in the studio. This farm we’ve brought to life,
this very unusual place with its books and music and
the animals that model for the collectible figurines
we’ve made for so many years is like other places
where animal lovers make “their own world.”
animal lovers aware of political and scientific events
swirling around us? Most of us are, and a lot of us
discover that raising animals – showing them,
caring for them (and sometimes following their example)
– is a way for us to keep such things in perspective.
For Mamie the cat, nothing in the world is more important
than the sound of mice, bugs and fluttering birds among
the tall grass growing along the fence that (as far
as she is concerned) belongs only to her. She doesn’t
clutter her mind with things like taxes and laws and
international affairs as she plays in the long grass.
Mamie is a healthy cat.
mare and her foal, the German Shepherd by her master’s
side, the cows in the barn … their world is what
they see around them, and what they know to be real.
The value of the dollar or the pound or the yen doesn’t
bother them. The ranting of presidents, premiers and
kings has no emotional effect on them, either. The grave
warnings of scientists do not scare them or blow them
off course. Animals walk with kings or commoners with
the same confidence, the same steady sense of well being.
There’s a healthy lesson in that: a truth to carry
us all day over the mountain on a mare named Honey Babes,
flying through the trees with Harry Potter’s white
owl at night and into the hope of the next morning.
There will be another morning, they promise. There may
be all kinds of political monsters out there. But, as
long as there are horses, wild cats and dogs, there
will always be another morning and something to love.
Sitting here with a cup of green tea, my bare feet propped
on the sleeping dog under my desk, and reading your
letters, I’m sure of it.