Thursday, July 3, 2008

Memories of Tiny

I think all little girls have a dream of owning a pony at one time or another. Truthfully though, I was terrified of them. That was until I woke up to see a full grown horse on top of our backyard hill. We lived in a suburban community in Brunswick, Ohio. Our backyard butted up against the main highway (I-71) and there was a wire fence that semi protected us from the traffic and at least 1000 yards of land between the fence and the highway. I was terrified that the horse would jump the fence and ultimately lose its life on the highway. Not to mention the poor person who happened to hit the horse. So… I grabbed some cubed sugar and an apple to attract the horses attention. I didn't have to coax the horse at all. It was the friendliest horse I have ever come across and although he was HUGE, he was indeed a gentle giant. He didn't have a saddle or reigns and I had a pretty good idea where he came from but wasn't sure how to get him back.

On the next street from ours there was a couple that had enough land to have approximately 5-10 horses. They were the only people in Brunswick that I knew of that had horses. The problem was even though our development had sidewalks the main street that they lived on did not, which meant having to control the horse on the open road. I was not sure that I could do that. Luckily though the couple knew they were missing the horse and had been searching for him when they saw me feeding him the apple. They came prepared with the necessary horse supplies. I learned that this gentle giants name was Tiny and that he was a curious horse and always managed to escape. From that day on I would go and visit Tiny and eventually they taught me how to ride and take care of him and I have been hooked ever since. I would spend every day after school with him and on the weekends I would clean out his stall. Hank and Betty would allow me to ride him in exchange for taking care of him. Back then it was way cheaper to have me help out then to pay someone. Tiny lived until he was 16 years old. I was 19 and pregnant when I learned of his passing. My parents didn't want me to spend time with him while pregnant in case an accident happened and Betty and Hank agreed. Of course at the time I thought it was silly but looking back, I knew they just wanted to take every precaution necessary. Betty actually came to my house to tell me. Apparently he fell ill with the flu and never recovered. She drove me back to their house so that I could say goodbye. I think I spent a good hour just stroking his mane. I have never found another horse like him.

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