You wouldn't know it by my life the last, oh, 25 years, but my dream is to own a horse. I was a horse-crazy teenager and never lost the love. As a kid, I couldn't coerce my parents into buying me a horse (though I certainly tried), and as an adult, I don't have the financial resources. And somehow, I've lost focus. The minutiae of everyday life has swamped the more important stuff that life is made of. The dreams.
Last week, however, my friend Amy took me horseback riding at a local dude ranch and I was able to touch my fingertips to the dream again. My steed was Gordy, a mud-speckled chestnut (it had been raining for days) with a surprisingly pleasing personality for a dude-ranch horse. He had good brakes, a responsive accelerator and reasonably good steering. The Hallowe'en decorations didn't spook him, and when told to do something displeasing (take the path away from the barn, for example), he did so with minimal (but audible) grumbling. We got along just fine.
It was a grey, cool day, perfect for a ride through woods and along soybean fields. We saw several deer almost within touching distance, hens and their chicks scratching in the leaf litter of the woods, and quite a few chopped-up corpses. (The decorations were decidedly gruesome.)
The barn was occupied by a herd of very small ponies who milled around like feral cats. When we arrived, they had breached the tack room door and were busy scattering the contents of a garbage can, nosing around for edibles.
Other critters included a workmanlike cattle dog named Roper and a teacup poodle/Yorkshire terrier cross who resembled nothing more closely than a long-haired guinea pig. He rode around in his mistress' jacket, as one hoof put wrong would have squashed him like a bug.
Thanks, Amy, for reminding me that there is more to life than cooking and cleaning and supervising homework. I needed to touch my dream again.