Wednesday, July 14, 2010
The Little Red-Haired Girl
Tonight, while out doing my chores (and truth be told, petting horses and daydreaming... ), I was doing some reminiscing and thought of a story to share... just a tiny tidbit of Pintabian horse history.
Back in the mid-1990's, my sister Rosalie (that's her in the photo, holding the foal) and I traveled with some friends to a horse fair in the big city to help promote Pintabian horses. It was a first... and it was a BLAST.
We were so busy, with tending horses and tending booths and taking in the sights and yakking until we lost our voices, that I remember very little about the trip... it was overwhelming to the senses.
There is one memory of the trip I recall vividly, however... and that is our encounter with the little red-haired girl.
One of the big events of this horse fair was a "Parade of Breeds"; and since we were there promoting a brand-new breed, this showcase was a Very. Big. Deal. We had a beautiful mare and foal to show off, and when the mare was led into the coliseum, we turned her foal loose. The foal knew, somehow, that she was in the spotlight, and acted accordingly. She went racing around that arena as if doing a victory lap, and the crowd went wild.
Needless to say, on the way back to the barns, we were absolutely jubilant. People kept stopping us, asking if they could pet the horses, raving about how beautiful they were... and we were happy to oblige. One of those people, however, did not ask... at least, not out loud.
A little red-haired girl just stood there, quietly, her eyes begging us to stop and let her touch the foal.
She was maybe five or six years old... and pretty unkempt. There was not a parent or guardian of any sort, anywhere around; this little girl seemed all alone in the world. We attempted to speak with her, but she would have none of it... all she wanted was to touch that baby horse. We stopped there, right in the midst of the main drag, horses and people milling around, and watched as joy brightened that little girl's face just as surely as dawn brightens the eastern sky. The foal nuzzled the girl, ever so gently, and the girl practically nuzzled her right back. I think we all had tears in our eyes, watching the scene unfold.
All these years later, I can't remember just how we parted ways... if a frazzled young mother caught up to the girl, if she wandered off, or maybe we were entertaining an angel unaware. In any case, I often think of that little girl and wonder if she ever thinks of that day, or if it had any impact on her life.
It certainly had an impact on mine.