Hand in hand, granddaughter and I approach the fence.
Wide-eyed, she takes in the sounds and smells
and great size of the animal before her.
Hoofed, long knobby-kneed legs
stretched far above her,
flaring nostrils strain to decipher
her smell as the great head reaches
down between the fence wires.
Lifted up protectively by Grandma,
she stares in wonder at her first close-up
of the familiar shape, at the great size
of this gentle and friendly beast.
Horse looked like his pictures
in books, only was much bigger
than the child had ever imagined.
Big teeth chewed grass in her face.
Flies bedeviled the big round eyes.
Matted hair flowed windswept
down the great sleek neck.
Big muscles quivered automatically
to displace the ever-present,
bothersome black flies. Her eyes swept
over the big broad back, flanks, and behind
terminating in a thick swath
of hair in perpetual motion.
The little girl took it all in and decided
a horse is all of this, of course,
but especially, he is BIG.
first published in PKA’s Advocate!
©2002 Bonnie Manion