Thursday, June 28, 2012

When Wishes Were Horses (Part One)

Easter of 1958 found me, as I had been for years, in the throes of the unrequited love of horses.  I wanted a horse more than anything!  My dad told me he didn't think the parsonage committee would appreciate having a horse in the garage and I was partially mollified.

At the age of almost twelve, I had to satisfy myself with horse figurines and horse books.  My favorite book of all was Marguerite Henry's Album of Horses.  I took this out of the library as often as I was allowed (every once in a while the librarian convinced me to let someone else have a crack at signing it out).  I kept it for as long as it was possible and returned it again and again on the last possible day.

I spent hours and hours drinking in the glorious illustrations by Wesley Dennis.  The prancing Percheron, the leaping Lippizan, the amazing Arab.  I loved that book!

One day I was rummaging in the linen cupboard for a towel and what did I find but a brand new copy of Album of Horses tucked in amongst the towels.  I was flushed with excitement but deeply chagrined to have unearthed this awesome secret.  I tucked it carefully back into its hiding place.  Mom and dad would ever know I had made this discovery;  I would feign surprise at the presentation.

It was only years later that mom confided to me that they knew instantly that I had found the book when I returned the library copy before its due date!