A happy ending

December 31st, 2010

I just saw my brother-in-law J head off for a ride on his chestnut horse, the one that has been limping for months, the one that’s been lying down to sleep, the one that J hasn’t let out in the pasture all winter. He has been walking him, gently, with a firm grip on the halter, around the farm for – I can’t remember how long: since the days were warm, I think. Certainly since before the snow. Since well before Thanksgiving. Vets have been out to look at him several times. I have been hoping for a good ending to this story. For my own sake, that I do not have to explain to the boys about putting animals down. For the boys’ sake, because they are attached to the horses, but for Boychen especially, who is crazy about them. For J’s sake, because he loves that horse.

They just headed out, slowly, into the dusk, with light-reflecting bands wrapped around the legs of both man and horse. They just headed out, towards the woods; towards, hopefully, a happy ending.