Our little piece of heaven in Pepin County, Wisconsin
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Reminiscing With Horses
I got into a conversation about end of life issues with horses this weekend and I thought I would share a little story of this lovely Arab mare, Lallie. She's no longer with me but I will never forget her.
Her fancy registered name was Commons Lalique, but to me, she was just Lallie. Like "my girl lollipop" which I sang to her as a greeting.
She and her herd mate Beau came to me by way of their own retirement of sorts. Their "family" grew up and out of interest with horses. I was just getting back to them after 30 years without a horse in my life.
They had to go as a pair--and at 13 and 15 years, they weren't spring chickens. In fact, Lallie had a sore knee and a noticeable limp but I was not to be deterred by some silly little affliction. I willed those horses to be mine and after the owners were sure I was going to provide for them I rounded up a guy and a trailer and took them to a friend's farm where they would live until Don and I had a country place of our own. I made the 12 mile drive each morning before work to feed and again after work. I relished every moment I could spend with them.
When the time came to move to our forever home at Catfish Corner I decided I would bring Lallie the 100 mile trip south first. She would be more comfortable in the trailer by herself with her gimpy leg. We arrived on a Friday and I planned to go up Monday after the weekend traffic to get the other two.
Lallie did fine on the trip, but when we got here she was noticeably upset that her friends weren't with her. After some calling out and running around looking for them, she settled in--for a while. I heard her whinnying over night....she was hanging at the north end of the field....just watching. Saturday was a long day for her. I just kept telling her her friends would be here soon. But my consolations weren't enough. She was so sad!! By Sunday she was despondent.
Monday morning I led her out to the pasture down the lane. She had the big grassy field to herself and sure enough, she ambled out to the northernmost part and looked for her friends. I got myself up to Frederic and picked up her buddies -- it seemed they were feeling anxious to go, too. The nearly 6 hour round trip went by quickly as I thought about the happy reunion that was going to happening soon.
As I led Ranger and Cerra into their new pasture there were squeals of delight! They couldn't wait to see each other. I have never seen happier horses! But what happened next was above any expectation..........
The three amigos set off to frolic in their new pasture when Lallie abruptly stopped about 30 feet into her joyous reunion. She turned away from her herd and walked straight back to me and buried her head into my belly. I just loved on her and said, "I told you I was going to bring them!" She told me as plain as could be--"thank you so much". She let me pet her a little longer and then she turned back to her friends and trotted off.
It still brings tears to my eyes. And for once, a horse story with a happy ending.