We lived in small rural towns growing up. When I was in third grade and Jackie was in second ... friends gave us an old horse named Toby.
Toby has just been delivered to our humble country home. I see myself walking, shakily, behind Jackie, who is running toward him without any thought but to get to the horse. I am moving slowly, with my hand outstretched, carrying an apple.
Jackie is already hanging around his neck; she has reached him first, and has claimed him to be "hers". She jumps forward and grabs his halter, and plants a loud kiss on his big, soft nose.
Jackie is exuberant and giddy with joy. She apparently has none of the trepidation I am feeling about this large animal. He towers over us, seemingly as large as an elephant. Toby stands, patiently, allowing Jackie to swarm around him, under him, and after my mother lifts her up, onto his back.
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