Wednesday, June 28, 2017

🎄 King and Me

December 22, 2016 by  
Filed under 2016 Christmas, Monthly Articles

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King and Me
by Lucy Cortese

He was the gift that every little girl longs for…her very own pony. King came into my life at an early age. The elegant horse was my first Christmas surprise. I was much too young then to understand the significance of this generous present or how he would touch my life.

King was a small horse, just the right size for a young child. In the early years I stood on a box to mount him. By age five I could boost my body up, grab his reins and ride off into the Western sunset. My scarlet cowgirl outfit and ten-gallon hat fashionably matched his red saddle.  Proud and bold, my new identity evolved.

Roy Roger’s adopted daughter. Annie Oakley’s rival sharpshooter. Little Joe Cartwright’s girlfriend on the Ponderosa Ranch. Sidekick of the Lone Ranger. King’s little princess.

My loyal steed was my unicorn. King flew me to exotic places, both real and imagined. We travelled to the pyramids of Egypt, Great Wall of China and Mount Fuji. I befriended Geisha girls, Eskimos, Aborigines and Pygmies. Local trips around town were equally magical. Journeys along sandy beaches or through pristine woods opened my mind and expanded my horizons.

With an unselfish heart, I allowed selected folks to ride King: siblings, cousins and best friends. Over the years, nieces and nephews and my own children shared the joy. My aging pony provided short jaunts for them, but King and I understood that he was mine alone.

A favorite companion. A trusted confidant. King and me–the two amigos.

My gentle pony and I shared a lifetime of friendship. Jobs, marriage and life changes brought fifteen moves around the country. I never left King behind. Difficult to find a place to board him, creative stables were conceived near every new residence.

We grew up together. We grew old together. I dreaded the day we would have to part.

At last the fateful event arrived. I tied an enormous bow around the old boy’s neck. The red saddle now faded and cracked; the white coat worn to a dingy grey. Tears filled my eyes and I think I saw moisture around his sad brown ones. Could anyone possibly love him as much?

“King, meet your new master.” I handed him over, a Christmas present lovingly re-gifted.

With his owner secure in the saddle, my pony began to move. Slowly at first, then faster and faster. Rocking. Rocking. Rocking my darling grandson into the enchantment of childhood.

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