SOUTH MAIN MUSE: “Carrots and apples. And horse's kisses.”
BY: Jamie Miles
Lips and Teeth. I don’t mind soft, gentle lips caressing my body. On the other hand, teeth can be brutal on body parts.
Fingers are body parts and horses have teeth. Off one morning to meet some horses, the prospect terrified me.
This weekend in Madison, the daylong EquiFest celebrates these beautiful creatures. Observing a horse, the way she moves, to look in her eyes, how can anyone deny creation by a higher power? Hamsters, maybe, but horses never.
Driving out to the Hughes’ Shoestring Farm, I recalled most childhood rides spiraled downward to me sitting on a horse in water up to my knees.
I had this sign on my back, visible only to the equine community. Anytime, I rode a horse and happened to be within half a mile of water, the horse bolted. Every time. I held on and prayed. Honestly, things happened so quickly, I didn’t prayed much. Lumbering across many a meadow, with hands hunkered-down on the saddle’s horn like a tick on a coonhound, I braced for inevitable deluge.
This day I brought my daughter along hoping to recapture the enthusiasm I felt for these enormous hoofed creatures before becoming the joke they loved dragging through the water.
Bearing apples, carrots and crepe paper courage, we met Katie, Toy and Cutie. Katie appeared sweet and wanted some apple. Confessing I had no idea how to feed this kind, large creature without losing a portion my ring finger down to the first knuckle, Rose Mary laughed. I made her promise never to tell a soul that...
I like my fingers and I type lots. They have expensive contraptions where you talk and words go on screen, but call me an old-fashioned pecker – with typing that is.
Yet sometimes life challenges you to strap on your big girl panties (especially while your daughter watches for heaven’s sake) and feed a horse a bit of apple. I stuck my hand out flat – hyper-extending it backwards – and closed my eyes. You know what I felt?
Lips. Dear lips grabbed that apple. No blood, no crushed bones, no mangled skin or missing digits. A sweet kiss of her mouth and the apple vanished. Lovely.
The whole morning ended up lovely. After lots of carrots and apples, the ladies turned and walked away.
Funny, how that works. Sometimes things seem so big and scary – almost too wonderful. Opportunities trot your way, staring you in the eye. One sniff and you fear they realize they’ve got the upper hand.
Listen. Strain to believe logic over your heart. Stick out your hand flat as a pancake and trust the instruction. Isn’t a kiss, even a horse’s kiss, always worth conquering a little fear?
PRINTED IN THE APRIL 23, 2009 EDITION