Sunday, November 25, 2012
They (don't always) Shoot Horses
We were on our way to the movie theatre, waiting for the subway to come. Ruby and Sadie had both thought to bring a toy along . Sadie was carrying a big soft monkey. Ruby had chosen a beautiful pink horse that she adores. Both monkey and horse are lucky because they often go on outing with their respective kids. Ruby and I were a little faster than the other three so we got up to the end of the platform so we could get on the front of the train. She set the horse down beside her on the platform floor and something happened and the front leg broke off and when she grabbed for the piece it slid right over the edge. She didn't even notice my had drop down behind her. I wanted to be prepared for her to dash over to the edge, but I didn't need to worry, she just said, 'It's gone isn't it?' I said yes.
We got on the subway and I noticed she was near tears. Her beloved horse was broken. It lay unattended beside her, beginning the process of being discarded. But when I looked at the horse it still seemed beautiful and carry around-able. It still had a magnificent main and a tail permanently sculpted by wind. She picked it up again when we got to Dundas station and were heading in to catch the elevator up to the street. She again was walking beside me. I asked her how she thought the horse was feeling. He looked at me like I was out to lunch, the words 'it's a toy' formed in her eyes.
As she didn't answer I said, "I think that the horse is worried and a little scared."
"I think it's worried that people will only see his missing foot, that they won't see all the rest of him, and because of that they won't think he need love or attention. He's still a perfectly good horse."
She looked from me to the horse and back.
I continued, "When my legs stopped working I needed Joe to show me that I was still loved and that I still mattered."
She was getting it.
"So I should show the horse that I love him anyways?"
"What would a lot of kids do with a horse that had a broken off foot?"
"Throw it away."
"Do you think that you'll never be able to play with the horse again?"
"He's still beautiful."
"I know, but even though he's beautiful I think he's afraid right now that he's just going to be thrown away."
The elevator doors opened and on we got.
On the way up in the car, Ruby quickly and quietly gave the toy a hug and said, "I love you."
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Keeping the things we love, even when they are broken is a great life lesson to teach a child--there are so many adults that have missed it.
Darn Breyer horses anyway. They're so fragile.
The tremendous education she has received shows through again!
This post choked me right up. What a beautiful lesson.
Reminded me of the "Velveteen Rabbit" story. A childhood favorite of mine. (And still is!) It always makes me cry - as did your story.
Oh, Dave, so very touching. I am happy to think that Ruby still loves the horse.
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