Monday, August 5, 2013

Harvey by my side

An illustration from The Enormous Egg
I took some photos of Harv the other day --You know how I am with photos.

Anyway, as I snapped a shot, Harv dragged me to a new patch of grass and the camera accidentally took a shot of my hand holding the lead rope. This sparked a train of thought. I thought about walking with Harv.

When I was a kid...
Many years ago -- when I was maybe eight years old -- my dad and mom, with great fanfare,  had a big "movie night" for my sister and I. We sat down as a family to watch a TV movie based on the book The Enormous Egg by Oliver Butterworth. I don't remember the story line well, but I think a little boy  found a big egg, and he was a little obsessed with it, and he got teased by the other kids. Well, he had the last laugh. The big egg  hatched and grew into a dinosaur.

Me and my dinosaur take a walk
Kids' books can be wonderful in the way they weave fantasy into the real world. The pinnacle of the movie was the day that the boy took a walk with his Triceratops, to the amazement of all of the boys and girls who had teased him. In the movie, the dinosaur was way bigger than the one shown in the kid's book (top right).The TV dinosaur blimp is now at the Smithsonian.

 It was a great moment for geeky kids everywhere -- I loved seeing this little kid walking down the street with his massive reptile friend. He was beaming while other children looked on.

My accidental photo
  Is it weird to say that I get a smidgen of that feeling every time I take Harvey or Riley for a walk, or out to graze. There is something about holding that lead rope. It's a connection to something beautiful and special.

And if this isn't weird enough...
When I'm really sad, or nervous, or afraid -- like when Bob was in the hospital a few years ago -- I think of Harvey and imagine he is next to me.  I even catch myself imagining that I'm holding a lead rope. The image calms me down.

No matter how weird it is, it's nice to have an image that connects me to my equine friends. And, I'm not alone in my adult fantasy-world. I recently shared this with another woman friend, and she confided to me that her calming fantasy is walking down the street of her hometown,  hand-in-hand with Elvis Presley (early Elvis, not Vegas Elvis).

So it isn't just me ;-).


  1. Wow.
    I could get maudlin very easily so will try to maintain a bit of discipline BUT
    Connection to something beautiful and special?- check
    Calming?- check
    Go-to place when I'm feeling sad/nervous/afraid?- check, check and check.
    I am blessed with a wonderful family, it's no reflection on them at all- but when it's all too much and there are no answers, there is only one place for me to go. Inexplicable, but there it is.

  2. I think this is absolutely WONDERFUL, and I know exactly how you feel. When I was little I used to drag a stuffed animal around on the end of a string pretending to walk it, and now it gives me the GREATEST pleasure to walk my dog. I don't think anyone else in the family feels that way, but having her on the other end of the leash, is just very, very special and important to me. It's why my heart practically seizes up when I think of her not being there anymore. I will not be without someone on the end of the leash ever again until I'm literally too old and decrepit to do it.

    To walk my own horse is a fantasy I've enjoyed since about age five, when I started riding for real. And I ADORE grazing lesson horses after lessons, as that's the closest I've come.

    In fact, I'm so pathetic about wanting to walk a horse that I still remember the times when a horse-owning friend handed me the lead rope and asked me to graze their horse (purely because they had something else to do, not because they knew it was a big deal to me).

    Sadly, the horse I get to ride once in a while nowadays has many acres of his own gorgeous pasture ride outside the barn, so it's untack, hose off if needed, and turn out. No hand-grazing needed. But I sure do miss it...

  3. Love this post. I have since very little had horses as my "guides" when going through difficult things. There is a big red bay that walked/trotted/cantered/galloped as needed beside me throughout my childhood and I still have that image as I drive around. It's the most comforting thing in my life, and I feel really lucky that I also have a real live big red bay living right here with me who keeps me company and helps me get centered on a daily basis.

  4. Very sweet. I adore the idea of our animal friends carrying us through. Before my horse, I liked the image of my huge gray cat purring. That was very comforting and made me feel connected to something more. My cat was a generous purrer.

  5. I cannot count the number of times my horses have been my solace in times of trouble. The lead rope connection is like a link to sanity and peace.


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