I sat looking over the rim of my morning cup of coffee and out on the hill I saw a beautiful black horse. He stood in stark relief to the fall colors
the trees had taken. He was standing there in the wild flowers and seemed to be looking right at me. He was at least a hundred yards away, but still,
his eyes seemed to look across the field, over the creek, over the fence, through the window, between the curtains, through my eyes and straight into
my soul. We sat there for a moment, each of us wondering who would blink first, and waited. I lost. I like to think it was the heat from the coffee
but, really, he beat me. His ears perked up for a second and his head jerked slightly, as if he knew he had won. He turned and the sun shown
brilliantly on his glossy black hair. And away he went, out of sight behind the trees.
The next morning I got my coffee and my paper and sat down at the table not expecting to see anything but one sad news story after another. A flicker
of movement caught my eye. As I looked up I saw him on the hill. He was in a canter and just prancing like he owned the place. It was his field and he
knew it. He snacked on some wild grass, I sipped my domesticated coffee. And we both felt a little kick of life in us. It felt good seeing him out on
the hill, just enjoying the crisp morning air. Fall was my favorite time of year.
The week went by and we both seemed content with our morning routine. Me and my coffee, he and his wild grass, both of us invigorated by the exchange.
I was a little late Friday morning having slept in a bit and raised my cup of coffee to him before I sat down at the table. He nodded his head as if
to say, “Glad you made it, good to see you.” I raised my cup to him again before sitting at the table and turning my attention to my paper. I
checked on him every few minutes and he checked on me too.
I arose early on Saturday, earlier than usual, to make sure I didn't offend my friend on the hill by being late again. I poured my coffee and waited
for a moment but I didn't see him. “Hmmm,” I thought. “I hope I didn't insult him,” I wondered aloud. I felt foolish having said it. He's a
horse and probably never even saw me. But it was fun to imagine that he had. I sipped my coffee slowly, giving him time to show, but he never did.
The next morning it was the same. I joked to myself that it was the weekend and he was home with his family and I probably wouldn't see him until
Monday when the work week started. I accepted that weak excuse because nothing else I thought of made me feel even half as good. I hoped it was
Monday morning came and went and I had my coffee alone again. It was the same way I had had my coffee for years, but this is the first time it ever
felt lonely. I decided I was going to find out who's horse it was and go say hello to him in person. I had to know if he had seen me or not. I knew a
rancher out on the main road owned all the land on the other side of the creek. I decided to take a ride to meet him.
I pulled in to the yard in front of the house and could see several barns and fields beyond, but no horse. A tall man, lean but strong looking, came
out of the house and asked what I wanted. “I live on the other side of the creek, the red brick two story 'bout half a mile from here. My name is
Wayne, I'm pleased to meet you.” I extended my hand. He grasped it firmly and shook saying, “Nice to meet you Wayne, I'm Roger. What can I do for
I felt a little foolish but I explained about the black horse and our morning routine. Roger took his cowboy hat off, scratched his head a little,
then put it back on and said, “Uh huh...well it ain't the strangest thing I heard of lately.” He had a little flicker of a grin when he said that
and I wasn't sure if he was laughing at me or not. I stood there wondering so Roger continued, “Yuh, he's mine. He's a good horse. His mare was
having a hard birthing and he wouldn't leave her side. When the foal finally came he stayed right there with the two of them, looking out for them.”
We walked over to the barn where the black horse stood by his mare and foal. I looked at him, at his eyes, and I knew he had seen me. These were the
same eyes that looked into mine every morning. We felt like we knew each other, standing there like that. The foal came bouncing by in front of him. I
swear he stood just a little taller in that moment, he was proud and I could see it. He wasn't offended that I was late that one morning, he just had
more important things to do.
I think I'll go visit the kids this weekend, just to tell them how proud I am.
edit on 4-10-2021 by Vroomfondel because: (no reason given)