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Hope Flies On Silver Wings
Hope flies on silver wings. My pa never let me believe otherwise. It was a rainy October evening when he finally passed on. I never knew where he went, but as he smiled and clasped my hand, I could swear he was seeing angels.
Staring into the dying sun along the horizon, I heard a horse whinny. Pa had always believed that the world was full of possibilities. That was why he never lost hope, even after our doc told us that he’d stand no chance against the flu. No chance at all.
Ma was on her old rickety rocking chair, quilting some granny squares just like Gran used to do. I’d never been too good at the lady-like things Ma tried to teach me. No, what I’d always wanted was a beautiful Shetland pony, one that the princesses of old Celtic Ireland would ride with their streaming golden hair. I could never change my dusty brown braids, but the horse was always at the back of my mind, even during lessons. Especially during lessons.
The horse whinnied again and this time I turned in time to see it grazing. Even from a distance I could tell that it was feral. In other words, a wild, yet at the sane time beauty, if the two could ever exist together.
Unlike my ma, Pa didn’t think it was impossible to have my own horse. “Clem, never forget that the world’s a mystery,” he would say to me, using the nickname only he would use, and as I looked into his green eyes I could almost believe him.
My heart began to throb the same way it always did whenever I thought of Pa and how he always seemed to understand me. I couldn’t recall when I came up with the notion, but in a matter of seconds I found myself getting ready to chase after that wild horse.
Ma didn’t even bat an eye (though she might’ve just been sleeping) as I hurdled the fence in front of our farm and raced onto the grassy field, arms outstretched. I did a quick twirl, bathing in the feel of the calico rubbing against my knees. Then I remembered what I wanted to do.
Taking real great care not to disturb the creature, I crawled up to the grass it was grazing. Once I had gotten the hems nearly ripped and my dress soaking in grass stains, I could see its lush mane and caramel eyes. I could’ve drunk in those eyes.
Without a sign, the horse suddenly turned and I was afraid it might run from me. Frozen in place, I stared back at it and there was a second where our eyes met. It looked away and I stood up, unsure of what I should do. What if it wasn’t accustomed to humans?
Pushing all doubts to the side, I held out an arm. In the palm of my hand was an apple. The horse looked interested at the red fruit and timidly took a bite. I combed its mane with my fingers as I fed and a thrill shot through my spine. If only Pa were here.
The moment passed and in no time the apple was gone, stem and all. The horse burped and I giggled. I could practically see it laughing along with me. Then I rubbed its mane and flank, feeling the velvety soft texture of its coat. Supper must have been near by then, and I took a quick glance to check if Ma was calling me. The supper bell was still outside, left as silent as a doorknob. But Ma was nowhere to be seen.
When I turned back, the horse was trotting away. I watched as it shook itself and majestically sped to a canter, then a gallop. My eyes soaked in the sight, a princess with golden locks emerging from my mind. The horse stopped to look back.
Then it ran.