Thursday, March 25, 2010

King Boy

I was talking to my dad today. I never know what direction our conversations will take, and today was no exception. Somehow we ended up reminiscing about our Shetland pony from my childhood.

King Boy was a great little pony. I mean a really truly exceptional little guy. John remembers having ponies in his childhood, and what he remembers most is that they would escape their corral, bite him, hate to be ridden, and were just a pain in general. Not our King Boy. He was spunky, intelligent, and sweet as could be. He loved us almost as much as we loved him.

My dad said that every kid should have a dog and a pony, and he definitely came through big time on this philosophy. But I think somewhere along the way, Dad kind of let the lines of distinction between dogs and ponies blur. A great deal. Because King Boy was allowed to run the farm like a puppy dog. He could sit, shake, roll over and play dead. On special occasions, and in retrospect, I CAN NOT BELIEVE THIS BUT IT IS TRUE: Dad would allow King Boy to come IN THE HOUSE. Mom would absolutely have a conniption fit, and although I thought it was the most hilarious thing in the world at the time, I really can't blame her. I don't remember him ever um...having an accident in the house. Good boy.

Dad has wonderful pictures of King Boy: posing in front of our fireplace, standing in front of the jars of pickles in the cellar, and a zillion pictures of every kid in the neighborhood and in our extensive and extended family sitting on or under or around him. I really need to get some copies of those photos.

This picture is typical of a King Boy pose in that everyone is either laying on or petting that pony. He was irresistible with his fluffy coat and sweet temperament. I'm on the left and you can barely make out his hoof. Dad is lying on the grass with his head propped up on KB, and he's probably stroking his mane. I was a really little kid when Dad brought King Boy home, so in this picture he's getting pretty old, but loved no less.

I thought that I had heard every story and remembered every detail about King Boy, but today during my phone call with Dad, I asked him, "Hey Dad: Where exactly did you get King Boy?"

This is great. And so typical of my dad.

"Well, got him in (a bitty town about 45 miles from Dad's farm). I had my eye on that little stallion for awhile and stopped at the owner's place while I was on my way through town. We dickered on the price for awhile and finally the guy said I could have him for a pretty low price, but only if I took him home that day. I was driving our car, that old Ford. I didn't want to drive all the way back home and get the truck, so I just put that pony in the back seat of the car."

In. The. Back. Seat. Of. The. CAR.

After I quit laughing hysterically, I asked, "So Dad - How did you get him INTO the car?"

"Aw, hell, wasn't anything to it. I just opened the door and he poked his nose in. I gave him a little kick in the ass and he was in there. He seemed to like it just fine. We talked all the way home. Took about an hour."

Can you imagine what other drivers thought as they saw this car heading down the highway with a horse in the back seat?

In thinking back, there's a few things that I would like: I really wish I had a picture of Mom's face as Dad opened the car door and led a horse out of the back seat. But mostly I wish I had a chance to feel King Boy's soft nose, to brush out his coat, and pet his furry little ears, and braid flowers into his cream colored mane again.

Ahhh. Good memories are good medicine.

1 comment:

annie said...

Julia, another hilarious, but touching post. I can see where you get your wacky sense of humor...