One day, my sister and I were awakened early by my dad’s booming voice. What trouble are we in now? We rush down the stairs. I’m six years old but I’m already super good at taking them four by four. I am a superhero gliding down the two flights at top speed, always just a little scared I’m not going to land right on that fourth step and break my neck.
“Girls!” the big voice said (I’m not sure if it is angry). “Downstairs! Now!”
I find Patrick outside the kitchen. Patrick is our dad. He doesn’t like for us to call him papa—papa is for old farts. He is young and cool so we call him Patrick. Sometimes Pat.
On the grass, beside my father with his trademark crooked smirk, is . . . a pony.
First, I feel relieved. We are not in trouble! But then I’m kind of puzzled. Why is this giant creature munching on the grass in front of the kitchen. It’s looking a little twitchy, and not very cuddly.
Patrick is standing proudly in front of the brown and white Pinto. Patrick is tall, muscular, his soft brown hair always a bit messy. And he smells strongly of “man,” an odor that goes away briefly on Sundays when he showers.
“He’s an Irish Connemara,” he says in his “I know stuff” voice, like it’s supposed to mean anything to us. “Not a ridiculous potbellied dwarf thing.”
“A beautiful little horse,” he insists.
It’s true. Even I can see that the pony’s features are gracefully proportioned.
“And,” the smirk comes right back, “I certainly am not going to have him gelded. This guy is staying whole!”
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