Horse-kissing and a Happy Dawn
I was in a hurry, sure to be late for work if I lingered. But the horse whickered and tossed his furry chin in my direction, horse for "Come over here so I can get to know you," and once again, I was a goner. For certain parts of life, I have no resistance, regardless of how many clocks might be ticking in the background. Beautiful, snowy, horse-filled dawns count.
As I sidled up to the fence and began scratching the big boy's ears, he put his surprisingly downy mouth on my cheek and gently brushed back and forth, a horse kiss if ever I've felt one. I blew gently in his nostrils, happy to know he didn't much mind the coffee breath. He inhaled deeply and pressed against the fence, nuzzling my face again with that great, fuzzy nose.
The other three horses crowded around behind him, wanting their turn, but he placed himself sideways between them and me, leaning his head down this time, horse for "These ears are made for scratching, you know," and I obliged, laughing at his audaciousness.
By this time the farm dog had come to take her place, nose stuck through the rectangles in the wire fence, also ready for a good-day greeting. Bob bounced around, inviting her to come through the fence and frolic with him.
I could have stayed all day, letting the horses whisper, the dogs scamper and the snow drift silently down. But the neighborhood was starting to stir around me -- cars idling in the distance and my toes turning to ice. So I gave the big boy a final scratch under the chin, and got another quick kiss nuzzle in return. "You might bring carrots sometime," I think he said as he snorted and nodded in my direction.
I backed away from the fence, reluctant to let go of the sight. The horses leaned against each other, watching me with huge, calm eyes. Breathing deeply of horse smell and dawn, I turned for home, blessed and beloved, hearing, faintly, the ticking of the clock.