old man

There's this very old horse that lives near Annick in a dilapidated shed with a little chunk of land surrounded by falling down barbed wire. I don't know who owns him, but I feel so sorry for him every time I drive by. It's clear he hasn't been brushed in ages, years probably, and he always looks so lonely. And old. And a little sad. I tried to imagine who owned him and why they just left him there like that, and I thought, well maybe they live in the city and it's a far drive so they can't get up here all the time. And then I thought that's no excuse. Instead of watching tv at night, they oughta be driving up and least giving this guy a pat on the nose and a carrot. And then I decided, if they won't do it, then I will. So I've started making it a point to bring treats for him and stop by on my way to see Annick to give him a little treat and a pat. He is a sweet character, and I like his scruffy little face.

I know I am sometimes ridiculous about my animals, that I worry about them more than I should and that I have unusually high expectations of myself for how I treat them. I think I get that from my grandfather, a guy who would drop his entire life to take care of his animals. But however impractical this tendency can be, I hope I never forget that time with my animals is more important than watching tv, or getting the laundry done, or making a phone call.

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