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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Expert (09/05/13)

TITLE: The outside of a horse
By Pamela Reed


We had met our daughter-in-law’s grandparents during several family events. We got along well and were not surprised when we received a phone call from Bea. They were planning on coming north for a meeting and wished to stop by our farm for a short visit if it was alright. We were quick to let her know they were welcome.

They arrived a few days later and we walked out to the car to greet them. She walked around their car wearing a white blouse and nice dark slacks. Our 185 pound male Great Dane came with us and shook his head. Watching his drool fly, I was horrified to see a pile of it land right on the top of Bea’s head. I did the only thing I could. I ran into the house to get paper towel. I gently removed it from her hair, apologized, and tried to move on to a more pleasant conversation at the dining room table. We decided to keep our Dane out of the room, although she never complained and they both kept their smiles.

We visited over a cup of coffee as we shared conversation. All too soon the time came when they needed to prepare to leave, but she had one request first. “I have loved horses since I was a little girl. Can we go to the barn to see your horses before we leave?” “Of course you can” we said. We love our horses and enjoy it when others like them too.

A few of them were in the barn. Bea took a body brush and began brushing Luna, a quarter horse, while talking softly to her. Bea talked and Luna listened; I could tell by her ears. She switched to a mane and tail brush and finished the horse’s beautification. Bea was pushing her time limit, so kissed Luna on her nose as a good bye. All of a sudden, Luna loudly sneezed and covered Bea’s beautiful white blouse with all that was in her mouth. Oh, no! How could I be humiliated twice in one visit? This isn’t even fair. I was sure that they would never come back. I sheepishly said “Please come back to the farm and visit, but make sure that you wear old clothes next time, okay?”

That night I couldn’t sleep; I tossed and turned in mental agony. The next day I decided that I had to do something, so I called our daughter-in-law explaining what horrible things had happened, and that we were “SO sorry to offend your grandma like that. We would never do anything…”

“Oh, mom, don’t even worry about it! You have no way of knowing this, but my Grandma has been dealing with some health issues that have put her in a state of depression that we have not been able to help her overcome. She has been taking anti-depressants and seeing therapists, but it has not done any good. She hasn’t been talking to us except for one and two word answers when we ask her questions. But you know what? Since she has returned from your farm, she has not stopped talking about it and how much she enjoyed herself. Since returning, she has said more words than the previous ten months combined. Oh, mom, you have nothing to feel sorry about. It was the best thing that could have ever happened.”

There are a couple of things that I learned that day. I’m sure that the doctors and therapists are very well trained, and were doing their best to bring Bea through her medically related depression. They were schooled to work with the ailing public, but we know who the expert really is. It is said “The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man.” God set this up this experience for Bea’s mental and spiritual benefit and we just needed to go along for the ride!

The second thing that impressed me was the fact that we have no idea how we are going to affect those around us. It is for us to treat others with respect, kindness, and joy. When others come to visit, it is our job to make them feel welcome, not to make sure that everything is perfect. If we do our part, God just might step in and do His part to change someone’s world for the better; even when we are oblivious to His plan.

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This article has been read 221 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Virgil Youngblood 09/13/13
This well written story was a joy to read. The conclusion surprised me,delivering an excellent wrap-up and lesson to be learned. Well done.
Judith Gayle Smith09/13/13
This is delightful, uninhibited, riotous and uproariously funny. I would love to read more of this sweet family's adventures.
C D Swanson 09/15/13
I was smiling throughout this entire piece. It was honest, well written, and provided a valuable message in the interim. Loved it!

God bless~
Brenda Rice 09/16/13
As a horse lover myself, I understand about the outside of a horse and the inside of a woman.

You have written an easy to read and enjoyable article which is on topic.

Thanks for sharing.
Lois Farrow09/18/13
Well done, fun to read.