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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Satisfied (10/11/04)

TITLE: Satisfied
By Glenda Lagerstedt


The old rocking horse at the country flea market had definitely seen better days. Its pink and white paint job was chipped and peeling and the yarn tail consisted of about half a dozen tattered and faded strands. “How much?” I asked of the bored looking man behind the table. He shrugged slightly, then held up two fingers. “Two bucks ought to do it, I guess.”

I clutched my treasure to me and hurried home, full of enthusiasm and plans to transform my find into a real treasure. On arrival I thrust it into the shed temporarily… for two years.

Dust and spider webs and time do little to improve the lot of pathetic little wooden horses. When I dug it out a few weeks ago, it looked more miserable then I remembered. However, I could still see promise beneath the misery.

Painstakingly, I set about with the screwdriver and took the pony apart. (Well, okay… I couldn’t get all of the screws out myself and had to enlist my husband’s help.) This part of the story ended up involving a hacksaw in the more stubborn areas and then more work to remove the deeply imbedded halves of the screws.

If there’s something that looks sadder than a rocking horse with peeling paint, it’s one that has peeling paint and is in six pieces. There was nothing to do for it but to forge ahead. It was time to apply harsh stripper, let it set, and then scrape. If this horsie had feelings, I am sure it would have been in deep depression by now. And I still wasn’t done with it.

Out came my (oops, I mean, my husband’s) trusty sander. That sander and I were a relentless duo as we continued the assault on the dignity of the victim. Ouch, would this never end? But soon a strange thing began to happen. Believe it not, things were looking up a bit at last. The wood that had been hidden under the paint began to look much nicer.

This wood is better than pine but nowhere as good as maple. That is all I know. The Keeper of the Shop told me what kind he thinks it is, but my mind doesn’t retain that stuff. I do apostrophes and commas; he does wood. It works for us.

If my life went as planned, the story could state by now that I have reassembled the critter, applied a lovely stain and several coats of polyurethane, and that its eyes sparkle and it sports a lovely, full yarn tail. But alas, poor pony lays in six pieces yet, a work in progress.

We too are a work in progress. In fact it feels sometimes as if we travel the path of the rocking horse; used, weathered and worn and abandoned, rescued, then seemingly forgotten again. We may be torn apart, harshly stripped of what little we may have had, and then feel the assault of the sander. Yikes! It can look and feel pretty hopeless. But there is One who sees the promise beneath the misery and never gives up. Looking beyond the fault and seeing the need, He continues the process.

I hope that when I finally reach my goal with my little wooden project that I will be satisfied. Infinitely more important that that, I pray that when the Master has finished with us that He, too, will be satisfied with what we each become.

Member Comments
Member Date
Lucian Thompson10/18/04
Glenda, this is a real fun read. I loved it. That poor pony and I have a lot in common. Kinda broken down, but having great promise. Well done, sweet lady.
Rita Garcia10/18/04
Glenda, Grea story, we are all a work in progress, that thought has helped me through many days, when I couldn't seem to get anything right. Blessings, Rita
Dori Knight10/19/04
a lovely story, glenda. thanks for writing it! blessings ~ dori
Dave Wagner10/20/04
Nice analogy, a good read.

A couple small points: You switch tenses from past to present, which makes it a bit awkward. Also, the analogy had a lot more punch until you spelled it out in no uncertain terms for the reader in the second-to-last paragraph. Try eliminating that paragraph and going straight to the end and see how it reads to you. I think the audience can mine that nugget by themselves just nicely without it, and it leaves a small sense of satisfaction. They "discover" what you were saying, even though you lead them right to it. But when you spell it all out like that...

In any case, I enjoyed the piece. Thanks for posting it.
Mary Elder-Criss10/23/04
Oh mercy. I started a horse like that ...erm...nine years ago? (there's that finishing problem again) Really identified with your piece. Enjoyed your humor.
Marina Rojas10/24/04
You have your own rescue mission -- a very out of the ordinary one! I loved this story, it was captivating; well written, too!