The old red horse, proudly standing, with its broken leg.
The Old Red Horse
By Richard Mabey Jr.
On the surface, the red horse just looks like an old child’s toy. But the red horse holds a certain sentimental feeling for me. It’s the very same old red horse that I used to play in the sand pile with my cousin, Howard Palmer, when we were both very little children. My cousin Howard always held a special place in my heart. Howard battled muscular dystrophy all of his life and spent his endearing, short lifetime in a wheelchair.
I’m going through old boxes of old stuff. Some of the things I’m giving away to Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity and Goodwill. I’m doing my best to share the wealth. Some of these old items, I’m just plain tossing away. You see, some of the things are just too broken, too old and basically beyond repair. Or, just plain out of style. The classic example is my Kodak Instamatic Camera.
Lo and behold, this morning I came across my old red horse. One of the back legs is broken off. And, I’ve watched enough Gunsmoke and Wagon Train episodes to know what happens to a horse when he breaks a leg. Just too sad to deal with.
The old red horse has length, width, and depth. In short, it takes up space. I’m downsizing. I’m 62 years old. I’ll soon be 63, deep inside my heart, I know I gotta downsize. Downsize is a nice way of saying that you’re old and it’s time to throw stuff out. But, I think to myself, “not my little red horse that I played in the sand pile with dear cousin Howard.” No, not the old red horse!
And, so it goes. Okay, I decide to keep the old red horse. But, now I’m faced with the little dark green army soldier. He’s in pretty good shape. Except for the fact that part of his little rifle is missing. Somehow it got broken off. He’s the last of my collection of little army men. I had ordered the set, when I was about seven years old, from an ad in the back of old comic book.
I think to myself, surely I can keep the little green army man. He doesn’t take up much space. Oh, nobody told me downsizing was going to be this tough.