Mocha the Miniature Pony

Miniature HorseThat child over there has consumed an enormous amount of ice cream.  He was on me earlier and felt light as a feather – I had no clue he was hiding four stomachs under that Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark t-shirt.  He was very sweet when he was riding – stroking my neck, putting little dreads in my mane, folding over the top of my right ear.  He stayed relatively calm throughout the ride, even when a horsefly stung my left knee and I had a bit of a temper tantrum.  The rest of them, though, they’re like a pack of tiny ogres intent on pillaging the barn.  Ripping the hay in pieces, throwing the wood chips out into the muck.  Nothing seems to have intent or reason besides destruction and causing me an uncomfortable night’s sleep as I get stick after stick wedged into my hooves.  If this is the worst of it though, it’s not like Ginger said.  As I was getting on the truck to leave the training center she whinnied for me, told me it was going to be awful, having to walk around all day with a squirming bundle on my back, circle after circle, step after step.  No autonomy, no say in where to go and the best path to take.  But I’m not like her.  She loves to guide, to pick her way through crowds and across streets, confident that she knows the easiest way and can get her person to wherever they want to go.  She even plays games sometimes, taking the scenic route and treating herself to the sights that her person will never be able to know.  When I was training, it always felt like I was the one who needed the guiding, that without my person holding the carrier and directing me with their voice, I was the one who was going to be lost.  Nothing in my brain ever clicked like it did for her, and the people at the training center could feel my hesitation that day when we went to city square.  Setting my feet on cobblestones made me tremble and nothing could convince me to walk down those narrow alleys, not sure there was a way out.  Here, I’m not expected to understand the best way to do everything.  All that’s asked of me is that I carry the children around and around the circle, neighing gently and tossing my mane so they can grab hold of it if they want.  It might not be the most exciting way to live, but those seven minutes I carried the ice cream boy around the circle were the happiest I’ve ever known.

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