She was four years old
Apples in bulging pockets from garden trees
Cold day in autumn
Stroll down to Paddy Sands’s horse pasture
Stop at five-bar gate and lift her up
Call or whistle - they come from a half-kilometre
Black, brown mares, one gelding
Jealous one tries to bite the others
Jostling for position at the gate
All those soft soft noses.....
They will permit stroking
If fed enough handfuls of grass
Grass tastes better from our hands
Than when cropped by them,
(Especially with tiny flowers of blue vetch).
Their big brown eyes close up
So peaceful and trusting
Tempting furry ears just out of reach for her
Turning cold now after half an hour
Spoil them with our apples before we go home
Show her how to hold back her thumb
So it doesn’t get bitten.
Walk home through Sands’s cropped hayfield
To tea and biscuits.
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Written for Carol Brown's Contest "A Horse Story"