The Canadian years, 66 the horse

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Thursday 12 February 18:43


The horse

My father came in and the dog sped howling away and hid herself under the table, the door banged shut, and menacing footsteps came nearer. Father had come home. I sat with the kids watching TV. I had been a horse and rested a while. I was exhausted.  l had pranced occasionally like a horse and the little ones had cried out in excitement and fun. When they were about to fall off, they had grabbed with their little hands in my hair, lacking reins. It looked like a wild game but I made sure that they were not really in any danger. We sat back to watch Wyn's path, plush animals again began to count.

‘What a mess,’ my father said, and he walked over to the TV and turned it off. Meanwhile, he kissed my mother on her cheek, but as an automatic gesture that was flawlessly executed. My brother and my uncle and aunt had left and my father was himself again. Betsy came nicely made up from the hallway walking to the bathroom. ‘Hi Big Dan’, she said, ‘how nice that you're home early, do you fancy a cup of tea?’ She walked to the turntable, pressed the button and the big LP fell into place and the arm with the sensitive element settled in the first groove. There was some scratching and then Verdi’s Aida began softly at first only to swell louder later on. ‘That's a nice home coming,’ said my father and he smiled to her in a far too kind way The little ones looked crestfallen. Right in the counting game, the plush TV beasts had been killed. I heard Betsy walk to the kitchen and say to my sister that she quickly wanted two tea. I heard my sister ask Betsy if her hands had gone lame and if she couldn’t see that she was far too busy. The atmosphere could not be more fun.


I intervened. ‘Hey’, I said to the little ones, ‘I know something that is great fun, have you seen my car?’ ‘No boy,’ Letty and Tonka said, ‘we would love to see it.’’ Come on then,’ I said, ‘just follow the mad schoolmaster. That brought a smile to the faces, I put a weird voice on, ‘I'm the crazy master, you must come along.’ What a lovely innocent children if the strangest thing that you can think of is a crazy schoolmaster. I built the act out, the bell has long gone .. come along brrrrh, ‘oh I'm so crazy today’ The little ones came spluttering along. ‘I'll show you the car’, I said now, ’but you can not bite it, listen to the crazy master, do not bite my car or I will go brrh wild. I am very scary and crazy.'

‘Not really,’ asked Tonka huh? ‘No,’ I said, ‘crazy play. For as long as it's fun.’ ‘Okay’, she laughed with relief, ‘Ok crazy school master,’ she cried, ‘up to the garage.’ ‘What a relief,’ my father said when we got out of the living room and I realized that he missed out a lot in his life and would always miss out a lot. In the garage, I said,’ get in ladies, we are going places.’ ‘Where are we going,’ they asked.’ Far away,’ I replied, ‘to ice cream land. ‘Oh,’ they cried delighted and so they became my first passengers in the Pontiac, my two little sisters. Boh boh boh, the cylinders made the American growl and we  cruised away, direction Dairy Queen. There were no restraints, no airbags, no seatbelts, they would be coined in a busier time, in later years. In a time when people would always drive too fast with far too much haste.


Next to the Dairy Queen was a slide and a climbing frame and the girls went to play while I bought three ice creams. They had a blast and came only when I began to call out that the mad master was about to eat all three ice creams. It was fun, uncomplicated fun. ‘Will mom will get better soon,’ Marion wanted to know. ‘Perhaps’, I said, knowing it was a lie. ‘I really do not know’, I continued. ‘But do you know what is important now?’ ‘No’, they said? ‘That you do not spill your ice cream because ooohh, then the mad master won’t be happy and if he sees ice cream being spilled, he’ll eat it.’

‘Will you soon turn into a horse again,’ asked Letty? ‘That may well happen,’ I replied, but that will happen at home, because horses can not drive cars,  because they do not know how to.’ Marion looked at her ice cream and suddenly said,’ I hope Mom does not die.’ ‘And I,’ what was I to say, I said what came to me. ‘I hope so as well,’ I said, ‘who knows what may happen.’ Do you really think so,’ she asked?’ Suddenly I wanted to be back home with the sisters and tell or read them stories or play with them near my mother and I did not want to lie anymore. ‘Really, ‘I asked? ‘You mean, if I really think it is going to turn out well,’ I asked.’ Whether it really will be alright?’ Yes, she nodded. ‘No,’ I said, ‘I don’t believe so.’ ‘That's what I thought,’ she said. ‘What's going to happen,’ she wanted to know, and I said in all honesty, ’I do not know, I often think about that.’ ‘We are friends, hey,’ she asked? ‘Yes,’ I said, more than very good friends, that's forever.’ ‘We are also friends hey,’ asked my youngest sister? ‘You bet,’ I laughed, ‘a better friend you'll never find.’ I pressed them to me. There I was a lanky 16 year old flanked by a little insecure sister, pressed against me.


‘And now we have to go home before I become a horse again’ and I neighed a bit and thus broke the tension. ‘Oh, it is starting,’ laughed Marion, all melancholy considerations reduced to nothingness. ‘Quickly, ‘she cried, ‘Letty, get into the car, before he becomes a horse, he won’t fit behind the wheel.’ ‘What was the most fun,’ I asked, as we slowly cruised away with the great American. ‘The slide,’ Letty said without a moment's doubt and Marion paused and said ‘ that we are friends forever.’ I whinnied. ‘Oh,’ exclaimed Letty, ‘not horse time yet, boy, wait until we get home’ and so drove the old, young man, who would turn into a horse within minutes, back home, filled with the concerns of the little girls, and he resolved to do a lot, really a lot, of fun things with them.


San Daniel 2015

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interesting story but bit to long