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February 26, 2017 / thackersam

The Pony Story

img_0749Tonight, I burrowed through some of the old stories that I’d kept hidden. Don’t know why I chose this one, but it may be because I’ve told it a time or two so it’s not exactly a buried piece of my history. For your enjoyment, The Pony Story

The Pony Story

It was one of those evenings when Maggie babysat. Maggie was our cleaning lady. We were all just crazy about her. She would often look after us on the nights when my mother was out on one of her dates. She liked to get to our house in time to watch my mother getting ready. I liked to watch too some of the times. Maggie’s even temper and jovial acceptance of my brother’s relentless teasing enabled her to tolerate us when no other babysitter could. It was his relentless teasing of me, and my intolerable whining that caused the younger breed of babysitter to stay away, so my mother told me.

That night we were all in the playroom, two steps down off the kitchen, Maggie, by brother and me, watching television. The phone rang and Maggie lumbered up into the kitchen to answer it. Moments later she came back into the doorway, looked at me and said, “Your grandparents are on the phone. They want to speak to you.”

Obediently, I went to the phone.

“Hello?”

“Hi sweetheart!” They were both on the other end of the line, excited and jubilant. “Happy birthday!”

I think I said thank you, but I remember not saying much else.

“We love you sweetheart! What do you want for your birthday.”

“I dunno.”

“Do you want a pony,” one of them asked joyously.

“Would you like a pony, honey?” The other one was just as elated.

A pony, I thought. Oh boy, a pony. Gosh, I loved these people.

“Yeah,” I replied flatly, in a tone that surely did not match their excitement, nor my own.

“Okay honey. We love you. Happy birthday!”

“Happy birthday sweetheart!”

“We’ll speak to you soon. Now put your brother on.”

I looked up at my brother who had been standing next to me the whole time, but I hadn’t really noticed. My head was swimming with these two wonderful people who loved me, and my new pony. I passed the receiver to him without a word and remained by his side.

“Yes? No,” he was saying. “No.

Wait, that’s too many no’s.

“No…I think you have the wrong number,” he said and hung up the phone.

My brother looked at me, shook his head and walked back into the playroom. I stood there, still by the phone, confused. I knew these people weren’t my grandparents. I knew when Maggie called me to the phone that I only had one grandmother and no grandfathers. I never even knew the ones that were not then alive. I knew that my grandmother was a stuffy old city dweller, who would never think of getting any of her dozen grandchildren a pony or anything other than a check for their birthdays. She was kind of cold, too. I knew all this, but as I thought about those two happy, thoughtful and loving people on the phone, who had a very special and lucky granddaughter, a granddaughter that wasn’t me, I couldn’t help but think – Does that mean I’m not getting a pony?

It should be noted that I have never been on a horse in my life, except for the ones outside of the supermarket that gave you a ride for a dime.

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