When I am an Old Horsewoman
By Author Unknown
When I am an old Horsewoman
I shall wear turquoise and diamonds,
and a straw hat that doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my social security on red wine and carrots,
And sit in my alley-way of my barn
And listen to my horses breathe.
I will sneak out in the middle of a summer night
And ride the old bay gelding,
Across the moonstruck meadow
If my old bones will allow.
And when people come to call, I will smile and nod
As I walk past the gardens to the barn and show instead the flowers
growing inside stalls fresh-lined with straw.
I will shovel and sweat and wear hay in my hair as if it were a jewel.
And I will be an embarrassment to all,
Who will not yet have found the peace in being free to have a horse as a
A friend who waits at midnight hour
With muzzle and nicker and patient eyes
For the kind of woman I will be
When I am old.
A man was riding his horse down a road, his dog padding along by their side. The man was enjoying the scenery when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead. He remembered dying and that his horse and dog had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them.
After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight.
When he finally stood before it, he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother of pearl and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold. He nudged the horse toward the gate and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side. When the rider was close enough, he called out, “Excuse me, where are we?”
“This is heaven, sir,” the man answered. “Wow! Would you happen to have some water?” the rider asked. “Of course, sir. Come right in, and I’ll have some ice water brought right up.”
The man gestured and the gate began to open. “Can my friends,” gesturing downward towards his horse and dog, “come in, too?” the traveler asked.
“I’m sorry, sir, but we don’t accept animals.” The traveler thought a moment and then turned his horse back toward the road and continued on his way.
After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road which led through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.
“Excuse me!” he called to the reader. “Do you have any water?”
“Yeah, sure, there’s a pump over there.” The man pointed to a place that couldn’t be seen from outside the gate. “Come on in.”
“How about my friends here?” the traveler asked. “There should be a bowl and a bucket by the pump.”
They went through the gate, and, sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl and a bucket beside it. The traveler filled the bowl and took a long drink, then gave some to his dog while he filled the bucket for his horse. When they all were satisfied, he led his horse back toward the man who was standing by the tree waiting for them, the dog following faithfully behind.
“What do you call this place?” he asked.
“This is heaven,” the man replied.
“Well, that’s confusing,” the traveler said. “The man down the road said that was heaven, too.”
“Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That’s Hell.”
“Doesn’t it make you mad for them to use your name like that?”
“No. I can see how you might think so, but we’re just happy that they screen out the folks who’d leave their best friends behind.”
Somewhere in time’s own space
There must be some sweet pastured place
Where creeks sing on and tall trees grow
Some Paradise where horses go,
For by the love that guides my pen
I know great horses live again.