If you have ever wondered what it feels like to see a horse for the first time, a picture of my daughter captured the moment well:
A friend of mine wondered if this was the expression on many Native American faces upon first seeing the horses brought over by Spanish explorers.
For Brontë, the sudden horse visions were just as unexpected. Heading over to Fairytale Town, we noticed the pony ride stall. Grabbing her hand, we walked over to the ponies where she made the above face.
Her shock and awe is not surprising when you consider the relative size of a two-year-old child; our house cats were already fairly intimidating. They appear to her like, say, a Bengal Tiger might look to us. She was pleasantly surprised by our house tigers’ sweet nature, but has nevertheless had to learn hard lessons about what happens when you yank their tails like you are waterskiing. All part of the the natural world and its tough love…
But a horse?? A horse is so many, many times larger than she is. She doesn’t know anything about most of the animals on our planet yet, and suddenly these gargantuan beasts with well-oiled muscles and shiny long tails are thundering across her landscape. They may as well have been a pack of dragons.
Imagine her amazement when I gave their handlers a couple bucks and we belted Brontë down on one of the pony’s backs. We showed her how to pet its neck and she was whisked off on a slow trot which must have seemed hundreds of feet above the ground to her.
She loved it. She absolutely loved it.