On Christmas morning, when I was eight, I ran up the stairs to our attic family room expecting a new doll. Then I saw my present. That sure didn't look like a doll! Was it real? Could it be?
I was seriously horse crazy as a kid. I ate oatmeal for breakfast every morning—because horses ate oats. I really wanted a horse. But it wasn't going to happen because we lived in a small house with a small yard in the middle of Springfield, Missouri.
|Me on my Grandpa Rhodes' farm horse, Nellie. She didn't go very fast, but I was over the moon!
I called my neighbor, Donita, and blurted, "I got a burro for Christmas! Come see!" She was pounding on our front door two minutes after I hung up the phone.
|Me, in my nightshirt, admiring Pedro with my friend, Donita.
All the kids in the neighborhood were impressed and a little jealous. I was an instant celebrity—The Girl with the Burro!
Pedro stayed with us through the Christmas vacation. I felt like a real cowgirl as I kept his stall supplied with sweet smelling hay. I ran my hands over my burro's shaggy, rough coat, loving the feel of it. I adored his funny, long ears. Who needed a horse when I had a sweet, darling friend like Pedro?
At the end of Christmas break Pedro went to stay at a horse farm at the edge of town. Plans were that I would visit him on weekends.
Way too soon, Pedro was killed after an unfortunate accident.
I like to think that all our pets end up in heaven. Maybe Pedro is there—waiting for me.