Thursday, January 05, 2006


When I was young, like most little girls, I was obsessed with horses. I took riding lessons, went to horse camp in the summers, and had a huge collection of Bryer horse toys. I pleaded with my parents insessantly to buy me a horse, which was an impossible dream for a girl living on a half acre plot in the suburbs.

But my will was strong, even then. I began a quest to fufill my dream, and in less that a year, I had racked up a big wad of cash from odd jobs, babysitting and 10 cent returnable pop bottles.

I enlisted the aid of the daughter of a wealthy endodonist by convincing her of the greatness of my dream, and got her to go in halvsies with me. (My first attempt to garner investors for a cause.)

Together we purchased a beautiful Palamino Gelding named Sundown, who stood a majestic seventeen hands high. I loved that horse, and I worked so hard to make the dream beautiful; but boarding fees, vet expenses, feed cost, and the like, put me in a catch twenty two situation. If I worked all the time, I could afford the bills, but this left me no time to spend with my magical steed.

Jenny had all the time in the world to ride, as her parents were paying her half. She joined 4-H, and rode my dear Sundown in many horseshows and events. It seems like she brought home a blue ribbon every weekend.

When my grades bagan to suffer, mom pulled the plug, and I reluctantly let go of my dream.

I still think of Ol Sundown often, and I would have kept him forever, if I could have. It was a tough lesson in the commodity of ranching, to accept a pile of dirty green cash, in exchance for a living thing, that I loved. A hard lesson indeed for a preteen girl with a broken dream.

Mom still says that I bought the back end of that horse, but I don't see it that way. I never did.


Kathy Thompson said...

I, too, was inflicted with the same love. At the time, I found great value in persuing the American Girl Dream, and alas it WAS worth it. I am now 39 years old,and have had animals, and friends come and go in my life, but I will always remember the importance and value and understanding of humanity that was taught by being with a palimino named Rocky, and a few mentor horsemen. Humans are a lot like horses in many ways, and should be approached in the same manner. We are all warmblood animals if we like to admit it or not. I hope for you that you do not mourn for long at what you have lost, but continue with what your life was meant to be...with what you have learned from this experience. Someday things will change again (about every 6 years or so), and who knows, your Sundown may come back to you, or you will be able to move on to the next adventure of your life. Do not fear the next part of your life, there is so much to love, experience and learn. Try it all! Kathy

Kelley Bell said...

Thanks Kathy.
You are right on all counts.
I have moved on since then. It was a long long time ago.
I have had the pleasure of working with over a dozen wonderful horses, and countless creatures of every type. Each experience brings its own lessons, its own sorrows, and its own joys.

Sundown taught me that it is not nessessary to "own" an animal in order to have a bond.

Ownership is in the end, what tore us apart.

Kathy Thompson said...

Yeah, Kelly, I sent you an apology email after I read further on your website. silly me, who did I think I was comforting! Love your art, stories, and general perspective. I don't even know how I ended up at your website ( I was I M ing with my cousin), but I am glad I did. Good luck (ha ha) with everything you choose.


Kelley Bell said...

Thanks Kathy.
I'm very glad to know you.

Please drop in and comment. I like your perspective too!

You might also want to meet a few of my cyber friends... They are listed on the side bar uder Cool Links.

There are some Amazing ideas floating around out there!


Theriomorph said...

"The Talk" made me laugh out loud, and this one made me instantly weepy. Hooray for Sundown, and the bond that changes both person and familiar.

Linked to your site today, Kelly - feel like I tripped over an amazing person in cyberspace, and glad about it! Look forward to reading more of your writing.

Kelley Bell said...

Why thanks Theriomorph. You made my day.

Um, what does therio mean?

firedawg said...

The kicker is that Sundown probably missed you as much as you missed him. If your not making me laugh your making me cry, and you wonder why I keep coming back?

Kelley Bell said...

Awe Shucks Firedawg. You're making me blush.

Clint Eastwood made me cry last night. OMG! I bawled like a homeless widdow who just lost her dog!

The Movie: Million Dollar Baby

Eastwood actually managed to do what has never been done before: He made a chick flick for men! LOL

Theriomorph said...

therio- means 'wild beast' in ancient Greek, so theriomorph means 'to take the shape of a wild beast'or 'shapeshifter.'

The very first posting on my blog is about finding this word at the base of a statue of an ancient Chinese goddess at The Met (I think it was a really early version of Quan Yin) - the top half of her body was a woman, the lower half a snake. Beautiful. And a great word-find!

Kelley Bell said...

Ahh, The Woman and The Snake.

Again and Again they appear.

The snake is the symbol of the Healer, and Woman is the keeper of Healing knowlege.