Horses were the only pets forbidden on our acres. My oldest sister tested Daddy’s rule from every conceivable angle, but was no match for his resolve. Leaving the battle in her capable hands, I consoled my own longing with Breyer collectibles. My herd grew with each Christmas and birthday, multiplied between as my allowance allowed.
I didn’t play with my horses as I played with other toys. Instead I lavished them with furniture polish and imagination, displaying them on shelves high beyond the reach of rowdy kittens and teething puppies.
I left them behind when I moved into college, but Mother knew better. She waited until I graduated and married, until my husband and I bought a house of our own. Then she forwarded the herd to Virginia, where I welcomed them with tears and furniture polish, with new shelves beyond the reach of rowdy kittens and teething puppies.
And last fall my oldest sister sent her horses to join the herd.
She never knew, until a chance conversation brought it up, that I had coveted her horses in our youth. As she has real horses now, and as she understands how much I treasure my plastic herd, she packed up Misty and a Clydesdale and gave them to me. So we have added two to the throng, though an unpracticed eye might never notice the newcomers.