I have a great love for animals, and I agree with Elizabeth Taylor who once said that animals are more often than not better than people. They are pure and true and you always know where you stand with them if you know how to listen. I was reminded of this on Sunday when I sat down to watch the film “War Horse”. Horses really are amazing, and I understand this story so well, the connection between the boy and the horse.
When I was in college back in the late 1900’s I used to walk the mile or so to school every morning past a horse pasture on Bayside Road at the edge of the Arcata Bottoms. I would stop and look at the horses in the pasture for a few moments each day. Once morning I met the most beautiful gold colored horse there. He come sauntering up to the barbed wire fence and poked his nose at my chest and then nuzzled me by the ears. He was there every morning from then on. He could be in the trees way on the other side of the pasture with his buddies and I would stop at the fence and click my tongue and he would gallop out of the trees and across the field to me. The other horses just ignored me. I would feed him grass from my side of the fence and he would nuzzle me and Whinny. When it was time for me to go he would walk with me to as far as his pasture went and then stand there and watch me till I went over the hill. In the afternoon when I came home…there he was waiting for me. We became friends for that last year at Humboldt …I even called him Bucephalus after Alexander the Greats horse. When I left school I went down to the old fence to say goodbye. As always he walked me to the end of the pasture I hugged his great muscular neck and swallowed my tears. When I turned at the top of the hill one last time, he whinnied to me and tossed his head while he clawed the earth with his right hoof. That was the last time I saw Bucephalus.
I hadn’t thought of him for years until I started watching “War Horse”. Gee I miss old Bucephalus he wasn’t mine but he was a friend.