I love my mom. She's so pretty. Her hair is bright, bright chestnut, but she has stripes of white hairs on her tummy, a blaze on her face and a big white spot on top of her tail. She thinks I'm kind of goofy, but she loves me, too.
When I was little, she used to tell me about the night I was born. She has the most beautiful voice I ever heard. It's soft and low, and she would let me snuggle against her every night and whisper in my ear. She usually told me the story at night. I think she was afraid of the dark, but she never told me that. She just told me a story instead.
"The night you were born, it wasn't even dark yet. The sun had just started going down on the most perfect of days. My owner, Gayle, came to the ranch early that day and got me out of the stall. She curried and brushed me, and cleaned my hooves. She talked as she groomed me. I love to listen to her. I have listened to all her stories. That day, however, she was talking about me, how big I was and how slow I had become.
"It was true, I felt bigger than any draft horse. My belly was so full of you, I thought I might burst. Gayle walked me around the arena a few times. It was nice in the sunshine, even though I grew tired. She took me back to the barn, where our groom Hilde wrapped my tail so it would not get in the way in case I gave birth that day.
"I'll always be honest with you, Son, I was frightened that day. You are my one and only baby, and I knew you were large. I was afraid I would not be able to push you out. Horses usually have their babies alone, late at night. It is our tradition, from years of being wild. We leave the herd to quietly lie down and foal, then get the baby up and back to the herd as quickly as possible.
"Gayle was still at the ranch, preparing to get out a lesson horse for a young boy. Miss Tina was there, too. I heard Gayle ask Miss Tina if a horse's water breaks when they give birth. I realized this was my opportunity, to have you while they were there to help. My water broke.
"Miss Tina laughed and said, 'It looks just like that.' The lesson horse and boy were forgotten that day while they focused their attention on us."
This is where she would stop talking and lick my neck. Sometimes I was asleep by then. If I wasn't, I would ask, "What happened then?"
She would continue. "I could tell, the first time I pushed, there was something wrong. You were stuck on something. I got up a couple of times and turned around, then lie down again, hoping you were re-arranged. I love you, Dear, but you were clutzy, even in the womb.
"Miss Tina saw my distress and stepped into the stall. She felt around inside me and found the problem. One of your hooves was folded back. You need both front feet pointed forward in order to slide out. She straightened your hoof, then started helping me, by pulling. I was already getting tired, and you were so big.
"At last, even Miss Tina was tired, so she told Gayle, 'Get in here, Mom, and help out.' Gayle stepped in to the stall and took one of your legs. Miss Tina held the other. I pushed, they pulled, and quick as a racehorse, you were out and cuddled up next to me, just like you are now."
"And Gayle is my Two-Legged Mom, right?" I'd ask each time.
I loved hearing that story. Of course, I don't remember any of it as it happened. All I remember is opening my eyes, like I'd been asleep but couldn't remember the dream. Everything looked kind of blurry. I could feel my mother's warm body beside me, and I could see Two-Legged Mom in the doorway of the stall. She looked fuzzy but I think she was happy.
Happy Mother's Day, Mom.