Learning through Laughter

Bob Owen, Humorist

I love being around my grandchildren.  Just when I think I have them all figured out, and I’m sure I know what they’re thinking, BAM!!! They go off in a different direction.  Every time.  It’s great!

One of our granddaughters especially loves horses.   She’s taken lessons, groomed horses, been around them a lot, and likes everything about them, to the point that she has placed her tiny little body partially beneath a horse’s massive frame while she cleaned his hooves.  To me, that’s commitment.

Once, when she and her sister were visiting, we took them to Three Chimney’s Farm in Lexington, Ky., shortly before Big Brown went there to stand stud.  Our tour began in the barn that housed Smarty Jones, and as they brought him out, he knew he was special and on display.  He posed and strutted.  We were so impressed.  Next, they took us outside as the grooms gave Smarty a bath with the hose, then we went to a field to see Dynaformer, and walked past a statue of Seattle Slew.  This farm had some stars, and we were loving the tour.

Since the farm is in the horse breeding business, we ended our tour in the breeding barn, where the guide assured me that it was OK for our girls to witness.  As the lady took us to different points around the large arena, Brenda and I got separated from our girls, but we didn’t worry.  They weren’t that far away, and there were only 15 or 20 other people there.  They were safe.

After our guide briefly explained the process, she said, “This is where they bring in the stallion and he jumps the mare.”  Brenda and I looked at each other with a deer-in-the-headlights look.  Sophie was 10 yards away from us, and we both poised at the starting line, trying to get to the finish line – which was Sophie – before she did it.  We knew she would do it.  She did.  I was almost to her when she exclaimed, “Why would he jump the mare?”   The guide looked at me and deferred, “This one’s yours.”  I took charge, as GrandBob is wont to do, and told her, “Your Nana will explain when we get back to the car.”  Sophie looked up unconcerned.  “OK.”  

When we were alone, Brenda said, “You go first.  I’ve got to hear this.”   I walked up to Sophie and took her hand in mine, along with a deep breath. 

“Sophie, I was somewhat surprised by your question.  I thought you said you understood the breeding process.  What can I help explain?”

She looked at me as if I must be the slowest-minded being on earth and said, “Yes, I understand the breeding process.  I know where foals come from.  But, why would the stud jump over the mare?  Was he running away?”

It was clear she didn’t need to know anything I could have told her.  She obviously had a clear, very logical mind.

Date of Blog Story: 
February 26, 2010

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