I already told you about my Great-Grandpa, and the things he always had with him:
a piece of straw dangling out of his mouth,
But I guess I didn't tell you about the candy. I'll do that sometime. On this day, we were standing around admiring his pony in northern California. I was a child, and already very short. So we are standing around the pony, and the pony's name was -
- this might not be absolutely correct, but I'd like to think his name was Ashley Frederick Minion. We'll call him Fred. So Fred got an evil smile on his face, yet I was the only one to see it. All of a sudden, he purposely, purposefully, deliberately lifted up his foot and -
- there are basically two different kinds of vision in the animal kingdom. A lot of animals who are trying to avoid being eaten have what's called monocular vision, which basically means their eyes are on opposite sides of their head so they can see all the way around their body and look out for predators, like anacondas and warthogs. The other kind of vision is the kind that humans, and a lot of non-vegetarian animals have, where the eyes are in front of your head so you can see far away and have depth-of-field. Where ponies fit in, is that they unfairly
have BOTH kinds of vision, sort of,
which means they can pull nasty tricks when most people aren't looking, which is exactly what Fred did. He got an evil grin on his face while no one else was looking, and lifted up his hoof, and STOMPED on my foot as hard as he could, on purpose, and he drove my foot six inches into the ground.
(how much is six inches?)
I think I remember blood spurting out of my foot.
(what colour is blood?)
I could see bones coming out of my foot. Do you know how many bones there are in the human body? Two hundred and six. Every homo sapien has about 206 bones. Do you know how many bones you have in your feet? I don't remember, so look it up. It felt like I could see bones in my feet bursting up through the skin. Do you know what another word for "skin" is?
Epidermis. So I thought that I could actually bones bursting and breaking through my epidermis, which is an elegant way of saying "skin." So I started doing -
- what do we do when we get hurt?
Yes, we scream and cry; we express ourselves like Stravinsky riting a composition based on a brand new atonal harmonic progression. So of course I did that; the bravest thing I could do. Sobbing and crying as loud as I could, because I wanted Fred to know how badly he had hurt me, and I wanted him to feel guilty, which is something adult humans do a good job at: giving guilt trips. Do you know what Fred did then?
Ashley Frederick Minion started laughing, and you might be thinking that ponies don't laugh. But I would like to ask you this:
Has a pony ever TOLD you that it doesn't have the ability to laugh? If it hasn't TOLD you, then how do you know it's not possible, because Science has certainly not proven satisfactorily that ponies are incapable of displaying a sense of humor, grotesque though it might be. So, it has not been satisfactorily proven to me that a pony can NOT laugh; it's one of those unprovable things, which is as good to me as saying that it's probably possible.
So if I remember correctly, this pony was laughing evilly at me, and I was reacting in a brave way, and I was like:
"I don't care how many hooves you have! I don't care if you have twice as many legs as I do! Mine aren't hairy, or hurtful!"
Fred just kept laughing, and grinning. But every time other people, my "family" looked at him, he wasn't laughing or grinning. He was just a regular old sweet pony. It was only when I was looking at him that he got this evil look on his face. I was: "that's not cool, Frederick, my foot is broken."
My dad looked at my foot, and my Great-Grandpa was looking at it, just kind of shaking his head. I think he was shaking his head in anger at Fred, and I was standing there, bravely screaming and wandering how many stitches and splints -
- do you know what a splint is? No? I'll tell you sometime.
So I could feel the bones shifting around and I was brave. I was born brave. I was mentally preparing; thinking ahead to splints and recovery and surgery options, and my Great-Grandpa was standing there with a long blade of grass or grain and his hat and his tiny little moustache, and I was there telling him calmly:
"You need to get rid of this pony. This is an evil pony. Have you read Animal Farm?"
I'll always remember this day as being the day I realised that sometimes people just don't care. Because my Great-Grandpa looked at me, and I think he might have said, if I remember correctly:
"No, I'm not going to get rid of him. He's a good pony. Stop crying."
And I was: "No, he's not a good pony. He's a bad pony! A very bad pony. He just about took off my foot, and if I had been laying down on the ground, then it would have been my head. So do you know, Great-Grandpa, how close I was to getting my head taken off by your evil pony?"
Great-Grandpa took a big puff on his piece of grass. Shook his head; shook his head in disgust at the pony, I think, as he walked away, probably to get candy. Because he ate a lot of candy. He always had a little candy dish around. If there's one thing that would have helped me then, it was candy, and moral support. But he didn't bring me candy, he just headed off to get it for himself, I think. That would have made me feel better. Candy, and Great-Grandpa sending Frederick off to work in the mines.
But he didn't do that. It turned out that fortunately my body heals incredibly quickly, so by the time my Dad looked at my foot, it turned out that the bleeding had stopped, and there was no break in the skin at that point, and the bones were no longer poking through the epidermis, and because I had such a healthy and strong body from eating a lot of green vegetables, and a very strong internal system -
- internal means "inside."
So most of my bones started working again, all three hundred and six of them. I guess I remember that day with the pony as being the day I realised that sometimes when bad things happen to you, then people don't take you seriously, but I also realised there's a good piece to that story. Do you know what I learned?
I don't remember, but I learned something good on that day too, which also goes to show why you should keep a daily journal, so you don't forget important lessons you learn along the way.
I also learned from then on that I needed to not trust other people to keep me away from ponies that might injure me; that that was something I would need to do myself. That's what I learned, and since then, I have never been injured again by a pony,
or as I like to call them, poodle horses.
I wish my kids could have known my Great-Grandpa. They would have loved him, and his candy.