A gift

Big Word of Mouth November Story Slam – theme GIFT – Tuesday, November 13, 7-9.30pm. Doors 5.30 for drinks, dinner. Jonathon Schuster, Cate Kennedy and Lewis Mulholland will be Pants on Fire-ing. Tickets here

My kingdom for a horse

How long did I know – before the horse was due to arrive – that a horse was actually coming?

That even though it was nowhere near Christmas and no one’s birthday, there was a very special gift on its way to us three girls.

How long was that anticipation building? A week? A month? Longer?

I was nervous as I waited. How could we share such a special thing? Wouldn’t the horse love one of us more than the others? I hoped it would be me. Wouldn’t one of us love the horse the most? I knew that would be me. I was already in love with it.

How could we share? And what would we call our horse? And would it be a horse, really, or a pony?  And where would it live?

There was no real deadline to the arrival of the horse. Just soon. And mum and dad could totally understand how excited we were, oh yes, boy oh boy, just you girls wait – they helped build the frenzy, even though the frenzy was quite capable of building on its own.

When I came home from school one day to find the lounge room filled with opened boxes and books spilled out on the carpet and mum and dad flipping through the wafer-thin pages of the Encyclopedia Britannica they were each clutching with a kind of religious fervour, it felt like no big deal.

When I realised that today was the day, I rushed past them to the backyard where the horse would be,  whinnying in delight and prancing around a bit in anticipation.

Where are you going? Come back here, they called. Here – they exclaimed – arms spread wide with delight – here is your special present to be shared among the three of you.

The worst gift ever. The worst letdown. No horse. Just a full set of Encyclopedia Britannica. Woo hoo.



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