Oft in his stories, Godfrey did mention, oh how he loved horses, he understood them, those that knew him did say. He always had an ear open for a horse tale, he told me this one of a black colt, born long ago on a cool summers day.
The owners wished for a filly, for the future to breed, a heavy hunter for jumping and show. Of the sturdy black colt, they had no need. He had the big feet, a white star and an odd white spot on his shoulder, near side, he was sold to a University, a place of higher learning and pride…From verdant field to a research lab, one student saw the trembling young horse and did not feel it right, she stole him away on a Sunday night before he could come to harm, she lived in a room over a music shop, but she gave him a name and a home on the old family farm.
I showed a photo to Godfrey, three kids all sitting on Jack’s broad warm back. In the next few years, for fortunes change, a persons life’s plans alter, unlike the pathways Jack trod familiar, to shade, to feed, to shelter and water. The young woman’s life led her far away, she left him in trust , would return to her black horse someday. He liked his new home, he was harnessed to pull, in tandem wagons of barley and hay. People were kind to Jack, he had good feed and care at the close of the work day. It’s a tawdry world where a big, heavy horse, is of more value in a pet food tin. For the second time in his life Jack was stolen, rescued from the knackers to be stolen again.
The young woman came home, for five years she sought, her black horse with white star and odd white spot on his shoulder. He passed into memory as we kids got older, with ponies of our own in the stable. But we knew better than to mention Jack, when our cousin was at the table. I was fifteen, same age Jack would have been, late one night woke to lights in the yard and the hard thud of hooves and the clang of the gate. I crept outside and there stood Jack, tossing hay about as he ate. I knew not where she found him and to this day she never told, he was never sold or stolen again, a wise and noble big friend.
I rode Jack every day after school herding cows. From his back in the summer we dove in the ocean to swim. With my sister he broke trail through the worst snow, we had complete trust in him..no they were not easy those growing up years, but this is Jack’s story, not mine. Into his soft neck were shed a few tears, I understand said Godfrey, it’s a gift a horse has when he’s patient and kind.
I to had a pony with whom I alone shared my pain. I said thank you, yes to Godfrey, it never struck me that when I left home, I may never see Jack again…On this cool summer morning I walked the fence line with Godfrey, black colt born at midnight standing under the apple tree..white star, one white sock, sticking close to his mum but regarding us curiously..I will call him “Saga” I said to Godfrey, in memory of Blackjack, for now I’ve told his story.