She was forgotten, or ignored, or impossible to feed due to hard times.
When Longmeadow Rescue Ranch rescued her, she was sick and starving. She weighed half what she should, light as a fairy, a skeleton of herself. They named her Pixie.
The horses that had been with her died.
Death spared her. The vet gave her more medicine. The staff and volunteers nursed her to health. They believed in her. She gained weight and got healthy. In about six months’ time, she was ready for adoption.
It was a cool day in December when we drove to the farm. We had four ponies to see as potential companions. She was the first we saw. Young, I thought. Skittish.
We looked at the others. The second and third weren’t suitable. The fourth was trained and grown. I thought he would be the best choice.
I asked my family, “Which one do you think?”
They both smiled in agreement. My son said, “We like the first one.”
I sighed and asked if we could see the first one again. I walked in the stall.
The young pony stood in the corner, shy and hesitant. I bent down. She took a step toward me and nuzzled my hair.
“Aww,” said my husband. Although I couldn’t see his heart, I could tell it was melted like butter on the stove.
I had my doubts. This pony was only a long yearling and seemed flighty. I would have some training work in front of me. On the plus side, I could tell she was intelligent and curious.
Then he said the clincher, “This is the face I want to feed every morning.”
That sealed it. The final consideration in getting any animal for us was always picking the one we wanted to see every day. We want our animals to be a source of joy.
The week of Christmas 2011, my generous friend with a horse trailer agreed to drive the 120 miles to pick her up. She even brought one of her ponies so our newly adopted Pixie pony would have company and feel more comfortable on the long trip.
Once home on our land, our Christmas girl Pixie has blossomed. She’s grown calm, confident and sociable. She knows our routine and flourishes in it. Far from a wraith, she stays in good condition, fuzzy and fun.
She nickers every time she sees us. She follows me along the fence line even if I am just out to adjust our horse Miko’s blanket, and it’s nowhere near mealtime. She knows I can’t resist giving her a treat! I always duck in the barn to get her a little something.
Her fuzzy lips stroke my palm as she takes the carrots. Even after two years, I feel giddy to have my own pony.
She is an everyday delight.
My Christmas wish
May all the little girls who wish for ponies get them, and may all the little ponies get the care they need.
May the hungry be found and fed.
May the cold be brought in, and the forgotten remembered.
May the grieving be embraced.
May the oppressed be lifted up from the mire to a life of clean air, clean water and justice.
May the lonely be given as much laughter as they can hold until the light of joy burns away their shadows.
The night is cold. Crystalline stars shine. Somewhere a young woman is outside, overlooked and turned away. Her newborn baby is wrapped in cloths.
Let us be the ones to welcome God inside.