The Wooden Horse

I'm one of many wooden horses, made for children to play, on my soft saddle they'll sit and to and fro I will sway. We were made in a little warehouse, by a man bent with age, with his withered hands and antique tools he carved us with careful gauge.

But I was born different from all the rest and every day I'd ask god why, when no one was looking and the master was asleep I'd often stay up and cry. You see I am disabled, only a single stirrup I possess, the master ran out of leather he said and left me with this distress. He'd often stroke my mane and console, "you're not handicapped but a special foal". "Why then no one wants to take me home, no kid ever looks my way, I want to be part of a family too", grimly I would say.

And so I sat in a corner alone, still and mild, watching families come in and their children run around wild. They'd sit on many horses until their favourite they had picked, not a glance in my direction, not one single kid. When the sun would set and master got ready to leave, he would stroke my mane and say, "you just have to believe".

Days came and went each no different from the last, except that my friends would leave one after another, the master's flock depleting fast. To their new home they would go, a new family to call their own, I'd dread the day I'd be the only one left, in this corner forlorn. 

Some kids can be mean, they point and they stare, look at that useless horse they'd say, who'd want that damaged mare. Why don't you throw that one out, some parents would confer, "no!" master said, he would not be deterred. 

I will forever remember the day she came, carried in her father's arms, master greeted them at the door, he was old but didn't lack charm. I thought she was a snob, grown up but still being cradled, how wrong I was to judge her so quickly without a clue I had had her labelled. 

For when her dad set her down, I saw she was missing a leg, she limped around with her gray crutches and an expression blank and dead. I saw the pain in her eyes, as she slowly hopped across the store, her pink frock bouncing around while the crutches clinked the floor.

Suddenly she stumbled and fell with a thump, her father ran to her side and helped her stand up. She dusted her pink dress and continued her step while her father looked on as his heart silently wept. His dear daughter she was and god had been so unkind, living without a leg, he prayed a normal life she would find.

I kept a curious eye on her as she slowly looked around, until her eyes fell on me and she contorted a frown. She made her way to where I stood and continued to stare, "what happened to this horse papa, he's missing something there"

My master and her papa walked to where we stood, and master looked down with a smile considering what answer would be good. "He's a kind and noble horse, also the best of my herd, but alas he was born without a stirrup, a curse he did not deserve".

The little girl stroked my mane and noticed I was just like her, she was missing a right leg for no fault of her own and I had only a left stirrup sewn. She looked at her dad with expectant eyes and her thoughts he was able to read, he carried her up and placed her on my back and went on to kiss her cheek. 

She placed her only leg in my only stirrup and slowly I rocked to her delight, she clapped and she cheered and then kissed my head and with both her little arms she hugged me tight. We continued to rock, two handicapped kids each comforted by the other, right then we knew we would never separate and all our love to the other we would shower.

A single tear fell down her father's cheek as he saw his baby smile, "to this horse I'm indebted" he said, "he has brought joy to my child". "Look master look, she likes me" I said, Yes my dear horse, she considers you her friend.

And so that day a new family I found, a new house I would call my home, as I left I saw my masters eyes tear and in pain my heart was torn. "Don't worry" he said, this little girl needs you more, I will be fine and I won't grieve, but always remember you're not handicapped but special, you just have to believe.