rescuing strays and orphans

I’m driving through a reseidential neighborhood late at night when I see a flash of white and movement, and there is a horse! running along the road through the front yards, weaving between parked cars– so I hurriedly pull over and park all cockeyed and scramble out and click my tongue for it– it’s shy and skittish, but it also wants someone, needs someone, so it comes to me eventually– I gather up the ends of its frayed lead rope and guide it around the houses, looking for where it may have come from. I go into a building with an inner courtyard and apartments winding up off of it through several storeys– somehow I know the horse has come from here– I call out, and for awhile no one answers– then finally a man leans over the banister and sees me below with his horse and comes down– he says, that’s so-and-so, but doesn’t seem to want it back– I ask him, to make sure, and he says, no, take it away with you, please. and there’s a long pause while I digest this, and then I say, divorce is hard, I know. I’ve been through it, too. and he begins to cry– he says, they just left today— and I know he means his wife and daughter and that the horse was hers. I reach out and take his hand and say, it does get better, I promise. and he looks at me with a kind of bleak hope, not quite believing– and then he clears his throat and stands up, and I take the little horse away– it’s just small enough to fit in the back of my hatchback– really the size of a golden retriever and just as soft and friendly. and it just so happens I have a barn standing empty and ready out behind my house. I think, I’ll figure out later what to do with it when I move out in june.

there’s a little woolly black dog I rescue, scooping it up and loading it into my car, saying to some other people who want it, too, it’s so cute– well, you may get it yet if I can’t figure out how to make george get along with it— but in my head I’m thinking, I’ll figure it out.

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