I was sorting through old family pictures and came across this photo of my siblings and me on our farm in 1965. I'm the 3 year old sitting on the pony with my brother.
When I see these photos and remember my rather bucolic childhood in the Ozark Mountains it's no wonder to me that I still love nature so much. I was the kid who spent most of her time outside during the light of day. My playgrounds were the fields, woods, creeks and barns on our 800 acre farm. I'd watch the big black ants for hours as they scurried around their ant hill or lead my pony, Toby, to the pond, pretending we were on a trek to Camelot. I still have the little scar where, as a very young child, I handed Toby a carrot with my thumb sticking out. Poor Toby must have wondered what all the fuss was about as he chewed his carrot and I sat on the ground crying, nursing my bleeding thumb.
Last week I had the pleasure of visiting a new friend who has two beautiful horses on her property. Of course, I arrived at her house with a bouquet of fresh carrots in hand. As we fed her horses the veggies I told her the story of Toby & My Thumb. While we were talking about it one of her horses nipped her thumb for the very first time, leaving a bruise on her poor thumbnail. Ouch! I felt a bit guilty that maybe I jinxed her with my story. Later I half-joked to my mother that perhaps Toby had reincarnated as a quarter-horse and was trying to send a message.
If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I would ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life.--Rachel Carson
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