Good-bye to a Horse

My daughter’s first love was tall, dark, and handsome. He helped her grow from a girl into a woman. Then the day arrived when she had to say . . .

WHEN MY ALARM WENT OFF AT 6:01 A.M., I found a paper plate covered with my daughter Vivian’s handwriting outside the bedroom door. “Please don’t wake me up in the morning,” it said. “It’s 3:00 a.m. I can’t go to sleep because I’m thinking about Mark. I’ve just laid in bed for two hours, but nothing works.”

Mark was her horse. That morning at ten, a man from Boysville, a residential center for abused or neglected children near San Antonio, was coming to pick him up. We had agreed to donate Mark to the home. Mark was lame, which meant he couldn’t be ridden in competitions and no one would buy him. At Boysville he would be looked after and he would not be ridden hard, so he might prove useful. But if not, they would sell him at auction to the highest bidder without questioning what purpose that bidder had in

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