November 18, 2009 They say a picture is worth more than a thousand words. As you look at the snapshot accompanying my story I am certain you think I am out of my mind. Only a horse loving and nature loving person will empathize with me.
As I sit and throw my-self into the snapshot propped up in front of me, I can feel and smell the leather of my saddle, also the reins in my hands. The bridle is old but the leather has been kept soft by many cleanings with saddle soap. I can feel Whisper's soft neck and run my fingers through her mane as I lose myself in nostalgia. I named her Whisper because she had a soft whinny. Knowing Whisper's instincts, I watch those ears. They tell me a lot. I can tell by her 'ear language' what she is instincting. It is spring and she is rarin' ta' go. I speak softly to her. Around and beyond her ears the beauty of an early May morning is unfolding. I share my thoughts and a prayer of thanksgiving with her.
If you will promise not to have me thrown in the 'booby-hatch,' I will share some of our crazy jaunts. We have been known to arise early and watch the sunrise over in Hough's woods, near where the snapshot was taken. Although each of us had our own horse, none of my family offered to accompany Whisper and me. I will have to admit that as I was crawling out of bed, the idea didn't sound too good to me either, but all was in readiness. Whisper's bridle hung on the back door knob, an ear of corn to entice her out of the pasture was nearby. One time a mother skunk followed by her babies crossed the road in front of us. They didn't excite Whisper and mother skunk just ignored us. We had been through the orchard and woods enough that Whisper knew the route to the knob where we stopped to take in the beauty. She would stop and eat the grass as I gazed at our farm and the church steeple and water tank in Almont.
Red and I always said that the best years of our life were when we were fearless leaders of the Almont 4-H Saddle Club. We had wonderful cooperative parents and good club members. Whisper was a part of that group also.
— Country Cousin
Gertie Brooks, of Almont, has been a columnist for the Tri-City Times for over three decades now. Gertie's style of reliving days long past in her writing make her one of the Times' most popular columnists.