Have you ever been to a carnival? They usually have pony rides. You’ve got a group of little horses strapped to a merry-go-round-like apparatus, and kids get to ride on the ponies for a little while. It’s dawned on me recently: I’m a pony.
It’s not a bad life. I get fed well enough, even if it is a little bland. I’m soothed by the fact that there will be a place to rest until the next day, if a little meager. It’s a secure, stable existence, being a pony-ride pony.
Some scoff at it, but I’d wager to say we ponies are entertainers. After all, most people who ride me are entertained. Some of them really seem to enjoy it, even if I’m not a rollercoaster or a thrilling game of chance/skill. A few of them are indifferent – set up by their parents or just bored enough to get on – but it’s not generally painful for any of us. Even if the kids are cruel, the ride is soon over and they’re forgotten.
My handlers are nice enough. They don’t tend to pay much mind to me as long as I’m keeping the pace. And keep the pace I do. I get very little discouragement or encouragement; I’m essentially a vehicle to them.
But recently, a funny thing happened: My bridle became unfastened! I have no idea why. But all of a sudden, I wasn’t attached to that wheel; I didn’t have anyone on my back!
At first I felt rejected. After all, I surely was pulling my weight! Then I felt frightened. What would I do for sustenance and shelter?!
They pulled up a trailer,and beckoned me in. “You’re going back to the farm,” they said. I remember the farm; it’s where I grew up. But there’s nothing there for me anymore. And the new farm owner is crueler than any of the riders who pulled on my mane or shouted in my ear.
I looked out past the trailer, past the carnival. There was a big, real world out there and I have a strong set of legs. So I took off running as fast as I could go!
What’s to become of me? Will I become a race horse? A show pony? Will I end up in a literal dead-end gig at the ol’ glue factory??
I’m done with the farm, done with the carnival. I’m not looking back.