this is an essay that i wrote for a creative arts contest. i hope the moral is clear.
|Have you ever had moments when you were so busy you had no time for anything? Maybe you have known people who never took the time to stop and “smell the roses.” There have been times when I wish I could start over and notice more. You know what I mean just be thankful for the little stuff. I never did take the time to appreciate things, but that was changed by Suzie Q.
That year Chris Wigley, a family friend, bought a herd of horses out of South Dakota. I was looking forward to viewing the group because we needed some young fillies for our breeding program. I was really hoping we would buy one or two.
One cold afternoon we went to Chris’s farm. Inside the barn were six stud colts to the right and two fillies to the left. Daddy looked at the colts, but then he moved on to the two gorgeous fillies.
The first filly was a large buckskin. The only markings she had were a dorsal strip and four perfect, black socks. Her hindquarters were wide and muscular. Her chest and shoulders were deep and stout too.
The other one was a slightly smaller bay. Like her half sister, she had no white markings she was just as stout and muscular, just slightly smaller. “I think they are both good colts, but the bay may be just a little better,” Chris told daddy.
Two days later, we went and picked up the little bay. She was the most unruly little thing we had ever had, but she did calm down. In about two more weeks, she would lead and allow us to groom her. We decided to name her Dakota.
Seeing how gentle Dakota became, my dad went to purchase the buckskin, Dreamin’ Miss Dude. She calmed down quickly, so we turned her out to graze with the other mares. We never found a good name for her. That is until one day I called her Suzie Q. I had no particular reason for calling her Suzie, I just did, and the name stuck.
Suzie was definitely my favorite of the two fillies. The main reason I liked her best was that she could be sweet. She had a way of putting her head on my shoulder and nuzzling my hair. She was gentle and sweet, but still had a fiery side as well. She would run and jump, just playing with Dakota. I loved that little horse, but as anyone raised on a farm would do, I did not get too attached.
One afternoon, about a month after we had brought her home, we noticed Suzie Q had a large knot on her chest. Daddy immediately took her to the vet. When we arrived, Dr. Edwards drained the fluid away and gave her a tetanus shot.
Unfortunately, a few days later, Suzie Q came up to the barn as always but something was wrong. She was having trouble moving. Her muscles were stiff and rigid. My dad put her in a pen by herself. About a day or so later, she fell and could not get up. Daddy kept her on IV fluids, but she just could not regain strength.
By the next morning, she was even worse. The sight was heart breaking and I will never forget it. Every five to ten minutes she would have violent muscle spasms. Her jaws would clamp shut, and her eyes would roll back into her head. I knew she was in a lot of pain and all I could do was watch helplessly.
When I had the time, I would sit cradling her head in my lap. I would always fight back the tears. At these times, I would pet and sing to her; she had always liked that. My parents would go and check on her every hour. However, no matter what we did, she continued to get worse.
That Sunday, we pulled her into the trailer, and took her to the vet. The whole way I only expected the worst. When we arrived, Dr. Edwards checked her over. “Jimmy,” he said, “you could keep her on antibiotics or…” his voice trailed off.
“But there is no guarantee that she will live?” my dad asked.
The vet looked remorseful, and then shook his head. “If she was mine, you know what I would do, but it is your choice,” he replied.
I was then sent to the truck. I choked back the tears because I knew my little Suzie Q was taking her last breaths. I did not really pay attention to my mom crying beside me. I knew I had to stay strong.
A few moments later, Daddy came to tell me it was all over. Mamma stayed in the truck, and Daddy went to talk to the vet. I slid out of the truck and went to the back of the trailer. I saw Suzie lying there lifeless. Stroking her face and sides, I said my final goodbyes. But I didn’t cry. I knew she was pain free now and would not have to suffer anymore.
That night after she was buried, I climbed atop the big hill and silently cried. That is when I thought of all the good things in my life, and thanked God for all that he had given me.
She was just one little horse, but Suzie Q taught me something that day. She taught me to appreciate everything in life, large or small. Never take things for granted, because you do not know when you will have to give them up.