A Pony Under the Tree

When I was a kid, the only thing I wanted for Christmas was a pony. I knew that it was unrealistic. After all, we lived in Manhattan so there wasn’t exactly a place to put a pony.

Goldie arrived in a huge wooden box. She was hand carved in India by monks. 34 years after I got her, she still can fullfill a little girl's dreams. 42 years after I got her, Goldie still can inspire a little girl’s dreams.

The Christmas I was five or six, my dream came close to coming true. That was the year I got Goldie. While she wasn’t a living breathing pony, she was the size of a real pony and I could ride her.

She came in a huge wooden box from India in six solid pieces of wood which my father assembled into a pony, held together by wooden pegs. My grandmother helped monks import hand-carved Creche scenes through her church and she had them carve Goldie for me. My father bought me a pony sized western saddle for her and with that and my imagination we were off on many adventures.

Once I grew older, I realized that the monks who had carved Goldie had probably never seen a horse before and had probably carved her after looking at a picture of a pony. She looks pretty good from the side, but from the front, her legs look suspiciously human, especially the knees. However, in my eyes, she was perfect.

For many years I had no place to keep her. It wasn’t until my husband and I bought our first house that she was able to come and live with me again. She’s always been a conversation piece. Not that many people have a life-sized pony in their living room and Goldie is certainly unique.

She may be made of wood, but she still loves to be hugged.
She may be made of wood, but she still loves to be hugged.

My son was never enamored with her, but my daughter spent many happy hours playing on her and Goldie has been a big hit with her friends. The cats love sitting on her, too.

Goldie is now 42 years old. Her saddle is long gone, as is her tail. When I was maybe nine or 10, I covered her with vegetable oil (in hopes of conditioning the wood) so for a few years she was pretty sticky. She’s picked up a fair number of scratches and bangs over the years (our cats have an annoying habit of using her as a

For the cats, she's a great perch.
For the cats, she's a great perch.

scratching post), but she’s still fun to ride. Some day I’ll have her refinished and she’ll have the luster of the years without the marks of age. But every Christmas I remember the year I had a pony under the tree and celebrate one of the very best presents I ever received

Wishing all my readers and fellow bloggers a very happy holiday season.

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