Wednesday, December 24, 2008

That Christmas Eve Legend

I have a friend named Di (short for Diana) who lives in Ireland. She's a lifelong horsewoman, a former three day eventing rider, who owns a small herd of Irish warmbloods that live in the pasture surrounding her house. Di shares tales of their funny quirks and flirtations with disaster. Each one is a mischief maker, much like my Wally.

Di was the first person that told me the legend about horses-- indeed all barnyard animals-- being blessed with the ability to speak at midnight on Christmas Eve. It's a popular bit of folklore in Ireland and throughout Europe, and I think it's rather intriguing. If you want to read the history of the legend, just click on this link which will take you to the December 24th segment of the Holiday Countdown on Horse Channel:

The Curious Case of the Talking Horses at Midnight

I think this legend captivates me because I would define myself as a spiritual person. I definitely believe there are miraculous things that happen. Usually we're just too busy or too close minded to notice them. Now, does that mean that I'm certain that tonight at midnight Wally will begin conversing? Though I'm not above tip-toeing out to his stall late tonight to see if I can overhear him pontificating, I'll probably stay inside, snuggled under the thick comforter on my bed. Rather than risk the disheartening possibility that Wally will remain silent, I'd prefer to just continue to believe that maybe, just maybe, the legend is true. And wouldn't that be wonderful?

Of course, that then prompts the question: What would Wally say if he did speak?

Part of me thinks he'd say nothing profound. He'd simply chatter about his addiction to peppermint candies or how he relishes freshly baled orchard grass. But then there's another part of me that's confident Wally would utter what I'd love to hear most: That he's grateful he ended up in my backyard; that I'm kind to him; that he enjoys our trail rides; and that he regrets constantly grabbing things in his mouth (like the reins, the lead rope and my shirt sleeve), but he just can't help himself. To hear him reveal such sentiments would make my Christmas that much merrier.
Merry Christmas! And if you'd like to share your thoughts, click on "comments" below or email me at:


Nancy said...

Cindy, I too am very spiritual, and believe that animals and spirits communicate with us all along, but we are numb to what's going on - our minds are racing, we dont hear or see the messages in our busy worlds.

I read a book on communicating with animals, and the author said to quiet your mind, ask your animal a question, and just listen to what happens - and what pops into your mind is your animal speaking.

So i decided to try it with Leo, who at the time was a yearling. As i was grooming him, i took a deep breath, cleared my mind and thought to him - Leo, do you have any questions for me?

I immediately got the thought in my mind - "Yes, how old are you?" So i thought back to him - I'm 48. And i immediately got back the thought- "Wow, that's really old, I'm only one"

As i stood there with my mouth open staring at him, he looked down at me, and i SWEAR, he was laughing at me!!!!

Have a wonderful holiday everyone!

Anonymous said...

That would be so neat if I could talk to my mare, even if it was only once a year. I would love to be able to explain to her what I'm trying to teach her, and maybe have her voice some things to me as well.

Cindy Hale said...

Wally was lying down on Christmas Eve night, but I didn't sneak up on him to listen. But he is a very expressive horse, so I'm sure he'd have a lot to say. He'd probably comment on my age, too! And heaven knows I'd LOVE to be able to speak directly to him in words.

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