My Majestic Princess
While living in the big city, it seemed like it was always daytime. In the country before the sun comes up, we have the birds singing, the chickens across the way crowing and the rays of the sun pouring through the window to welcome the new day. I could smell bacon cooking, and the rich aroma of coffee from downstairs. Mom called up to me and said that breakfast was ready. I could hear Mom’s classical music playing as I threw on my clothes and ran down to the kitchen. While we sat talking about the day’s chores, I asked Mom if there was any way that we could go into town to the auction yard to get some more information on Babe. She said that was a great suggestion and we’d do that as soon as possible. But first, I needed to go out and take care of my mare.
Once my morning chores were completed, we were on our way to town. The feed store was the first stop. Henry, the feed store owner, was happy to help us with what we needed. He suggested we get some hay and grain. We found out that there was much more than just feeding a horse hay and grain. Mr. Miller said that we needed to put her on an anti-parasite program. That would involve the local veterinarian, Dr. Jim Edmonds, DVM, who can help us with her complete health. I was glad we had such friendly people to help us out. Mr. Miller asked us if we had contacted our neighbor across the street, Mr. Chapman. We had just found out that was Mike’s last name, Mike Chapman. We shared with Mr. Miller that Mr. Chapman was helping us with my new horse and surprised us with all his knowledge. The store owner assured us that we could trust Mr. Chapman completely. I thanked him for everything, and we proceeded to the auction yard.
The auction yard owner was helpful in answering our questions. The previous owners of Babe were not available since they had passed away, but he gave us information, including a phone number, about their next of kin. We thanked the owner and headed down to the phone booth. The phone rang, and we got an answer.
“Hello,” I said, “my name is Mathew, and I bought a horse that used to belong to the Maxwell family. Is that your mother and father’s name?”
The voice on the other end of the phone answered, “Yes.”
I asked if they had any information on the horses that they used to own. The man on the other end of the line was happy to help us. It was the son who had worked on getting all the records together after his parent’s deaths.
He asked, “What else do you need to know?”
I told him that we had bought the mare, at the auction yard in Bend, Oregon, and I read him the paper that Mike had given me. “Okay,” I said. “She is bay, around seven or eight years old with a star and stripe on her face, a sock on her right hind leg and a coronet on her left front.” I asked them if there was anything else I might need to give them to help identify her? The reply was that we were really in luck because they had held that horse back for a long time before sending her to auction and that she was the best horse his parents had. He explained that they went as long as they could, trying to get her a safe home, but because of circumstances beyond their control, they were forced to take her to the auction. The son asked if she was doing okay. I told him that we were able to get her out of that auction yard before the kill buyer got hold of her. I explained that she was doing great at our home now. I told him that we named her Babe. After a pause, he informed me that he did have the information on this horse. As he looked further, he found that she was registered with the Arabian Horse Association, and he had all her papers. He said that he knew that his parents would have liked her to be registered with the new owners, and he’d be glad to give them to me.
“By the way,” I said, “I want to put my mom on the phone because she is just so thankful.”
Mom took the receiver and said, “Sir, thank you so much for doing this for us. My son and I are going to take good care of her.”
“You’re very welcome, Ma’am, let me get your address and number, and I’ll be glad to send all this paperwork to you. I’m over in the valley. It should be to you in a couple days.”
It was exciting to get this information, we were anxious to know just what we had. The breeder’s son said that the Arabian mare from their breeding program was very special. Were we really that fortunate? We could hardly wait to find out what we had.
Over the weekend, I was busy mending fences, taking care of Babe, and preparing to put her out in a bigger pasture enclosure. Babe had settled in quite nicely. The time I spent sitting in her paddock just watching her was paying off. Many times, she would come up to me and sniff me. As Mike told me, I just sat there and made observations. I wrote down everything, so I could report to Mike when he came back.
With much anticipation, I was waiting at the mailbox on Monday. There was a big manila envelope addressed to me from the relatives that we spoke to over in the valley. I couldn’t wait to open it, but I knew that my mom wanted to be there. So I took it right into the house, and we opened it together. Eagerly, we read the contents. “Dear Mathew and Marcia. We’re so thankful that you were able to get my parents’ precious mare and give her a loving home. You said that you named her Babe, her real name is My Majestic Princess, and she is eight years old. Enclosed are her registration papers with my signature, transferring ownership. Also, a copy of all her medical treatment and her breeding record is enclosed. She has had two foals. I wish you a lot of success in the future. Take good care of her. My parents are looking down smiling, knowing that she is in good hands. Yours truly, Pat and Joanna.”
I was outside one morning when I heard a big truck rumbling down the road. Mike was home, and I was so excited to tell him what I’d found out. Before he could open the door, I was over there beckoning him to roll down the window with the dust billowing all over. He waited until it settled before he opened the door to greet me.
“Howdy Mathew. How are you?”
“I’m fine, thank you, Mike. How are you?”
“I’m tired, went all the way up into Canada this time to deliver that load of hay. I got caught up at the border with customs. It took me about twelve hours just to clear that load because they said that they had some kind of mold on it, but I’m glad I’m back home. By the way, how is your mare doing?”
I quickly answered, “Oh, she’s doing fantastic. I’ve been spending a lot of time in her stall. I have so many things to tell you. What I’ve found out about her, things that I see when I sit there next to her and, oh my goodness, we got some information on the past owners.”
“Settle down for a second. Let me get this truck turned around and go get cleaned up, and then I’ll come on over.”
“Oh, okay, thanks. We’ll be waiting for you.”
Mike appeared at the door of the barn, and he commented on how clean the barn was.
“You’ve been doing a lot of work; put my tools to good use,” praised Mike.
I quickly nodded in appreciation but anxiously motioned him over to Babe’s stall, then I said, “I’ve been doing what you told me to do. I spend hours out there sitting in the paddock with her. I wrote down a lot of things that I observed. I haven’t done anything with her yet. I am so anxious to do something. You think you can teach me how to put a halter on her?”
“Well, sure.” Mike smiled. “She’s looking good, gaining a little bit of weight.” Just then she put her head over the door to greet us.
“Now, that’s a good sign. She’s settling in nicely.”
My Mom appeared in the door of the barn, and in her hand was the manila envelope. We gathered together where the light was brighter and opened the envelope. Mike was anxious to look at her pedigree. Just one look and Mike froze. He became silent as he looked a little bit closer. To make sure that he saw it correctly, he put on his glasses.
“Could you excuse me for a moment,” Mike said. He went outside and went around the corner.
I asked Mom, “What was that all about?”
In a little bit, he reappeared and excused himself for being so emotional. “It’s a long story, and please excuse me. It’s a great pedigree, fantastic as a matter of fact.”
Mike became strangely silent and changed the subject. “My Majestic Princess. What a beautiful name. What are you going to do now Mathew? Are you going to nickname her Babe?”
I thoughtfully answered, “I’ll think about that. Give me some time to get to know her a little bit better.”
“Keep up the good work. Babe looks good and healthy. Excuse me folks, I’m tired, and I’m going to go back home and get some sleep. I’ve been on the road for three days straight and I’ll … I’ll catch you guys later.”
“Thank you, Mike,” said Marcia.
“I hope you get some good rest. Will you be coming over tomorrow?” I interjected expectantly.
“Sure, I’ll see you tomorrow. Thank you, Ma’am, I mean Marcia. I’m sure you’re very proud of your son. Good night.”
And with that Mike excused himself and went across the street.
Very concerned I asked, “Mom, what do you think that was all about? Suddenly, he got really weird. What happened? Do you think he didn’t like her or something?”
“I don’t know, son, but just let him get some rest. He’s been driving for a long time. He’ll be all right. I know it was rough when we were driving up from LA. He drives all the time.”
“Okay, I understand. In the meantime, I’ll just keep on taking good care of our ‘little Miya’, wow, what do you think, Mom? You think Miya would be a good name?”
“Well, maybe you want to think on that one. Get your chores done. Then come on in. We have an early meeting tonight at the Grange Hall.”
With that, I hurriedly fed, watered, and gave my special girl her first big hug.