“She’s playing with the horses again.”
Kakaya leaned out on the porch, watching their oldest daughter in the pasture behind their home. Her braids bounced on her back as she ran back and forth with the tiny, goat-like creatures, the biggest hardly bigger than their dog Guard.
“I worry that they’ll bite her.” Pokas had settled onto the porch as well, using the bright daylight to work on his carvings. Their high-valley house gave them access to the best wood for his work, but the herd of horses that shared the field and nearby forest-edges made him nervous.
“Their bite’s hardly as bad as a goat’s, and she’s been bitten by Loudmouth before. She’ll be fine.”
“But shouldn’t she be playing with other children? When I was her age…”
“I knew you then, Po. You can’t fib to me. When you were her age, you were off in the woods, playing with the trees.”
“The horses won’t give her a livelihood, the way the trees gave me.” He frowned to realize the goat he’d been carving had turned into a horse, with the long curved neck and the strange back legs. “And she’s been skipping her lessons again.”
“Well, that can’t stand. I’ll go get her.”
“Hunh. It looks like you don’t have to. She’s coming back.. and is that Loudmouth’s harness?”
“Can’t be. Maybe from when we had her kids?” Their daughter was heading into their goat pasture, leading two tiny horses in two tiny harnesses. They were prancing, turning their heads – but neither were attacking her. And they looked finer than the others, prettier, their spots almost symmetrical.
“I thought,” their daughter announced, “like we were learning about in class? Breeding goats for size and prettiness? These two are very pretty. They might pull a baby cart…?”
Kakaya and Pokas shared a look. Kakaya won the exchange, although both were picturing tiny horses for the rich country-visit set. Perhaps their daughter’s strange obsession with horses would provide, as Pokas’ with the forest had.
“That sounds like a wonderful idea, dear.” Pokas set his carved horse down behind himself. It would be a good winter gift for her.
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