Pony Man

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(The) Pony Man

A kid, a pony, a kind fellow
Acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20 inches (2008)

One of life's requirements to be a kid is the pony ride. We as adults are only too happy to oblige, sitting our children a dizzying height of four feet from the ground, astride a mild tempered (and kind of odiferous) horse or pony.

And as adults we can appreciate the efforts and patience of the pony man (or lady) who guides beast and the thrilled/petrified rider about a track or trail, the same motions, the sames turns, the same near-miss at the overhanging bush ... day in ... day out. A staple of county fairs and large, private parties, they travel from place-to-place to seas of eager and astonished faces, impatiently waiting in roped-off lines, wondering aloud about how they get on such a beast!

In my experience, the pony people seem to be a cheerful lot: I have never seen them scowl, or bring grief to their charges, or cuss-out the parents dancing and straining to get a good shot of the child without hampering progress. Those of us who have taken children out for that pony ride we say thank you ... thank you ... to all of those who spend many hours bringing such a mingling of fear and unfettered joy to our children.

A long time ago, Gordon Lightfoot wrote a song called The Pony Man. While a somewhat different and fantastical variation on pony rides, it's a lovely song I have sung to my children in honour of the pony man. The first verse goes

    When it's midnight on the meadow
    and the cats are in the shed.
    And the river tells a story
    at the window by my bed.
    If you listen very closely
    be as quite as you can.
    In the yard you'll hear him,
    it is the pony man.

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P.O. Box 659, Winchester, Ontario. K0C 2K0   613-774-5180
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© 2012 Douglas Laing