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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

NONE OF US COULD CATCH THAT KITTENISH HORSE (4)

July 30, 1959
     We all overslept yesterday, so when Muffy Brewer phoned to ask who was going to do the trip for the 8:15 tennis lesson, we were far from organized. By skipping breakfast and turning Heidi's care over to Ed, Vonnie was ready in a tousled sort of way by ten past eight. Before she left for the golf club with her grandmother, she told me she had brought the rope up to the barn so her father could conveniently lead Heidi out.to the corral
     Now I had to break the news to Ed, who had decided on this morning of all mornings to have a swim. When he sloshed up from the beach, I explained about the chore awaiting him. "Oh, my God," he groaned. "I'm due at Blake's office in five minutes." Grumble, grumble, cuss, cuss.
     "I'll do it for you, Dad," said Tim, who had padded in to see what the excitement was about.
     "Are you sure you know how?" I asked.
     "Yes, yes, I put her in her stall last night when Vonnie asked me to. I didn't have any trouble at all."
     The next words I heard from Timmy came while I was brushing my teeth. "She wouldn't have gotten away if Vonnie had left the rope where it usually is."
     "Timmy, that horse isn't loose again!" I gurgled, foaming at the mouth. The last time, she had made straight for the McKennas' precious lawn, checkering it with divots among other things. Bill had had words with me about horses in general and Heidi in particular. He even claimed she was a danger to life and limb and ought to be chained.
     I told Tim to keep an eye on Heidi, warning him that if she put so much as one toe on Mckennas' property, I would kill myself first and then him.
     I dialed  Blake Thaxter's office, hoping to catch Ed before he left for Boston. I caught him all right, but none of us could catch that kittenish horse. She seemed to think we were playing tag, the object being to let whoever was "It" (all two legged animals) come tantalizingly close—then with a snicker and a toss of the mane, away she’d go.
POKIE ATE MY GERANIUMS TO THE NUB.
     At 9:00 Ed said he was sorry but he did have to go to work. I called the golf club and told Vonnie to bum a ride home with someone as soon as possible. At that moment I saw through the window that Heidi had her head in a pail of oats and Tim was snaking the rope through her halter ring. I told Vonnie to take her time, everything was under control.
     The rest of the day was uneventful except for what Pokie did to my flower boxes. Vonnie had tethered her too close to the terrace, and she ate my geraniums to the nub.

To Kathie, from her grandmother
Cohasset
July 31, 1959
     Heidi escaped yesterday. In my room I could hear your father reasoning earnestly with her. Seems she was of a mind to keep her liberty. The goat also had a Day. She was on a tether that she discovered was of a handy length since it enabled her to turn the corner of the house and reach the terrace. The nearest flower‑box today gives mute evidence of her visit. I was the one who discovered her on the terrace; imagine my horror when glancing out of the window I saw what I thought for a surprised moment was a rather homely bearded old gentleman staring at me.
      I dropped my book and ran out to tell him to get back to the Odd Fellows' Home, only to discover that the odd fellow was a four legged flower chewer. I think he is doing time, now, in the corral.  
      The weather has been gorgeous to quote your dad. He does enjoy it so much. Both your mom and dad are well, Vonnie is faithful and dependable, Timmy is Timmy, and I am writing a lot. That in a capsule is the News.                                                                                                                      

Loads of love, 
Isha

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