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Horse

“…back on the farm, mom walks us around the field with canvas bag over shoulder, shows us how to find wild asparagus and pick dry-land cress, and we make a picnic and pick poke berries. Later we dip white tee shirts into pokeberry juice to dye and create new clothes. Mom shows us piles of sticks near the old barn-we make a game up on the spot. She points out the ant’s house, the moth’s house, the snake’s house with agile hands, and teaches gentle get-along-ness with nature. Brother gets stung by a bee and we put meat tenderizer on it and then go jump in the creek and swim in cutoffs, watching witchdoctors land on cattails and muskrats wink underwater. In winter we feed the horse, Ginger, with open palm fat juicy carrots and wild apples picked from the apple trees on the hill over the creek, the old orchard hunched and slowly disappearing into the ground. At school we wonder what else there is to learn.”