When I saw the horse, it struck me as odd.
I was driving down the road, my two boys strapped into their carseats in the back and I looked to the left to the front yard of a house we passed. A horse, a pinto with white hair and large orange spots, jumped and galloped there. No fence contained it. It was a painfully odd and beautiful sight that I kept watching as we drove by, almost forgetting to look ahead. The road was essentially empty, a tree line on one side and houses on the other, but chauffeuring my toddlers in the back demands more attention.
As my mind went through the monumental task of understanding the image of that horse galloping free with the normality of suburban sprawl, that Pinto galloped right onto the pavement next to my car, almost flicking side panels with its tail as if it wanted to flirt with the mechanical beast it noticed. That horse lost interest, quickly, and galloped ahead as I slowed, forgetting the gas pedal. It sauntered ahead to a small, fenced-in lot with two other horses, one solid white and the other solid brown, running around.
The Pinto galloped up to the fence. The white one met it. Their long heads craned over either side of the railing, one nuzzling the other. I kept watching, wondering what that magnificent beast would do next. I wanted to see if one might try to jump over the fence to join the other or if the trapped horses might find inspiration in the Pinto that somehow escaped.
A moment later, as I watched, an old rancher, white haired and grizzled with age, sidled up with a harness in hand. The Pinto jerked a bit, but that assured old rancher wrapped the harness around the horse's neck and led it back home.
For a moment, I saw something wild and free.