On nights where we have a full moon, I like to take a late night walk to visit my horses.
It is cold out there tonight, but still and clear. I pull my gumboots on over my PJ legs and put a warm jacket on over my dressing gown, then a beanie on my head and I’m ready for anything! It’s a good look, you’ve got to admit … but wait, there’s more! The outfit wouldn’t be complete without a bright orange scarf (this will help someone find me, just in case I slip down the muddy embankment, bump my head on a pile of manure and pass out in the undergrowth under the fence at the bottom of the hill).
Suitably attired, I traverse the dewy lawn and climb through the fence (not easy in this outfit) to go say hello to the herd. I quickly do a headcount; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 ……. where’s 8 and 9? I wander amongst the boys, who are standing about quietly watching me with mild interest, some are munching on their hay, others are just staring off into the next door paddock, where a few kangaroos mill about. I stop and give each horse a scratch and a kiss on their velvet muzzles, which are soft, warm and slightly moist from the damp grass.
Numbers 8 and 9 are further along the hill, over a little crest, munching on some hay that the others may not have discovered yet on their nightly exploration of the paddock, looking for the hay that I scatter about in piles every evening. This is Zorro and Sharif, my black arabians, who melted into the dark, despite the moonlight. They stop eating to enjoy my caress, and smell my ankle-length robe and PJ’s with interest. Sharif explores the possibility that they might be edible.
I squat down on the pile of hay and listen to them chewing. Both boys edge closer to me, suddenly wanting the hay that I’m sitting on, whiskers touching my cheek.
From my perch on the hill, the town lights blink and sparkle, like alien morse code on a faraway planet. There’s nothing between me and the huge night sky except the air that I breathe. It’s magical. Zorro and I let out a sigh at the same time; contentment reigns.