Faith on Four Legs

Audrey - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Entered on May 3, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Asking a 14 year old girl what she believes in life is a pretty big question. To Some girls, that’s like saying, “You’re going to meet a movie star, what will you say to them?” I know for a fact, I do not believe movie stars are the most important thing in the world. I don’t know what’s most important. But I know what to believe in people and animals. I believe that animals can be your best friends on your worst days.

I recently got a horse for my birthday, and coincidentally, it was on a horrible day. I was ready to give up on people. Most people think I’m too smart, and they expect my forehead to be labeled ANSWERS. It doesn’t help either with my size, being five feet tall. Sometimes, there are people who just pretend to be friends with me and they turn around and start talking about me. They talk about the vegetarian, the animal lover, the weird girl, sometimes even the hippie. That night, I opened up the single box containing a contract for the lease of the horse. I was so happy, I started to cry.

The next day, I could hardly sit still through class. Right after school, my mom drove me to the barn to ride him as my lease. I have ridden at this barn for years, but it was as if I was walking in for the first time. My new lease, Harley, looked up from his food as soon as he heard my footsteps. He had a goofy horse look on his face that seemed to say, “Hey, I’ve been waiting for you! Where have you been all day?” His nose started to poke around my bag, looking for treats. I laughed, and I felt happier than I ever did. I slipped him a peppermint and he started to nuzzle my arm. I threw my arms around his neck and whispered, “Thank you.”

It was then, that I realized, I have always had a best friend, he just looked a little bit different than all my other ones. The people at school and my lunch table are nice, but they’re humans, and kids. So we fight and we yell about silly things. And sometimes, I’m not able to tell who my friend is and who isn’t. Sure, he has four legs, weighs about ten times more than the average human, and ok, he’s a little hairier, too. The only time we ever get into fights is when he wants to run and I want to ride. And he always lets the little girl win in the end. He always listens, no matter how much I talk, and I listen to him, too. I can look at him and tell if he wants to be left alone or if he needs someone too. There is nothing that a few sugar cubes and scratches can’t solve. No matter how good or bad my day is he will be there.

He’s helped me learn more about people, and myself. Sometimes humans are the hardest creatures to understand. And by watching him and his friends, I can see what other people try to do. Horses are just like big people. They get happy with their friends, scared around their enemies and every emotion in between. I learned that people should always have someone to walk with, and even the little guy can win the fight. He’s taught me that sometimes even the small things are worth standing up for, sometimes, you need to be able to listen too. And if you’re kind and you listen quietly, maybe they’ll listen to you.