Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I have been considering the reality of my own mortality for a while now. When a person passes the half way mark of the statistical expected lifespan, it is natural to think about the end. That we all die, that everything dies, is the only certain thing. Since everything and everyone can live a happy, fruitful life despite knowledge of certain demise, it is apparently not much of a handicap.

My dear little orphan Annie has died. She suffered a fall into a fence panel that caused an eviscerating wound. The equine doctor at Kansas State University euthanized her out of mercy. Because I could not be reached, even in these days of instant communication, I did not have to make this onerous decision.

So, just like that, Annie's time upon this earth came to an abrupt end. Her sweet and playful essence returns to the mighty archetypal Horse Spirit, to inform all horses - past, present and future, with her short life experiences.

At least, that is what I hope happens. I do not know what happens when we die. No one does. We create religions and gods in our image, and invent saviors and myths and we believe - or disbelieve - or guess. But no one knows for sure. No one I have ever loved and trusted has ever returned to tell me not to worry, so I am free to draw my own conclusions. My guess is as good as the next one.

What I do know is that I do not have a single good picture of Annie. Not a single record of her beautiful long mane. She was not a pretty horse, but she was beautiful running, her head held high. When she was galloping, her long narrow head became noble in bearing and to me, she looked like the horses in classical paintings. Maybe it was simply the Spirit of horses I saw in Annie when she was running. She did not have to be beautiful for me to love her.

Like all women and horses that have gone before, Annie is dead now, and eventually I will be dead as well. In an unimaginable universe, it is not difficult to imagine our paths may cross again. I hope so. I surely do.


"For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.” - Henry Beston


cyberkit said...

I am so very sorry to hear about Annie. We will miss hearing about her.

Li'l Ned said...

oh Jackie, I am so sad to hear this. I have been moved to tears by the news, but even more so by your wise words and ability to bring me right to the vision of Spirit -- and of the Spirit of Horses. I hope I can recapture this wide, loving perspective when next I lose a beloved one -- that it is a rejoining of the larger collective Spirit of its kind. I am not blessed to live among horsekind, but I thank you for the reminder of that archetypal freedom, speed and power they carry. Farewell, Annie of the Plains. I guess you graduated horse school with specially flying colors. I wonder where you are off to now?

Jackie said...

My heart is just broken over this. I thought sending Annie to a trainer would be in her best interest in the long run. She was a young horse, and I'm not young. If I couldn't keep her any more and she was trained to ride, she would have a better chance to stay out of the slaughter house. I sent her to her doom. I just have to look at the whole situation in the long view for now. It was an accident. But you always feel as if accidents should have been avoided.