I’m Just A Little Kid. By Henry Regehr
On a cold prairie winter day, I was walking the long way home from my grade two class when a team of Clydesdales, pulling a farm box wagon on winter runners, passed me on the snowy road. To a small seven-year-old, these horses were massive creatures with broad backs, great muscled legs. Just next to me were their huge plodding hoofs that left tracks as large as our dinner plates. I was awe-struck and frightened as only a small child could be walking beside these monstrous animals.
The tall, broad-shouldered farmer in the wagon had the horses in full control as he held the reins loosely and headed toward his farm a mile down the road. He had just passed me when he was called by his friend and he brought the animals to a stop with a quiet “Woah, boys” and I was impressed with the quick, obedient response. The farmer and his friend had a conversation, and both left the horses and the wagon standing on the road and walked away to the friend’s house. The farmer had complete trust in his well-trained team, obviously, because he did not apply a brake to the wagon, nor did he look back at his rig.
I had stopped well back of the wagon and was watching with keen attention to what was happening and then noticed that the horses’ ears suddenly stood erect, as though hearing something, and both began walking at a normal pace, pulling the empty box wagon. The farmer was preoccupied with his conversation and I was the only person who noticed this strange scene.
For the next fifteen minutes, or so, I was mesmerized by the little drama playing out. The two men went through the gate of a house, never looking back, and entered through the front door. The horses, with the wagon, walked leisurely down the road. As I stood memorizing the scene, the horses and sleigh drew past my own home, went down a dip in the road, came up the other side, went on to the top of the hill, turned into the farm driveway a mile distant, and disappeared from my view.
Just as this was playing out, my big brother, my hero, came up behind me on his way home from school. He was fifteen.
“What are you looking at?” he asked. I told him the strange story I had just seen, and he was keenly interested.
“What did you do” he wanted to know.
“I just watched”.
“Why didn’t you call the farmer to tell him what was happening?” He was a responsible young man.
“I’m just a little kid”, I replied.