Surprise Delivery   Leave a comment

Surprise Delivery

 

Let me introduce myself….My name is Princess. I’m a shiny black horse with a magnificent mane. I live in Bonnie Scotland and it’s the Swinging Sixties. I work for a Mr McTavish the local Funeral Director in the town of Kinlochnessy. I work alongside my team… Blackie, Ebony, Jet and Guinness. Yes we are all black. People love black shiny horses to draw the horse-drawn carriage of their deceased loved one. I am one of Mr McTavish’s favourites, even though he hasn’t had me long.

He bought me at a horse-fair about twenty miles away. My owner Farmer Donald MacDonald had run into financial difficulties and was having to sell all his livestock. He had been so depressed he had let the farm go to rack and ruin. Half the fences were falling down, and the farm machinery was just gathering cobwebs. He hadn’t observed the visit I had from Dobbin the cart-horse. To say Dobbin was keen was an understatement. He whinnied in delight as he ran towards me in a lumbering gallop through the broken fence. I was flattered of course, even though his technique could have done with a bit more finesse. But he was strong and ardent and I was young and frisky. Consequently, I was in foal. I didn’t know this nor did Donald MacDonald.

Mr Mctavish was delighted with the dignified way I trotted in the team leading the sorrowful mourners. But after a few months he began to worry about how much weight I was putting on. He put me on a diet, and yet I still put on weight. Then the penny dropped. Mr McTavish called Mr Abercrombie the vet. He confirmed Mr McTavish’s suspicions….I was in the Family Way. I was in shock. Mr Mctavish was dismayed at first. But then he realised that he was getting two horses for the price of one.

“Never mind Princess, you’re too good to lose, so we’ll get through this together.”

I neighed, and bobbed my head up and down in reply.

As my pregnancy progressed and I grew bigger, Mr Mctavish came up with a novel idea to hide my swelling belly. He invested in embroidered black and purple mourning blankets for all the horses, plus feathered plumes for our heads. I must say we looked magnificent in them.

When I was about ten months pregnant I did not pull the carriage, but walked in front of the cortege as what is known as a riderless or caparisoned horse. This was a great honour, and I felt proud. I was leading the way as usual, through Kinlochnessy on a busy market day; with the family and friends of the late Miss McCloud (who owned a small sweet shop), following the horse-drawn carriage. As I turned into the main square I was met with crowds of people shouting, and waving placards outside the town-hall.

“No nuclear submarines in Scotland!” The protesters were shouting. There were people from all walks of life…moustached colonels, beatniks, dolly birds in mini-skirts, tweedy women from the Women’s Institute, men in business suits and families pushing babies in prams.

Mr McBride from the shoe-shop came to the door waving a shoe-horn menacingly at the crowd.

“Have you no respect for the dead… for Miss McCloud…. You’re ruining my business!”

 

A lanky lad in the crowd turned and grabbed the shoe-horn from Mr McBride and flung it

over his shoulder towards me. It hit me, and startled me. I reared up in fright and suddenly

felt a sharp pain. I fell to the ground and started writhing. Mr Abercrombie the vet ran out

from the mourners to my side. He ordered the crowd to stand back, and after a hard

struggle, delivered my beautiful baby boy. He was black and white, with fabulous white leg

feathering. He was big and strong like his father.

 

“I’m going to call him Domino,” declared Mr McTavish. “Well done Princess!”

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Posted November 16, 2013 by eileenmoynihan in Uncategorized

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