Alys: Hello Hrimmi, do you have time to talk?
Hrimmi: I have time to talk. But not long. I have to get back to eating the hay before it all disappears.
A: You know that I will soon put out more.
H: Promises, promises.
A: You sound like Raudi.
H: I also look like her.
A: This does not mean that you need to imitate her.
H: I don’t think you need to worry. I am my own horse.
A: Yes you are your own horse. You’re also the daughter of Signy fra Dareag Dair, a wonderful riding horse.
H: And she was the best mother in the entire world.
A: Do you miss her?
H: Yes and no. I wish she was still here, but I know that she’s just as happy where she now is as when she was with us.
A: And where is she?
H: With Mr. Siggi.
A: How do you know this?
H: I just do.
A: This is nonsensical. You say you don’t know when you’ll next be getting fed, but you do know where Signy now is.
H: That’s right. I don’t know when I’ll again be getting fed, but I do know where Signy now is.
A: I’ll make a deal with you. You tell me what became of Signy and Mr. Siggi and I’ll tell you when you’re going to get fed.
H: All right. Signy and Siggi are now one with the universe. Their bodies are decomposing but their spirits are still very much alive and intact. Look up at the stars when the night sky is clear and you’ll understand what I’m getting at. You’ll feel their presence.
A: I understand.
H: Now about the food . . .
A: I have a few more questions.
H: You told me that if I answered your question, you’d answer mine.
A: I will. I just have a few more questions.
H: All right. Just give me another flake and let the others eat what remains in the paddock. I can eat while we continue to talk.
Alys retrieves a flake of hay from the hayshed, then sets it under Hrimmi’s nose and bows.
H: (After chewing a bit) I’ve tasted far better stuff than this. What gives?
A: It’s old hay. We’ll get better stuff in June, after the first cutting.
H: Okay. Your question?
A: Did you know that Signy was going to die?
H: Yes. Death is something that we all know something about. Me and you, we’re also destined to die.
A: Did you know that Signy was going to die when she did?
H: Yes, we had a long talk the morning she got sick.
A: What did she say?
H: She told me that it was her time to go. And she added that I was her absolute best foal and that she was very glad that you kept your promise and didn’t sell me.
A: And anything else?
H: And she told me that in time I’ll be every bit as good a riding horse as she was, that is if I also watch out for my rider. And like her, I’m not supposed to kick or buck or bolt or rear when either you or Pete are on my back. And I must never, ever shy away from things like snowmobiles.
A: This is a very tall order.
H: Especially for a four year old, which is how old I will be when Pete or you backs me. By the way, who is going to first do this?
A: We are going to flip a coin.
A: Are you happy with your life here?
H: Goodness – you sure do ask an awful lot of questions. You need to relax and just enjoy our company.
A: But are you happy?
H: Yes, I’m very happy. But this hay, yeech, it does leave something to be desired.
A: Like I said, better stuff is on the way.
H: I hope so. I must now take my leave. I need to spend some time with Raudi, who Signy told to watch out for me. Raudi doesn’t really need to watch out for me, but it makes her feel important.
A: See you later.
H: Yes, see you later.
Next: 97. 4/7/14: The Writing Life: Following in my Father’s Footsteps