Falki at the Gate

Thu, 06/20/2019 - 7:30pm

There had been some grumbling in the Clay Head Swamp. The Pesky Pond Troll — the PPT — always lurking, had heard snippets of conversation he chose to ignore, all involving “his” Icelandic horse, Lukka, going north, not over the hill where he could visit, but across the wide ocean, to a place called Vermont.

He heard but he chose to ignore. He didn't care it would be cooler in summer, or that she would be happier in that climate, or she would have her very own little girl, and he most certainly did not care that it was “too good an opportunity” to pass up for her. Horse farm, phooey!

What about him? Lukka was the sweet one, she paid attention to him, she saw him for pity's sake, and batted her long eyelashes at him wherever he sat atop the old barn foundation (he may have been enamored but he wasn't that Fool Dog Autumn, he was not putting himself in the way of one of those hooves, not that Lukka would stomp on him, but he didn't trust the other two).

So, he decided he would just ignore it and it would all go away. It was a fine plan until the day the trailer arrived and Lukka left. The PPT just stood in the field, happy it was raining and no one would notice his snuffling as the truck started up and drove off, taking his very favorite horse with it.

Then he sulked, as only a Pesky Pond Troll can. He didn't care that it was springtime, that walkers had returned to the Clay Head trails. He usually made quite the game of chasing them, sticking a hand in a loosely secured backpack, snagging a treat and running off as he heard “what was the heck was that?” Luckily, no one ever knew. He was, after all, invisible, and they were quickly distracted by the wide vistas.

He also kept sneaking around, but he kept hearing of a possible new horse arriving to fill the gap. That would never happen, he was sure, until he happened to catch a bit of alluring conversation, about his Lukka and a parade, and he crept closer and saw, to his horror, a photograph.

There was Lukka, all dolled up, her mane beribboned, part of her covered with some silly drape and, worst of all, her reins being held by a real girl, not some theoretical possibility, but a real girl, wearing boots and a funny hat, or maybe it was a helmet with a broad brim. The indignity of it all was appalling but even worse, he realized with a sinking heart, Lukka looked perfectly well-adjusted. 

And happy, all gussied up to walk her girl in a parade in that distant land of Vermont. In a rare moment of maturity, the PPT decided to be very proud of her, for bearing up so well, and adapting to her new life. He stopped pouting and began listening, again, and kept hearing one word over and over and over: Falki. What the heck was a Falki?

Then, as the first Saturday in June approached, there was great commotion, even more than on the busiest riding and visiting and grooming and feeding days. Something was going on, the PPT decided against haunting the trails, tempting as that prospect was, he was sticking close to home.  Horses were being moved around, there was lots of conversation, all focused on this mysterious Falki, and his ever changing location, about a stop at a mainland farm, and boat schedules.

That was always a puzzler, the focus residents and visitors who lived and visited had on the boat schedule. He often watched the big white vessels go past Clay Head, tossing in rough weather, gliding when the water was smooth, he did not understand the complication.

He was still a trifle miffed that that big white boat had taken his Lukka away but the PPT had to admit, he was intrigued by the events unfolding all around him. He settled himself on his perch, batting at the leaves of the tree that had grown up in the foundation, thinking of the lovely day it had turned out to be.

By the time the truck and trailer arrived he wasn't even thinking about Lukka anymore, apart from the sad reality she was off happily being in parades.

A pretty silver horse with black legs and a long tail and flowing mane appeared. And he had the longest, thickest, whitest eyelashes the PPT had even seen — he was given to hyperbole, this was only the fourth horse he'd actually seen up close and personal but he never let details ruin his pronouncements.

Everything seemed to be going quite well. The other horses, who had been sequestered behind the gate to the next pasture, were behaving, and suddenly, all three were running around in the sunlight. No one was misbehaving, the PPT heard someone say delightedly, as if that was a good thing. He never would understand people.

The horses were all very pretty on the new green grass, but his new Falki positively shone, like real polished sliver in the sunlight. The people were holding up phones, taking little videos he knew would be watched over and over again. He knew because he got himself in them sometimes, jumping on Lukka bareback. He was always quite pleased with himself, the ultimate stealth photo bomber.

He already knew he was going to like this Falki who without breaking stride, had quickly glanced over and saw him! The PPT felt his posture improve with delight.

He knew, because he was the all-knowing Pesky Pond Troll of Clay Head Swamp, that this pretty horse would be the one who would finally lure the Woman who Lived in the House to the gate with treats, which she had done only that one time when the three horses, even his sweet Lukka, had been coaxed back to the pasture after an escape.

Wait, who was Lukka?