Every summer for the last three years, Ben and Rosie have come to stay with us for the summer holidays. Now, Rosie is gone and Ben arrived on his own.
On the morning of Rosie’s last day, my horses came to the gate together and stood there, silently waiting. The day was muggy and oppressive, the damp ground was steaming, and the air was thrumming with the buzzing of insects, but instead of moving to higher ground and trying to find relief, my horses ignored it all and kept their vigil. They were still there, standing at the gate, waiting, when Máire arrived with Ben.
How do horses know these things? Because they do know. There is no doubt in my mind that my horses knew Rosie was leaving. The time these horses have spent together over the last few years has bonded them as a herd and it seems to me that they are connected in ways far deeper than we can understand. Ben and Rosie live 20 miles from here, but that distance meant nothing. I can’t put into words the feelings they invoked in me when I watched them, but I was deeply moved.
In the evening, I go out into the fields to find the horses and I watch them as they graze. Ben is with Minnie and Cassie and they stay closely together, concentrating on the serious business of finding the choicest grasses and the best herbs in the hedgerow. It is good for Ben to be here, in the company of my horses, his herd.
Good bye sweet Rosie, we will miss you.