Nobody ever believes this story. It’s completely real and very true.
I moved from Richardson, Texas to a place called Rowlett, Texas during the 3rd Grade. At the time, Rowlett wasn’t even on the map. Couldn’t find it (no Google). I only remember four stores in the entire town: a Dairy Queen, a Sonic, a general store in downtown Rowlett and a Mr. M’s. You had to “go to town” to go to an actual grocery store. I’m not even sure which town. Everything felt far to my 8-year old self.
But what I did have in Rowlett that I could never have had in Richardson — or at least my part of Richardson (yo, Nottingham and Sherwood!) — were horses. I had two, both named Dixie. Dixie #1 was a pill; she wasn’t around for long. Dixie #2 was a delight and one of the greatest companions of my life. There was also Sundance, Honey, Bay,Tawny, Yukon, Midnight, West, Baby, Popcorn and Chigger. Chigger, as I recall, was liberated from starvation. She was a sweet bean.
And the friends I made — friends to this day — also had horses or at least had friends who had horses they could ride. And we formed a sort of Hole in the Wall Gang, of a fashion. We never knocked over any banks or trains, but we did ride through a lot of houses under construction looking at floorplans.
But our favorite thing to do was to ride through the neighborhoods, put the horses in backyards while we got snacks, and ride up to the Mr. M’s, where my Aunt Bobbie was the store manager for a while, to get provisions. It seemed like we were out all day. We would go to the Dairy Queen (which had a hitching post, no lie). My personal favorite was riding horses through the drive-through to get ice cream to go, or pulling up to Sonic and ordering like we had cars and watching the servers laugh as they delivered fries to little girls on horses.
It was a movie sort of life. And it even has a title: Pony Girls.
I’m working on it.