As I said, we moved again. Still the same small town, but this time we moved to a beautiful house on the outskirts. Happily, this meant that there were lots of lush green acreages around, and acreages often mean horses. I must have been born under a horse-loving lucky star, because right next door to our new house was a majestic bay.
Reminiscent of Dealer, this horse was built very much like a thoroughbred, although I’m not sure what breed he actually was. Mischief’s pasture was large, and he always seemed to be elusively far away from the fence. Day after day I went to the fence to coax him over, and discovered I was not too proud for bribery. With the help of some large bright orange carrots, Mischief finally made his way over.
He quickly learned that my clicks and whistles meant, if not always carrots, lots of petting. Mischief became a new best friend in the life of a girl who was rapidly settling into new friendships at school. Unfortunately, middle school female friendships are accompanied by equal amounts of drama, and I had plenty.
Mischief remained constant and true, though, just like JJ. Mischief was beautiful, elegant, almost mystical. He kept me grounded, as grounded as a 6th grade girl could possibly be. Mischief was my outlet, my secret-keeper, my special place. No matter what far reaches of the pasture he had wandered off to, he would come trotting into sight at my whistle. Mischief was always faithful. I remember when I eventually had to say goodbye to him, too, as our inevitable move came again. He came running up to the fence at my call, and I shed my tears into his tangled black mane. Another horse had etched his name in my heart.