Tuesday, April 9, 2013

It's a God Thing Series - The Sign

                                The Sign

                                                                                                            debra v edwards

                               Gen: 18:14  "Is Anything too Hard for God?"

What does a sign have to do with a newborn foal?  Normally, nothing I suppose. 

When my farrier (horse-shoer), gave me this unpainted 6' plywood cut-out of a running horse back in the Spring of 2006, I thought 'hmmmmm, what will I do with it?  It is pretty cool.'

I found the right spot for it on a privacy fence at the front of our farm, facing the road.  My husband and I nailed it up and I commenced to see what colors of exterior paint, I might happen to have on hand. Black and white were the only two that I could find. So, that became my creative color scheme.

Now, a black horse is very common, but a black bodied horse with white stockings (all the way up the knee area) and a white mane and tail, is unheard of; rare indeed. So, I decided that would definitely be my color combination of my running horse.  I gave it a star on the forehead and a snip on the nose.  I also painted a white stroke down the side of the butt area, near the tail, but then covered it back up with black, thinking that really did look unusual...too unusual.

The sign hung, now painted, at the entrance of my farm for over a year and the fence provided some ivy to grow around it as a frame. 

At the time, I only had a dapple grey mare and a black mule.  'Choctaw' was not pregnant and of course, Betty Boop, the mule, couldn't get pregnant.  Mules can't reproduce.
One day, a local preacher approached me, and explained that he had a neighbor that had hurt his back and was deeply concerned about his pregnant mare that was due to deliver either late February or early March.  These winter mountain months, might be too hard on the mare and the foal with no barn to house them in. He was concerned that he couldn't take care of them properly and stood a chance of losing one or both of them.  The preacher had suggested to his neighbor that he might be able to make some kind of deal with us, as he knew us well, and that we took excellent, total care for our own animals plus our barn was near our home. Thus the reason for this afternoon visit.

The Deal

The suggested deal was that "if we cared for the mare until time to wean the baby, that we could have the foal."  Since she only had a few months remaining and it takes six months normally to wean a foal, we were looking at around nine months of care and keeping.  It sounded good to me, but that I would have to "run it by my husband."  Naturally I had some questions.  "What does the father look like?"  The answer was that he looked exactly like the mother which was brown and white spotted, except the father was a quarter horse and the mother was a registered 'spotted racking mare.' 
When I confronted my husband about this 'deal', he said that we would have to ride over and see the mare as to her looks and what kind of disposition she might have and what kind of shape she was in now.  We did.  She was a very sweet, good-looking lady.  We liked her looks and her disposition.  BUT, he was concerned that taking care of someone else's horse and a new foal with our only having barbed wire fencing at the time, that he just didn't want that kind of responsibility for such a fine horse.  He proposed that we would buy the mare for the amount this gentleman had paid for her and take the responsibility for her care and keeping plus "whatever she was pregnant with", that was the ultimate question.  The owner very reluctantly, agreed.
On a very windy Sunday, January 13, 2008, I rode this mare to our farm,  bareback, which is my custom.  She 'only'  spooked at every blowing thing that we approached.  Even signs that weren't blowing, seemed to startle her.  Later, I found that she had never been ridden bareback and at that, had not been ridden in three to four years, and even then, only with other horses to follow.  "Okay, Ignorance is bliss and sometimes it's just better to not know these things right away."
After watching 'American Idol' on Tuesday evening, the 18th of March 2008, my husband went to "button things up", for the night.  As is his calm demeanor in nature, he opened the door and stuck his head in and announced; "It's here!"  With housecoat flying to the barn,   "What sex is it?" I asked.   "Male," he said.  All I could see was a black blob.  My husband started gagging and left.  The mare had just delivered and the placenta and afterbirth were still attached.  'Sierra Sue', was licking and cleaning up the baby until the umbilical was detached. 
Now with a weak - stomached husband departed, I got a garbage bag and gathered up the most of the mess and let nature 'do its thing' with the rest.  Then I noticed long legs...very long legs.  Long, white legs.  Four, long white legs.  Four, long white legs all the way to the knee area.  'It' also had a solid white tail and white on its mane.  A white star on the forehead and a snip on the nose.  It was black, very black, bodied.  My husband brought a towel out and we started drying the baby off while momma horse rested.  I noticed that the umbilical cord was what he had seen previously and thinking it was a male.  I softly but gleefully added, "It's a girl, a little Filly."   "Wow, I said, is she ever leggy. "  I have had other foals born under my care and keeping and never remember one having such long legs.  "She's gonna be a tall, drink of water", I added.
"How does something that large come out of a place that small?", he added.  "It's called the s-t-r-e-t-c-h plan," I ansered.
Only a few nights earlier, my husband had shared with me about 'the baby' to be, in his dreams.  It too, was black with white stockings and a white mane and tail, running and bucking in our pasture.  "No way," I hoped, but wouldn't that be rare and beautiful",  then I dismissed the thought.  
Do you suppose that since God knows all things, that he had just implanted in our sub-conscious minds the miracle that was about to happen on our farm?  From the painting of our sign, being the only colors readily at hand, to the forewarning in my husband's dream, to the reality of the now.  In our ecstatic glee, it took both of us some time to come out of the newness of the situation, to realize that; "hey, isn't she the coloring of the sign out front?  Let's go look at it again."  We did.  It was.  Even down to one side of her buttocks, beside her tail, that had the splash of white, that I had covered up, thinking it too rare and unusual, now gone.  That splash of white was there on this new baby.  Two years earlier I had painted the sign. Another year later, the mare was brought home.  But on this day, it could only be...who knew?...a God Thing.  What a sense of humor, our God has.

Check us out at  www.edwardsbuildersandrealty.com  and thanks for stopping by. 

the white stroke by the tail.........




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