Not everything that I’ve inherited from Grandpa Neal’s bookshelf is a book. Like most of us, his bookshelf also contained pictures, knick-knacks, souvenirs, and other stray items — including a striking metal horse.
I don’t know much about this horse, except that it is a beautiful little piece — about eight inches high and eight inches long, from the tip of the horse’s head to the end of its tail. The horse has been expertly cast and appears to be made of bronze; it stands, nobly, on a plain pedestal of off-white marble. Unfortunately, there are no markings of any kind on the marble or the horse that identify where it was made, when, or by whom.
Perhaps Grandpa had an affinity for horses. He grew up in a rural area, in an era before automobiles, and may have ridden horses as part of his chores. Or perhaps he was given this horse as a work-related present and kept it at his office. He may have considered it to be some kind of good luck token; the metal on the horse’s back and belly seems to have been rubbed more frequently than the rest.
I look at this horse, and I think that I would like to know its back story — but I almost certainly never will. In the meantime, I’ll just appreciate it, and think of Grandpa as I do.