Wednesday, 5 April 2017

The Rocking Horse

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It wasn't easy to get it home on the bus but it was well worth the hassle. Nellie's little face when she saw it glowed like Welsh sunshine. Then, when she rode the little wooden rocking horse for the first time, her giggling must have made all of the neighbours smile, even grumpy old Burt from number seventy-three. It only cost seven pounds, and it was the best seven quid I'd ever spent. From early morning to late night she rode that rocking horse and smiled from her eyes to her toes. 
As soon as I'd clapped eyes on it in the little antique shop in Brecon, it had stirred a similar emotion in me. A smile from somewhere deep inside, a memory for sure, but a memory of what, I could not say. I'd just hoped Nellie would like it and was overjoyed when she did.
“Hey mum, look at this,” I said leading my mum upstairs. “Nellie loves it.” 
I'd been dying to show it to my mum to see if she could uncover the mystery. “Mum.”
My mother stood gaping at the wooden toy, she touched her face with her left hand, and let out a small whimper. 
“Burn it,” she said. 
“Just get it out of the house, burn it, get rid.” 
“But mum?  Nellie adores it.” 
“Just fucking burn it okay.”
It was the first time I'd ever heard my mother swear. 
She opened the window and threw the horse out of the window, I heard it smash on the patio below. 
“Mum,” I said, but she was gone. She'd run down the stairs. I heard the front door slam. She was gone, leaving me to explain to Nellie why Nana had smashed her horse. The problem was, I didn't have a clue. 

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