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By Tom Maupin

熙凡 选 徐菲菲 译


The majestic eye peered through the opening in the stall door. It was a gaze that reflected years of success and experience as a champion reining horse. It also conveyed gentleness and wisdom. It belonged to an old Quarter Horse named Twist. Now past thirty years old, he had spent the last few years relegated to the rank of dependable trail companion for his owner. But inside the rough, aged exterior , the heart of a true winner still beat with the same spirit to be part of a rider’s life. This spirit had not faded even as younger horses arrived at the barn and took up more and more of Twist’s owner’s time. Little did I know the effect that the old champion’s spirit would have on my daughter.

A few years before, my daughter Stacy had had a bad experience with a runaway horse. She was just eight at the time, and a terrifying fall accompanied the disaster. Although she broke no bones, her confidence, love for horses and the desire to learn to ride were shattered. No matter how her mother and I tried, we had no success in healing the damage caused on that fateful day. But as I stood there and saw Stacy look into the eye of the old fellow in the stall, I knew this was going to be the beginning of a special relationship.

Fortunately, Stacy’s accident had not diminished her love for animals in general, and this small opening was all that Twist needed to establish a special bond. Stacy was now thirteen years old, which is a critical age for all young ladies to handle. It is a time when special bonds are not easy to form, but so crucial to possess. Would Twist be able to wipe away Stacy’s reluctance to get back into a saddle after five years? It was as if Twist recognized the challenge and the importance of victory. It wasn’t a blue ribbon, trophy or award that was at stake, but the heart of a child, and what a special medal of victory he then would possess.

In the days and weeks that followed, my daughter began to express daily interest in coming to the barn with me and my wife. We were careful not to interfere. We did not dare disrupt the magic of the old man at work. Though she said she was there to see the barn cats, Stacy would seek out Twist. She took the initiative to spend time with him, feeding, brushing, combing and stroking him from head to hoof, all the while talking to him about her life.

Though age had taken away some of the tone of the old Quarter Horse’s muscles, it had not lessened his ability to strike the stance of a champion as he stood quietly while she groomed him.

Then one day as my wife was readying one of our horses for a ride, Twist’s owner noticed the old guy’s eager expression and desire to be included, too. So the owner asked Stacy if she wanted to get Twist ready and take him out for a ride. In response, Stacy looked once again into the old man’s eye. I can't say that he winked at her, but it was that moment their two spirits met and completed the bond that had been forming over a couple of months. Continuing to look deep into his eyes, Stacy didn’t speak, she only nodded yes. Moments later, I stood there as they rode off together, Stacy winning renewed confidence and desire, and Twist winning his medal of a child’s heart. I had not seen his head held higher or his walk more regal than in that first minute.

As this first ride turned into many more, Twist took very good care of his young friend and slowly replaced her fear with confidence. I nearly cried the day I looked across the field and caught sight of Stacy and Twist cantering back to the barn. Her long hair was pulled back and flowing in the breeze in a way that seemed to mimic the appearance of the old man’s tail. He had won. He had beaten fear, removing years of bad memories and replacing them with moments of happiness that are etched forever not only in my daughter’s heart but mine as well. I know I always will be grateful for what Twist did for my family. I will forever remember the time I looked deep into the eyes of this champion and saw the love of a child looking back at me.








(来源:英语学习杂志 编辑:丹妮)