Naomi, my grand-daughter, has had little option but to become a horsey child. With a mother and grandmother who think equine before speaking human, the odds were always strong that she'd be fluent in Horse before she could read.
Luckily, Ruby the Fell pony seems to have had much the same thought. She carries Naomi around with patient circumspection, something notably lacking when we go out carriage driving, and is careful not to make any untoward moves that might damage the small child. Naomi is not quite three.
Ruby's recent visit to the vet for eye treatment coincided with Jen and Naomi's appearance at the Surgery with Ribena (a necessary additive to Ruby's dinner to get her to eat her medication) Jen met me there to hand over the Ribena and Naomi, having accepted that she wasn't to worry the mare and foal in the paddock by the surgery, wanted to see what the vet did with Ruby, so we all stood in a darkened box while the vet peered at Ruby's eyes with the ophthalmoscope. Next thing we knew Naomi was hugging Ruby's leg really tightly, and kissing her elbow, which was all she could reach, "to make her feel better".
That child can be really spooky - she isn't three till the end of next month and has already decided which friends and relatives she will ask for which presents (I'm down for sticker books, apparently, and her Great Granny's got to buy Iggle Piggle pyjamas - rather her than me!).
As for the rosette which she accepted for being the only Fancy Dress entry at our village show, riding Ruby as The Tooth Fairy: "Please will you put the rosette up really high on my bedroom wall?" When asked why, she explained: "So I can't reach it till I'm a big girl and I can't spoil it." Three going on ninety-three, I'd say.