This video is of a little riding school pony called Lottie, who was put to sleep on Tuesday. She was a favourite of my daughter many years ago, long before we ever had ponies of our own. She also was a companion to my Highland, Jock, when I used to bring him home during the winter - Lottie became an honorary member of our family and we loved her. Ironically, it was my daughter, now a vet, who put her to sleep and it was one of the hardest things she has had to do. The two of us led her to a quiet field by ourselves. I wish I could say it was a quick, easy death, but the brave little soul determined to cling to life.
This little poem is dedicated to Lottie and to the thousands of other hard-working riding school ponies, who will never know what it is to feel the love of being owned by a special person.
We might have known you would not go easy,
small ginger pony, stubborn to the end
we watched the feisty breakdance as you lay
twitching and writhing to some inaudible rhythm
only you could hear. You made it clear
you did not choose to leave.
Then, even when quiet
your heart still kept the beat while bravely
you clung to life as we looked on
like part of some macabre peep show
we had not paid to see.
Dear Lottie -
forgive us what we did
we did it for the best
sometimes playing God sucks.