Okay, I admit it. I was always jealous of my grandma’s childhood. I grew up entranced with her stories of life on a farm in the early 1900’s. And while I grudgingly acknowledged that it couldn’t have been easy, Grandma never highlighted the hardships of living on a farm with no running water or electricity. Possibly she knew that I didn’t really care about any of that. All I wanted to hear about were her adventures with Babe, the ex-racehorse she rode to school each day. I’m sure it was when she first told me about Babe that I realized there was no justice in the world. For I would have gladly and instantly traded all the unappreciated conveniences of modern life to have a Babe of my own. When I finally grew up and bought my own “off-the-track thoroughbred,” my grandma was the first person I wanted to tell. Sadly, I don’t even remember her reaction to the news, though I’m sure she was probably cautiously pleased. All I remember is how badly I wanted to share the excitement with her.
That was all many years ago, and I thought I was over that childish jealousy. I might not have grown up surrounded by farm animals, but I also grew up without polio or outhouses. It all works out. But a couple of months ago, while doing research for the novel I am writing (which was inspired by my grandma’s stories) I came across an article in The Farmer’s Wife magazine pictured above. It was entitled “Our Pony Club,” and their stated motto said “A Pony for Every Boy and Girl.” Although the details aren’t clearly laid out in the article, it appears that if you sold a certain number of subscriptions to The Farmer’s Wife, they would send you a FREE PONY! Well, here comes the jealousy again. I’m 42 years old, and I can tell you right now that had I been presented with that offer at any moment in my childhood, none of you would have been safe from my solicitations. Girl Scout cookie sellers would have been rubble under my feet in my quest to get my free Shetland pony. Perhaps it was better that I wasn’t around back then.
Dear Pony Club: Bless your dear life for sending me the dear little pony “Winkle.” It is the sweetest, cutest little thing I ever saw and I am so happy. The mail man brought him from the station and arrived Thursday evening. I tell you there was some joy around the post office. Many of my little friends were here to help me greet “Winkle.” Many thanks to the good people that subscribed for your nice paper. I’ll send my picture with “Winkle” soon. With all good wishes to you. I am your little friend, Myrtle Pearl Holbrook, Wilkes Co., N. Car.
A picture was printed–proof that a free pony was just within your reach. Here is little Lloyd, mowing the lawn with his pony, Huggs. How cool is that? You can mow the lawn AND fertilize it at the same time!
Dear Pony Club:
My pony “Snap” arrived yesterday, the 10th on the 6:53 p.m. express and received a very hearty welcome both in Belding and at home. We all think he is a cute little fellow. The saddle and bridle also came yesterday and I think it is fine. I will write you a letter in a few days telling you of the good times I am having with my pony “Snap.” I thank you over and over again for your kindness to me, and wish success to The Farmer’s Wife. From your little pony friend, Jennie Hadeau, Tonia Co., Mich.
Huh. So apparently they were getting free tack with their ponies, too. Ah well. I’ll get over this someday. As always, thanks for reading.