Austin and Flicka the spring horse

My earliest memory is so vivid it's creepy. I'm not sure how old I was, but I was small enough to still fit in this little rolling feeding table that we had. This would have been during the mid to late sixties, before baby stuff was padded and run through stringent safety tests. This table was square, white with faux marble design and had a removable folding chair in the middle. I was sitting in this thing, and my babysitter Rita was feeding me fruit. I remember the fruit was tangy and that I really liked it. Now, Rita was an exchange student from Norway. She did not live with us, and I don't know how my parents met her, but I remember that she and my dad were dancing to some music while my mom watched. I was born in 1963, and I had to be old enough to sit up but small enough to sit in that table thing. I guess I was probably about two or so, but that is completely a guess of course. Years later, I would discover the tangy fruit that I enjoyed so much were canned peaches. The things that happen inside of your head when a memory like that clicks into place with an answer you have been searching for your whole life is phenomenal. Unfortunately, that works with unpleasant memories as well. There are several of those that I wish I didn't know the answers to. The memory that ties for first place is me climbing out of my crib to ride my beloved spring horse. My spring horse was a brown and black paint in full gallop suspended in a red metal tubular frame. It had red wooden handles and a plastic loop for reins. My parents would put me to bed, and I would wait until I heard them snoring. Then I would quietly escape from my crib and creep out into the living room to climb back on my spring horse. Springs are noisy little devils however, so I would have to climb on very slowly, waiting for the snoring to become more steady before I moved another inch. I would have been fine if I could have kept from riding the darn thing, but once I was in the saddle I just wanted to go. It always woke them up, and I was deposited abruptly back into my crib to drag my bottle across the bars like a prisoner with an old tin cup. I remember escaping several times, resulting in loud cursing, empty threats and a lot of frustration on their part. I was a stubborn, resourceful little stinker, and nobody was going to tell me that I couldn't ride my horsie. It's a wonder I made it to adulthood.

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