by Olivia Walton
I probably told you, but two years ago I got us a real nice horse, a mare with a blonde mane and shot-straight back who I called Ethel after Sallie’s mother’s mother. Ethel was only fourteen hands high so she was a good ride for Sallie, just a waif of a thing, but was still big enough that I could take her to and from the river each day, and into town when we ran low on condensed milk and potatoes and Sallie’s woman-type things. Point is, Sallie loved that horse like it was a lapdog, always braiding its hair and slipping it bits of orange, even when I was between jobs. Sometimes I’d kid her, remind her we weren’t supposed to have any Gods before our God, but she’d just laugh and tell me that as long as dinner was still on the table when it was supposed to be I had nothing to worry about, so I didn’t.