Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Eight Belles

So in order to get Bella to watch the Derby, which I sorta did, I flipped on the tube and pointed out Eight Belles, the only filly in the race. The only girl, Bella! We've gotta root for her! She's beautiful! And on and on about her number (5) and the colors her jockey was wearing (red and white checks) and there she goes into the gate, and let's follow her around the track!

And we cheered and whooped and Eight Belles came in second. And Bella burst into tears because she didn't win. And I was trying desperately not to laugh at this emotional collapse while delivering my "awwww, honey, your horse doesn't always win" lesson, which I think is a fairly important one in life come to think of it, when suddenly the television grew rather quiet, and there were some panicked statements about a horse down on the track, and suddenly two very big equine ambulances pulled out in front of the stricken horse.

Never a good sign when big vehicles are maneuvered in front of an accident scene, another grim life lesson in case you ever wonder if the city bus was involved in the accident or just serving as an 18-row distraction.

And while they spoke in the delicate horse euphamisms, "they're putting her down," I looked stricken at my child who had just invested the last 30 minutes of her life into this animal. I've already explained two horse deaths to her this year (one of my aunt's -- and her big stuffed animal's namesake, and my neighbor's) and just did not have the heart to tell her what had just happened while she was still wailing about not winning, but starting to perk up remembering I had said something about a necklace of roses for the winner. And I told myself, I will tell her if she asks. I will tell her the truth, in full, if she asks. Please don't ask, Bella. Please don't ask. She didn't. I turned off the television.

And I promised myself to never, ever, ever cheer, hope, root, pray, support, dream, want, wave flags, wave foam fingers, for anything (when the anything involves a live object) again as long as I live. I would hate to see this losing and then DYING thing become a pattern.

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Hey, Yo, Commenter Shout Out:

Brittany who commented on Going Through It Again: would you mind horribly telling me more about your situation? How they knew (that the placenta ruptured AND corrected?) What happened then? And anything else you'd like to tell me. That is, if you're comfortable. You can do so in the comments or email me at TashABF at gmail. If you're not up to it, I totally understand. Just trying to wrap my head around some of this.

Megan, if you're there and reading, email me too. Would like to know 'sup.

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Hey, thanks a million for following over to Glow in the Woods. (Shameless shill.) Really, though. I posted again today, and need to sort out in my head long term what's going to live here and what will get deposited over there. Had some mother's day angst that wound up over there, but believe me, there's more where that came from, so I'll try and get something up later this week. I'm guessing anything that necessitates the f-bomb will probably wind up right here, if that's ok by you. Hope you all are well.

18 comments:

k@lakly said...

I cried like a baby at the end of the race. I was rooting for her too. I couldn't even get the words out when I went upstairs to tell my husband. I have only just barely goten over Barbaro, is nothing safe to cheer for?????
sigh~

luna said...

oh this made me cry, too. I can't imagine being a kid and trying to comprehend such a thing.

loved your post today on GITW. I'll be waiting on your future f-bombs right here though. ~luna

Searching said...

Yup, I rooted for the filly too, and was quite upset that she died. I'm still upset. I've watched all sorts of clips of all sorts of angles and it looked horrific. It's not fair that something so beautiful be cut down so early. I'm so glad Bella didn't ask.

Which Box said...

Oh, thank goodness she didn't ask. How hard.

We've been to three funerals in my daughters 2.5 years of life, and she's been oblivious. There are things for which I am not prepared.

Melinda said...

Ok, I know *nothing* about horse racing, but -- why did they have to euthanize her right there on the track? And why is dog racing deemed "not ok" while this is just fine? I mean, I don't get it. If a broken ankle means death for a horse, why do we race them around a track for sport? What am I missing? Bueller?

Newt said...

Poor Eight Belles. I didn't see the race, but it must have been awful to watch, and with your daughter! I'm glad she didn't ask.

Looking forward to the F-bombs. That sounds pretty keen to me.

c. said...

So glad she didn't ask. This death and dying thing sucks ass.

janis said...

Goodness gracious. Your paragraph of never cheering, rooting, etc for a living thing ever again really got to me.

Alex said...

Melinda -- I cannot answer your other questions, but speaking as a horse person, sadly, there's little question that once a horse has gone down with two broken legs, the kindest thing to do is to euthanize it on the spot, ASAP. The filly would have been in pain, and it's (understatement) difficult to move a horse that cannot support its own body weight, also, horses, being flight animals, tend to panic and thrash (risking further injury to themselves and to any humans nearby) when they cannot stand.

I cannot answer your question about "why." There is much about the way horse-racing is conducted (the young age at which they run -- horses do not quit growing until they are 4, at the earliest) that is not in the best interest of the horses.

N said...

I just thought I'd leave a note and say hi. I actually made my way here from GITW, and have really been appreciating your posts.

loribeth said...

Oh, thank goodness it didn't seem to click with her what was happening. Kids today already understand waaaayyyy too many things they shouldn't have to know about until much later in life. :(

Aunt Becky said...

I can't even read about the horse. Seriously, I skimmed.

And I love your post at Glow in the Woods. I just don't know if I should comment over there. Should I?

Lisa b said...

Tash I just don't know what to say other than I am glad that Bella didn't ask.

Beruriah said...

No way. No f'bombing way. It's just relentless, isn't it? Christ. I'm sorry, so glad you didn't have to explain to Bella.

Julia said...

Wait, are you telling me I can't drop my f-bombs there? I don't think that was in the rules. Need to go check.

You know, I am glad Bella didn't ask. She might have thought putting a horse down meant she was getting some blankets and going to sleep... like her dollies. But this makes me glad I don't tend to watch racing. And yet, it was on NPR today while I was in the car, and some things made me mad, like the breeding practices and racing 2 year old horses before their muscles are good and ready.

niobe said...

This is so sad. From so many different points of view.

Antigone said...

Um yeah...you really need to quash that little bit of normalcy you were feeling.

P.S. I'm a former horse person. Had to find a way to further alienate our family.

Aurelia said...

Hey, if you ever do hear from Megan, let me know how she's doing. I haven't heard much from her lately....and silence makes me nervous.