Thursday, 28 April 2011

I knew we would find our way here

The jury has been out for some time regarding the question, Who would make a better mother for Tiger? Me or a horse?

I think the matter is finally settled. The horse won it. Even the mechanical one. Horse scores more points than me. The mechanical one comes with a gentleman jockey who can tell you stuff, like where to put your bottom when it's travelling at 90mph. That is not knowledge I have yet mastered. In fact, I haven't mastered any horse knowledge. Worse (possibly criminal in Tiger's eyes), I haven't shown any interest in mastering any horse knowledge. Not about front, back, upside down, inside out, nor oat feed. Indeed, my philosophy has been so far, 'Avoid all horse. Drive Tiger to stables. Find bank card'.

But now I realise it would have been cheaper, and more efficient all round, had I bought a horse to rear my sensitive child.

A horse would have done a much better job than me. Whereas I make unreasonable, pointless demands - hair! bedroom floors! clothes! for goodness sake give us a smile! - a horse would make none of these demands. It would fight none of these battles. It would simply stand around, whinny, and bash its hooves on the stable floor before staring in stern expectation at Tiger. She would have intuitively known those eyes said things like You can look after me! I need constant care, feeding, hoof-picking and poop-scooping, for which, in return, I will let you canter about a field with me while I try hard not to throw you off in a show of indifference and disdain.

It would have been a joyous upbringing. Tiger would already have turned into a quiet and happy equine slave, willingly running about with buckets of water and more dinner, rather than the unhappy bundle of neurosis I reluctantly drag between continents.

So here you have it. The mechanical horse. At Newmarket horse racing museum. With gentleman jockey to show everyone how.