Peregrine was born at 11:35 pm on April 26, 1985. Arriving into the world so close to midnight, it always seemed unfair to celebrate just on the 26th. So I have always marked both Peregrine’s Birthday and his First Day.
Those first few hours were filled with such joy and also so much worry. His mother had fallen down during the foaling and become trapped against the stall wall. In her panic she had thrashed about, hitting her head against the cement corner stone of the old dairy barn. It took a long time for her to recover. Peregrine was up considerably before she was. He staggered about on wobbly legs while she lay resting in the deep straw. I spent the night with them, making sure that she was all right, helping him to nurse for the first time, and just watching in wonder as he gained his “land legs”.
I didn’t go home for the next two days. I continued to camp out at the barn. I didn’t want to miss anything. Foals grow so fast. They change so fast. In the morning we took Peregrine out with his mother to see the world for the first time. He cantered beside her while I snapped picture after picture. But alas, there was no film in the camera! So much for sleepy heads. So I cannot show you pictures of his first venture out onto grass, or share with you his foal’s delight in being able to canter and buck beside his mother. You will, like me, simply have to imagine it.
Peregrine has always been a lucky horse. He wasn’t one of the thousands of thoroughbreds who were bred that year for sale into the racing industry. He has never been a throw away horse. He was what you wish for everyone – horses and people alike. He was a much wished for, much desired, much loved individual.
So many horses change hands over and over again. The lucky ones find kind people who fall in love with them and keep them forever. Peregrine has always been loved. We have moved barns many times, but he has always had me as a constant in his life. And now, thirty years later I am celebrating his birthday and remembering those first days. I have enjoyed sharing his stories with you. Thank you for reading them, and thank you to our many good friends for all the wonderful comments you have been leaving on my Facebook pages. They have been much appreciated.
Thank you again to everyone who joined me yesterday for Peregrine’s Birthday Celebrations. What a great way to spend a the day! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I loved all the stories you shared. Now that we know the on-line technology is up to the task, we will have to come up with more reasons to meet on line. It was great fun!
Peregrine has been especially cuddly these last few days. I think he is very much aware of all the well wishes and love that people have been sending his way. So thank you on his behalf. And thank you to Peregrine for bringing us all together.
And now I think it is time to send you off to your own horses to celebrate their lives. I may from time to time add to this series of stories, but for now I will simple say:
Happy First Day Peregrine! And here’s to many more to come.
Your person, Alexandra Kurland