“Sapphire will have her colt any day,” we kept telling our 4-year-old, Julia. “Any day” kept stretching into weeks. Every morning, evening and in between, we kept checking on Sapphire, but there was still no colt. Sapphire is our faithful buggy horse, that we’ve had ever since we were married. She has taken us countless miles with our buggy.
“It’s most likely to be born during the night,” my husband, Daniel, told Julia. “And if that is the case, I’ll wake you in the early morning before I go to the shop and take you to see it.”
Finally it happened on Monday morning. It was 6 a.m. when Daniel woke his sleeping daughter. Scooping her into his strong arms, he told her the exciting news: “Sapphire has a baby colt!” In no time, Julia was wide awake, ready to see it for herself. The three of us headed for the pasture and Daniel carried Julia wrapped in a blanket as I grabbed the umbrella to protect us from the drizzling rain.
Arriving at the pasture, we found Daniel’s news to be accurate. Sure enough, it was an adorable little filly looking a lot like its mama. It had a beautiful standard bred shape with a dark brown color and two white feet.
Julia was excited about the new addition and felt special to be included in the early morning excursion. Earlier that morning, Daniel had been the first one to discover the colt’s birth. Even Sassy Sundae, the pony that accompanies Sapphire in the pasture, hadn’t realized why she had gone off to the side by herself. Right after Daniel made the discovery, Sassy Sundae came ambling in their direction. It was obvious to see her surprise and delight as she raced over to greet her new comrade and scampered around in circles.
Now we need a good name for the colt. It’ll need to be another name beginning with S, we decided. Julia loves discussing the various options and coming up with new ideas: Sugar, Sonia, Slippers, Sasha, the list goes on endlessly. It’s hard telling which one we’ll settle upon.
This morning when Julia got out of bed, the first thing on her mind was the new colt.
“Mom, may Austin go look at the colt?” she asked. “Sure,” I responded. Outside the window, I heard Julia talking to her 1-year-old brother, Austin. “Come, we are going to go see the baby horse!”
They both love animals and are eager and delighted to welcome another horse. They are always eager for another pony cart or horse-and-buggy ride.
Julia is convinced this horse will never be sold and be ours for keeps. Horses are one of the most important animals in our Amish community. They are used for short-distance trips of 15 miles or so. And not only do they work for us, we also consider them our friends. Sapphire loves words of affirmation. It is especially obvious when she speeds up while going up a hill and Daniel gives her words of praise for her good work.
We’d like to fetch some apples at my parents’ orchard tomorrow to feed to the new mommy. Not only is this an excellent time for horses to enjoy apples, the same is true for all of us, as well.
How about joining me in my kitchen as I mix up a batch of apple blossom cake? It is an easy recipe, perfect for the summer season. In fact, you will not need to make frosting. The crumbs will be sufficient unless you decide to top it with a glaze.
APPLE BLOSSOM CAKE
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs (unbeaten)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup nuts (optional)
3 cups chopped apples
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup nuts
Cream first three ingredients until well mixed. Then add remaining ingredients in the order given. Top with 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, and 1/2 cup nuts. Pour into a 9-inch by 13-inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.