During the course of their first ride, Kitten and Pegasus bond. They bring out not only the best in each other, but something supernatural, too.
Scene 14: Kitten’s First Ride with Pegasus
Three bells rang crisply, and the calliope began to play, prompting the horses out of their stillness, urging them to run in time with the graceful tempo of a sweet waltz.
“Wow, this is marvelous,” Karen said. “I’ve never been anywhere so magical,” as she whirled around and around as the music played.
The mirrors glittered, and the neon tubes on the walls flashed. Hundreds of incandescent bulbs outlined the carousel and its parts. They threw Karen’s shadow across the dimly lit, wooden floor.
In her excitement, she was inspired to ask the horse, “What’s your name?”
The horse’s face appeared frozen. His lips were parted and his teeth bared by the bit in his mouth, the painted reins wrapped around it. He floated up and down with the twisted brass pole, seemingly inanimate. Then, Karen heard him clear his throat.
“My name is Pegasus. What’s yours?” he whinnied.
The majestic horse’s silence had been broken. Even though she knew that the carousel horse was not a real horse, and that even if he were, real horses could not speak, he seemed to come alive for her. His rigid face became animated. His lips moved, and his once-rigid body became supple, his legs galloping beneath her.
Without waiting for her answer, he continued, “Is it Kitten or Karen?”
“Actually, it’s both.”
She wasn’t surprised that he knew.
“Kitten suits you very well with regard to your obviously lovely inner world. Your inner self is your subconscious; it’s quite delightful, friendly, and charming. Karen, on the other hand, suits your equally charming exterior, outer self. Karen is a name for a strong woman. It comes from Katherine, which has always been associated with purity and good character. Together, as yin and yang, they go hand in hand. Your outside personality as a human being is your alter ego. That’s the opposite of how it is for most beings, but for you, it is without question the inner world of intangibles and imagination that is the most important of all. Both of your names convey your challenges, and the purity of your heart. Although most people call you Karen, I best see the part of you that is Kitten. That name represents your sweet, honest, and demure internal light which sparkles from inside out!”
She understood exactly what Pegasus meant and cooed, “You are a very pretty horse, inside and out, too!”
In unison, they bubbled with laughter, their hearts full of gladness and mirth.
“Thank you,” he neighed.
“I’ve never ridden a horse before. This is my first time. Would you mind if I came back again at another time to ride you?”
“I’d like that very much. It will be nice getting to know you.”
“The same goes for me, Pegasus!”
She was so happy to have someone to talk with, that ironically she was at a loss for more words. Her mind drew a blank. She simply could not think of anything else to say. She wondered why Pegasus had talked, and why he had spoken to her. As a result, a moment passed in total silence, which seemed an eternity.
In order to break the silence, she asked, “Have you been with the carousel for a long time?”
“Yes,” he said with a nod. “Many people have ridden upon my back and let me carry them away from their everyday cares. They have given me great pleasure carrying them far, far, away, Kitten. Some of them have come back more than once, too! But I have a favor to ask of you. I am supposedly only a wooden horse riding up and down on the brass pole of a carousel. Please don’t tell anyone that I can talk. I can talk only with you, Kitten, but I do not want to make the other horses jealous. They are all waiting for their own special child for whom they will come alive and to whom they can speak. This is the magic of us carousel horses. Each of us was made for a child, but only for one child. Sometimes we go from merry-go-round to merry-go-round for many years without meeting that child. If you have read Gigi, then you know what I mean. The others are still waiting, but you have found me. This is the happiest day of my life, but let’s keep it our secret.”
“Yes,” Kitten replied. “This is our secret. And I have come alive for you, too.”
Pegasus seemed to burst with a glow that shone brighter than the sunlight pouring through the hippodrome windows.
The music slowed, and with it the multi-colored horses slowed their pace to a cantor, to a walk, and then to a complete stop. Kitten knew that the calliope’s sweet bidding would call to her again, another day, but not today. She knew this because she did not have money for another ticket, and her ride had ended. However, that would not stop her from coming back on another day.
©2021, Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.