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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Horseplay

I saw the most beautiful thing tonight.

Heather Marie and I went to see the Lipizzaner Stallions in Fayetteville this afternoon. They were fantastic! If you ever get a chance to see them perform, you simply must go! They're truly gorgeous animals.

I was surprised to learn how long they live. Thirty to thirty-five years isn't unusual, and they don't even reach their primes until they're in their twenties. They don't even start their training until they're 3-5 years old -- an age at which race horses are already washed up -- then it takes at least another six years to complete their training. Absolutely incredible.

Reading the program, I was amused by the story of their rescue during WWII. Essentially, as soon as it became obvious to the rank-and-file German troops that defeat was imminent, they immediately started conspiring with the Americans against both the SS and the Soviets to rescue the horses. It's interesting to think that, in many ways, the normal German troops had more in common with the Americans than with their fanatical Nazi countrymen, while the Americans had more in common with the normal Germans than with their Russian "allies." Heh.

So, what was the most beautiful sight I spoke of? Not the horses. As the show was starting, I glanced over at my lovely bride, and the look on her face touched me so deeply I wanted to cry. It was a look of pure, unadulterated joy and excitement. She's wanted to see the Lipizzaners perform since she was a little girl, and looking at her joy-teared eyes watching the performance tonight, I could see that excited little girl shining through the lovely young woman. What a beautiful sight....

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