From Chicken Soup for the Soul Daily Inspirations for Women

March 22

I heard his footsteps before I saw him; his shuffling feet never left the floor. He looked awfully sleepy and needed a shave—not unusual for 3:00 A.M.

He approached the nurses’ desk and asked,“What are they gonna do with the pony?”

“What pony?” I answered.

He began telling me they should put him down at the far end of the meadow and let him eat the yellowed cornstalks left from this year’s crop.

I tried to reorient John as to his whereabouts and see the reality of the nursing home. As I gazed into his cloudy blue eyes, I suddenly recognized how much better his reality was than mine. He was in a meadow with a new pony. I was trying to place him within the stark walls of an institution.

I patted John on the shoulder. “I think that the far end of the meadow would be perfect.”

He continued shuffling down the hall, smiling.

Mary Jane Holman

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