Anni’s decided to be a horse. The transformation started before they got to Prague and it’s almost finished. I feel lucky I get to watch, and a little jealous. As a child I really wanted to be a horse too, but where I’m from, children should be seen and not heard. There comes a certain age when it’s no longer acceptable to pretend or play like you’re anything but human. So you have to stand up straight, stop crawling around on all fours. But I remember that all I wanted was to grow a long ponytail that someone could braid, and be fed and cared for by other girls. Oh, and to not talk–that’s almost the best part.
But Anni’s really changing. I can tell because their bones are aching and their shoulders are sore. They take long naps on the straw, and munch on it a little bit. I tried to eat some too but it’s dry and tasteless. Fresh grass is the best, Anni says. Depending on the weather during the last season, you either get fresh fermented grass to eat all winter, or straw. The farmers roll up the cut grass in big bales like cinnamon buns, and one by one, when needed, cut them loose. The bales roll down the hills, opening up, and everyone feasts.
I think cinnamon is a good name for a horse.
When Anni is fully a horse, I don’t think they will let anyone ride them. I don’t think they can be broken in. It might be better just to admire Anni from afar or try to be their friend. I recommend offering them coffee with a splash of oat milk.