Thursday, August 2, 2012

Sparky, The Best Buggy Horse Around

By Grandfather Zook from Amanda Flower's A Plain Death

His racing name was Sir Sparkalot Lighting March, but here at the Troyer farm, we just call him Sparky. He is the finest horse you will ever meet in Knox County, Ohio.

When I left Lancaster four years ago to move to Appleseed Creek to live with my daughter Martha and her family, the first thing I wanted to do was get my own horse and buggy. My horse Jet was too old to make the trip from Pennsylvania to Ohio and lives out his days on my son’s farm in Lancaster.

Martha’s husband was dead set against me having my own horse and buggy. He said that I didn’t need it and that there wasn’t enough room in the barn with his team and dairy cows. Simon’s a gut man and loves my daughter and grankinner dearly, but I don’t pay him much mind when it comes to what I should and shouldn’t do.

I took my grandson Timothy, who was twenty-three at the time, with me to pick out the horse at a racehorse auction. Lots of Amish folks buy retired racehorses to pull their buggies. That’s where I always get mine because racehorses have spunk, and that’s how I like my horses and people. The moment I saw Old Spark, I knew he was the horse for me with his lean dark brown body and white star in the middle of his forehead. That morning at the auction, he bucked and kicked the floor of his of stall as his Englischer trainer called him all sorts of cruel names. I hobbled over on my metal leg braces and snapped at Sparky in Pennsylvania Dutch. Sparky let his hooves drop to the ground. “You just don’t know how to speak his language,” I told the Englischer.

The burly muscle-shirted man glared at me. “If one of you Amish don’t buy him, it’s off the glue factory with this monster.”

“I’ll take him,” I said, and that was that. When I make up my mind, the deal is done. Bought Sparky at a steal too. The Englischer didn’t recognize what a valuable animal he had.

Sparky was real unsure of himself when he first moved to our farm but settled in quick. I see the same cautious look in the Englischer girl’s, Chloe’s, eyes whenever I see her on the farm. I have a feeling that someone yelled at her just as they yelled at Sparky. She’s come to the right place to heal. From the looks of it, Timothy agrees with me.
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  1. I loved this book. Now I'm looking forward to the next one.

  2. Thank you kindly! I'm real glad Amanda Flower has told my families stories.

  3. Love the photo on the front!! And who wouldn't love a horse named Sparky?

  4. Sounds to me like Sparky got very lucky the day you found him.

    ~ Krista

  5. When I was in Amish Country researching the book, I met that horse in the photograph. His name was Sparky too!