Feb 16th – Hold your hankering horses

February 16th – Hold your hankering horses


“Will you just hold your hankering horses!”

Mark never had the faintest idea what his grandfather was saying. The fact that he was only six years old only added to this confusion. He was aware that his grandfather had an interesting way of speaking: it was much more interesting that the way either of his parents spoke to him, for example: his mother seemed to say things in a nice, straightforward way, so he knew where he stood, and knew how to answer when she asked him a question. His father was a bit more complicated, and said thins that were a bit strange sometimes, and looked at Mark a bit funny when Mark looked at him a bit funny, trying to work out which bit of his father’s head was changing when he said you’re doing my head in, but for the most part it was pretty understandable.

His grandfather was something much more difficult to work out.

Will you just hold your hankering horses! Was what he’d said, he was pretty sure about that. And most of the words were OK, even if hankering was a little strange, and might have been something to do with a handkerchief, but what horses? Mark didn’t have any horses. He’s looked around, when his grandfather had said that, just in case some horses had come into the kitchen, and his grandfather had mistakenly identified them as Mark’s, but there weren’t any horses in the kitchen, even any horses that weren’t Mark’s, and he didn’t really know how to hold a horse even if he had any of his own, which he didn’t. Mark wasn’t even sure if he liked horses, even though Stella at school did, and had one called Star which she went riding on, and although Stella had talked about Star a lot, not once had she said anything about letting him into the kitchen, which was a place he was sure horses didn’t belong. His mother got annoyed when Monkey, his cat, went into the kitchen and jumped up on the worktop, so he was sure she wouldn’t be happy if there was a horse there. So why was his grandfather talking about horses in the kitchen when there weren’t any, and why did he expect Mark to hold them?

There were a lot of questions going on in Mark’s head.

All he wanted was a biscuit, and he’d asked his grandfather if he could have one while his grandfather was doing the washing-up. And now his grandfather was talking about horses with handkerchiefs, and Mark wasn’t sure if he was going to cry or not. He wished his grandmother would get home soon from having her hair done. She made much more sense, and she’d give him a biscuit, maybe even one of the chocolate ones.

It was going to be a long day.



Inspired by a prompt from here

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