When I was a child, my mother would bundle my sister and I up in our bright yellow raincoats, pull the hood up over our hair, and send us out to play in the rain with our bright rubber rain boots. We would build dams in the gutters of water racing down our hilly suburban street, watching the water spill around our sticks and pebbles. When we tired of stomping in puddles, we would return to the house shedding, our soggy rain clothes in the back hall. I loved playing in the rain. Still do.
Yesterday afternoon Brett and I headed out to the barn to do chores during a break in the rain that had been falling all day. The horses were in their pastures. The rain was not cold and there was no wind so we turned them out in the morning. The horses grazed when the rain let up and stood in their sheds when it came down hard. In the barn, I sifted through the shavings in Lucy's stall while Brett trundled in their evening hay.
As I approached the mares' pasture to muck, the rain began pelting down. I took refuge in the run-in shed with Lucy. Pistol approached and Lucy shook her head. Pistol retreated. I moved so that I was standing against the side wall, towards the front. Lucy moved to stand next to me, leaving room for Pistol to come in out of the rain on the far side. Pistol tried to come over towards me but Lucy reached over and gently nipped her on the shoulder. Then Lucy put her ears half-way back, not pinned but stern, and shook her head sideways. Pistol backed up and stayed on her side of the shed.
The rain continued to fall; harder and harder. I leaned my muck rake against the wall and rubbed Lucy's neck. She stretched and cooed, while bits of the dark hair she was shedding fell to the floor. The goats stood behind us, on their side of the partition watching the rain. Bear was perched on top of one of the igloos and the others stood knee deep in the straw. The rain on the metal roof drummed out the steady falling rain, the tempo increasing, ebbing, and picking up again.
Brett arrived in his yellow slicker with Pistol's halter. I fetched Lucy's from the barn and we brought the horses in. Lucy and I walked to the barn in the rain, splashing through the puddles together. That mare makes my heart sing.