Wait…what was that? That sign has to be old, right? I mean, they can’t do that, right?
But yes, they can. And they do. In a small amusement park near Lake George, NY. The place is a complete throwback, with rides geared toward the 2-12 set. “Santa” wonders the grounds with a dazed look on his face and looking a bit gaunt. The ride operators stand solo in their own sections of 2 to 4 rides, rotating based on which ones they can get whatever group of small children collectively decide they want to ride on next. The worn asphalt trails wind between old nursery-rhyme-themed buildings, moss-lined picnic tables and tall, old-growth trees. It’s quirky. And strange. Kind of dark in a way.
Most of the place is perched up on a hillside, but eventually, parkgoers wander down a short hill to a tiny stable where what appears to be an older horse rests and eats hay. “Lightning. The High-Diving Horse!” This can’t be for real.
But it is. They don’t hit Lightning or force him up the ramp, but they don’t give him much of a choice either. He walks up the enclosed ramp that gives no room to turn around, comes up to the top, looks left and right, hesitates, then slides into the water. He doesn’t seem excited or happy – just going through the motions.
Besides my rational mind spinning with chants of “where the hell is PETA?!?!,” all I see is metaphor after metaphor after metaphor. The horse as antiquated ideas. The horse as bureaucracy – old rules that need to be updated. The horse as you, or me.
Are there other “Diving Horses” out there?
How many times do I see “Diving Horses” and do nothing?
Do we accept the “Diving Horse” because this will most likely be the last diving horse? Will it really be?
I wonder why I’m standing there, watching.
I think “would it be worth it to say something?”
Closer to home, in a realm where I have more control, I scroll through my head thinking “do I have a diving horse show of my own – something that I do daily that either I’m putting up with or my family is dealing with, that ultimately isn’t good for anyone?”
I turned to a small companion of mine, who had just turned 5, to see her response to the “spectacle.”
It’s a show that doesn’t make sense.