In the late 1980’s my daughter Susie got a horse named Whisper. Whisper was black, just tall
enough to be called a horse, and was safe and sound. He moved into our newly built, and Bud
French designed, barn in late spring. There was a comfy box stall, piped in water, about half an
acre of meagre grass and all the comforts of a horse home. What we did not have was hay, but
I’d ordered 250 bales of George Iselin’s first cutting. First cutting hay is usually available in late
June. In the meantime, I purchased hay at Agway, ferried it home in my car. I began to sneeze
In early June I called George to get an update. He planned to cut in a few days, he said, and it
should be dry and bailed in a week. My nose had begun to run and no one wanted to ride in my
car. About the middle of the month, I called again. The hay had gotten wet and couldn’t be
bailed for at least a week. Not wanting to lower my priority in George’s busy schedule, I decided
try patience. My car and my nose got worse.
The Fourth of July was on a weekend that year. Our family went to the Tolmans’ parade and
watched the ancient cannon belch fire and smoke over the pond. The day was hot and sticky.
That night we had another light and sound show as a thunderstorm lashed the area. Sunday
dawned bright and dry – just the kind of day to make you happy to head out to the barn to do
the chores. On my way out to the barn, I decided it was time to call George again.
As I walked through the barn door something had changed. You know that feeling of sensing
something different, maybe even alarming, but not knowing just what’s wrong. The barn looked
the same, but it didn’t smell the same. Looking up to the usually empty second floor I saw 250
neatly piled hay bales. George and his sons had driven his lumbering, ancient stake bed truck,
found the lights in the barn and loaded all that hay just where I wanted it while we slept
peacefully unaware. What a way to start a day! It was almost as though angels had done it.
George arrived a few days later to trim Whisper’s hooves. He got a worshipful reception.