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Essay: Gift of Stories

When I was a girl, I loved horses—riding them, reading about them, collecting figurines and pictures.  Some of those horse treasures followed me into adulthood and I recently found a young niece who will enjoy them.  When I met with Alyson to hand over my collection, we sat on the back porch while she told me about her horseback riding adventures.


Then I brought out a pile of books and pictures, a couple figurines, and even a sterling silver pin of two horses that my parents had given me.  I was surprised to find the old pin and enjoyed making it shine again with polish and a toothbrush.

And as I began to present my gifts, I found that each one came with a story—about how I acquired it and what it meant to me.  Here was my classic edition of Black Beauty with its lovely illustrations—a birthday present from my own aunt.  “I learned a lot about how working horses were treated,” I said, “and I cried—but don’t worry.  It ends happily.” 

I realized that the stories were as valuable as the gifts—and inseparable from them.  And their value will keep increasing as Alyson adds her own stories and maybe, years from now, gives them away.