Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sham and Grimalkin

To any horse-loving child, those names should bring back memories of Marguerite Henry's "King of the Wind." The desert-bred Sham becomes the Godolphin Arabian (legendary Thoroughbred sire) and Grimalkin is his cat, Agba the boy watches over them both.

Major is my own Sham, a desert-bred bay Arab, and he has his own Grimalkin, who lives in his paddock. She comes to greet us both, and is appropriately orange. Her name is Mandy, but I've called her Grimalkin from the beginning. The other day she was curled up on his dinner, leaping off just as we entered to wind through our legs. Major seems to like and/or ignore her, but never moves his feet while she is underneath.

I never knew the origin of the name Grimalkin, but Wikipedia is a plethora of info (can be sketchy on some subjects, but I think this one is pretty safe). It is interesting to know that the name Grimalkin comes from greymalkin, and is an old or evil-looking female cat, from the Scottish, and is the cat in Macbeth and many other literature references. Our kitty is very sweet, until you stop petting her!

I read "King of the Wind" every year, and every year the closing words bring tears to my eyes.

If you've never read it, or it's been a few years, you owe it to yourself to go find a cheap used copy, or find that box of books in the attic, and sit for a few hours. For me it brings back all the magic and love of horses that started this whole adventure.

p.s. With disclosure I do have to say I love kitties, and the best kitty in the world (Thomas the cat) is right now on the sofa at home, spreading white fluffy fur everywhere, waiting for me to come home and resume my duties as her servant.

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