"Fresh Water" is my 12” x 16” (30.48 x 40.64 cm) original oil painting on canvas. It is the story of Babydoll, my sister-in-law's horse. But much more than this, she is a family pet, loved and adored by many. Having this distinction as part of the family has meant that she is always cared for and never left behind. When my brother moved to Texas to help with the care of our mother, my sister-in-law stayed with the family in Washington state until all was settled, at which time she sold the house and moved everything to Texas. It was a chore, but Babydoll was right by her side the entire time. Now she grazes in a lush pasture in Texas. She can see approaching cars and watches for loved ones, knowing this means even more special treatment. 

Yes, here comes some cars bringing aunts, uncles and cousins for a weekend visit. One of the girls, Layke grabs the bit and harness from the shed and is the first to greet Babydoll. She adjusts the apparatus in the horse's mouth, throws her right leg over the horse's back and off they ride, full speed. Aunt Sue yells, "Watch the fence, Honey", just as Babydoll jumps and easily clears it. The other children don't waste a minute finding something to do. While Uncle brings out the rifles and paper targets, all the men head to the dirt bank. Two of the older boys jump onto the All Terrain Vehicle carrying their handmade slingshots. They place helmets on their heads and ride toward the woods for some country adventure. The ladies come out of the house with the babies and toddlers and walk down the trail toward the pond.

After a few hours, everyone follows their growling stomachs to the house. By now, the guys are preparing a meal on the grill. Mom says, "Where's that girl?" Dean yells, "There she is, getting ready to curry Babydoll." With Aunt Sue in the lead, the group walk, run, and skip to the barn. This is what Babydoll enjoys most. As someone grabs the soap, sponge and bucket, another turns on the water hose and the 'wet' fun begins. The day is very hot and all are eager for refreshment as they bathe Babydoll. And here comes 'Dog' with his mouth open. He needs water, too. Days at Uncle Roger's and Aunt Sue's in the country are never dull and always fun and memorable.

There's not much to say about Babydoll, except that she is getting older and just enjoys her life of grazing, baths, pampering and a bucket of oats each day. She is very happy or seems to be. I do know that she is very loved and must feel it.