Mary Oliver





Henry

“What is that?” said Ricky as Henry,
came through the door.

That’s Henry. I said. He’s a bulldog
and he’s come to stay with us with my
friend Linda.

“He’s a horse,” said Ricky. “Already my
heart is pounding.”

Yes, he’s big, he’s supposed to be.
Say hello to him.

“Really. Well hello, Henry. I hope
you don’t gobble up all my toys.”

Henry: Snort, snort.

Ricky: (to me) He’s not very good with
words, is he.”

Henry, after another snort, clambered
onto the couch.

Ricky shouted, “There isn’t
room for both of us!”

Sure there is. Just move over, and
give yourself a little time to know
him.

Ricky sat closer, but with a nervous 
look.


It was a wonderful week. My friend
and I talked, we walked on the beach,
Ricky and Henry went swimming, they
dug a hole together, no toys got
eaten.

Finally they had to leave. Ricky by
that time was friendly with limping,
lumbering, fifteen-year-old Henry.

“Bye, bye, Henry,” he said.
“Snort, snort,” said Henry.
Then they were gone.

Said Ricky, “He really is as big as
a horse, but actually a very sweet
horse. I hope he comes again."