This Horse Points His Hoof at You, and Then You Die
I saw this on Twitter today and I can't stop thinking about it.
This is a horse. His name is Peyo, and he is all dressed up (LOOK AT THE MANE). He visits terminally ill people in un hôpital français to “reduce patient’s anxiety.”
He walks around the hospital (I guess going through the front doors? Unclear) and then points his hoof at patients he knows are on their way out so that he can help provide comfort.
It’s much like a psychic therapy dog, but instead it’s a giant barn animal that smells like hay and could kick from the back or decide to lay down in just the wrong place and hurry up your process.
It’s actually quite sweet that somehow Peyo has decided his purpose is to provide comfort to those who are near death. (And, yes, the photo essay on is actually quite moving.) But the whole story is so bananas and I have so many thoughts.
If I were on my way out, and a HORSE came to the door and pointed his hoof at me, I would simply leave this green earth right there and then. “Do you want to meet Peyo?” the nurse asks. “He has chosen you.” I listen to the clop, clop, clop of his hooves against the cold linoleum tile as I lie in bed, unable to move on my own, and hear that thing horses do when they breathe out and their lips wiggle as he approaches my bedside. I’m telling you, my heart would decide … no. This is too much. Now is the time.
How did this all start? There must have been one day that Peyo first learned of this gift. Did a trainer fall ill and he knew how to comfort her? Or did he just happen to be in a hospital for some reason? What on earth is this origin story?
Above is a photo of this sweet boy whose mother just came out of surgery and greeted her with Peyo. Which, poor thing, having to watch his mother go through that, and I love that sweet Peyo is providing comfort to this child. But what about the mother? I have had two surgeries in my lifetime: one when I was five years old. I remember trying to hold my breath when they put the gas mask on me, but I was sobbing so hard that I just sucked it all in and then the nurses were like, we’re done. I completely knocked out – it felt like I blinked - and it was very confusing. The second time was when I had my wisdom teeth out, on the same day as my sister. I went first and when I was done they stuck me in a back room from which I only remember a brief moment of lying horizontal in the complete blackness and hearing someone screaming, only to learn later that the screaming was me, yelling to my sister that “YOU CAN DO IT WOOOOO I DON’T HAVE ANY TEETH BUT YOU CAN DO IT TOO”. Anyway, if I got out of surgery and saw my child on a horse I would just be like, OK, got it, so the surgery didn’t go well and some higher power has decided to send one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, who happens to be my child, to warn me … (AND THEN IF HE POINTED HIS HOOF AT ME? I’d be done. See above.)
I took French in high school and I always mixed up the words for “horse” (cheval) and “hair” (cheveu). I would answer questions out loud to Mme. P. about “the big hair eats apples” or “the girl has blond horse.” It really doesn’t have much to do with the story here, but I am writing about my thoughts from seeing this French cheval with beautifully braided cheveu so here it is.
Regarding the photo above, the essay reads: Peyo stands guard at the door of Robert’s room. Scientists and doctors are still puzzled by some of the horse’s behaviour, such as here when he adopts a menacing pose to bar anyone from entering the room. OK, so, you’re telling me, you let this horse into the room, and then he won’t let anyone else in? Family? Doctors? The person disinfecting all the equipment? Also, isn’t he facing the door and his behind is to the patient? When I was a kid, I was at a church picnic once where there were horse rides and I went to go cross the yard and walked behind the horse and all the parents screamed, to get me away from a potential kick, so yeah I have a thing about it and might be stressed if I was in a small hospital room, immobile on a bed, and a horse was in there with his back to me and not letting anyone else come in and acting “menacing.”
OK so now that I think about it maybe it is kind of sweet, so what if I wanted Peyo to visit me in my final days? He is une petite célébrité, I assume, so maybe it’s a huge honor and what if I was like, “Nurse, I’m so tired. Is Peyo here?” and he says “No, je suis désolé, Peyo has the day off” or “Peyo did not point his hoof at you” or “Now that Peyo is visiting American patients he doesn’t accept your insurance” and then I slip away with an apple in my hand, palm flat, waiting for it to be eaten whole, like a peanut M&M. “Poor M. Tighe,” they will say. “He will surely be a minor character in le film Peyo that is currently being produced.”
I’m waiting for my mom to send me this article because she loves this stuff, and will probably say something like “I’d like to meet Peyo when it’s my time,” so anyway, that’s how I ended up ordering a horse mask from Amazon this afternoon.