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  • My brother, Jay, may be about 18 months old in this picture. The pony is Shorty, the Shetland pony my cousins gave me for my birthday one year. We lived in the country, so we had room for the pony and her foal (the bonus prize).

    Now Jay was an independent and occasionally mischievous child. Being largely ignored by me and our sister, Tee, he played by himself a lot, roaming the property and discovering all manner of things while inventing his own imaginary world. He would sometimes get himself into things that, by today's standards, would have had all kinds of officials at our house to evaluate whether or not we were "in danger". We called it life. We called it living and learning. We weren't in danger - unless we got caught!

    And one time, Jay got caught.

    He was about three years old. Mom took him to the bathroom to put him in the tub. As she pulled off his clothes, she saw a HUGE bruise on his butt cheek. She screamed for my dad who came to see what all the ruckus was about. She showed him the bruise.

    Dad: Jay, did Shorty kick you?
    Jay: Yes, sir.
    Dad: What did you do to make her kick you?
    Jay: I poked her with a stick.
    Dad: Are you going to do that again?
    Jay: No, sir.

    Life lesson learned. That is all.
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