By Barbara M. 

Where I grew up, visiting the library was a Saturday morning downtown trip . My mother, heading for the Bargain Basement at Hess’ Dept Store, dropped me off and I excitedly ran up many stone library steps to open tall, wooden and glass doors. Enormous bronze handles easily gave way to the children’s section waiting for me on the second floor. I could only imagine the fillies, mustangs, mules and broncos I had left behind last week deep in some corner of adventure. Racing to the animal section, I parked myself down in the corner between enormously tall glass windows and spines of books that stretched to the ceiling! Floor pillows or big comfy chairs kept me busy for hours while stories transported me to farms, ranches and canyons far away. If a new horse book had arrived, the librarians always oohed and aahed with me over the cover and illustrations. Black Beauty, Ginger, Flicka, Black Stallion, Flame, Trigger, Buttermilk and so many fleet-footed steeds were my companions in hours that galloped by way too fast. When my mom walked over to find me, they always directed her to the same corner where I was immersed in adventures with my equine friends.

The chats and perusing of these books with compassionate librarians who saw and understood my rapture kindled a lifelong dream of owning and helping horses in need. I now own several rescue off-track thoroughbreds, encouraged by these early years learning about and understanding the human-animal bond. The humane treatment of and care for them was instilled in me through those stories. They expanded my love for reading many genres of books and always helped remind me my library card is one of the best tickets to explore the world!

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