The Animals of Black AmaranthWhile I appreciate the animal kingdom, dogs in particular, are my favorite. I have a beautiful black German Shepherd that loves her family! In appreciation of her, I naturally chose that breed of dog to appear in Black Amaranth. The rest of the animal kingdom I admire from a distance. Every single attempt at horseback riding as resulted in a calamity of sorts. I've been to Texas once. While there, it seemed only fitting to go horseback riding. I mean all the experience I had tucked away rested on all the Westerns I had watched up to that point in my life. John Wayne made it look pretty easy. Right? Wrong! I was thrown off, ran away crying, and swore I'd never try again. The next time, I was newly married and I thought it would be romantic (how many freakin' movies have we watched with a couple riding along the beach and off into the sunset?) to try horseback riding again. I had this picture in my mind of me sitting prettily perched atop some magnificent horse (I don't know, it worked for Lady Godiva) with my husband watching me, completely captivated while my blonde locks flowed around me like a heavenly halo. That didn't work either. Instead, my husband had the pleasure of watching his graceful wife dig her nails into the neck of the crazy horse I road because I was hanging on for dear life. My horse got spooked, I puked all over myself, was sure I was going to die, and had mascara running down my face as I cried yet again. Round number three of horseback riding occurred a few years later when my sister purchased a "pretty pony" for her kids, who turned out to be rather ugly, his name was Bill, and he tried to chew on my sisters hair mistaking it for hay (she dyed her hair an awful color and had well water: it turned out to be a deadly combination). Bill was older than dirt and as a pony, he was much smaller and seemed docile enough for me to handle should history repeat itself. I explained to my brother-in-law my horrid past with these "beautiful creatures" and he assured me all would turn out well. Bill even tried to cajole me, smiling and exposing rotted teeth while saying, "Sasha, I'm 200 years old. I don't have it in me anymore to run let alone exert enough energy to actually kick you off. Trust me, swing yourself up over on my back and allow me to show you how horseback riding should have been for you all these years. Let me erase all the bad memories and pain!" I looked Bill-the-pony in the eye and said, "Let's do this!" I placed my foot securely in the foot-thingy part of the saddle and used my other foot to push off. I remember as I was going up, up, and up, I thought, "Yes! This is going to the one!" Problem was, I continued to go full circle landing not on ancient Bill's back, but hanging upside down briefly from his stomach, until I fell on my back with his ***** for a view. My brother-in-law forgot to actually strap the saddle onto Bill's back-he merely laid it there. At this point, I had mud (I chose to believe that's what the thick brown stuff was) caked all over myself. I think this startled poor old Bill, because as he said earlier, he was simply too old to move. Instead his 200-year-old bladder emptied all over me. At 32, I have never tried riding any type of animal again.
Without further ado, let me introduce you to the lovely, loyal creatures of Black Amaranth.
First up: Miss Elma