Last week, flyers were peppering the city, informing us that this was the International Flamenco Music week in Halifax. One of the events of this Week was a horse, a mare, to be more precise, who would dance flamenco on the lawn in front of the public library in downtown Halifax, on Sunday October 25th, at 2:15 pm. Weather permitting.
Now, I have never been an animal person, and indeed horses are as remote from my sphere as little green elves. Despite this, I found myself looking forward to this event of the dancing mare with unusual intensity. After all, if you live in a city where they bring a mare to dance flamenco on the lawn of the public library, then it can’t all be bad. A dancing mare provides some justification for the emigration and the immigration and the chaos, don’t you think?
Nevertheless, as Sunday drew nearer, I felt that the justification would never be provided, and the mare would not not dance. The weather has been unusually bad, even for Halifax, with freezing rain and howling winds, the works. Imagine my pleasure then, when on Sunday noon, the clouds disappeared as if by magic, the sun burst out, and the temperature ran up to a miraculous seventeen degrees! As if specially prepared for the dancing mare!
So, we galloped to the public library, dressed in, would you believe it, t-shirts! Our coats bundled on the back seat! The sun warming our skin! Sorry about all the exclamation marks!
There wasn’t a huge crowd of people. If this sort of thing had been advertised in Tehran, you can imagine the kind of crowds who would have poured out, but the Haligonians were taking it calmly enough. It’s only a flamenco-dancing mare after all. Nothing to get in a tizzy about, you could hear them mumbling.
No mare. There was a man on stilts, pulling balloons into funny shapes for children, but no dancing horse. A small dark girl wearing a flamenco-style skirt (long coloured frills) and worried eyes came out. I rushed up to her. “The horse?”
How typically Canadian. Too much rain has made the lawn slippery, and they are afraid the horse might slip and hurt herself. So, no dancing horse. There’s somebody singing flamenco in the basement of the library, though.
Well, I’m glad the horse has such careful owners, but what about me and my justification? I needed to see that horse! Don’t they understand? I needed to see a mare dance flamenco on the lawn of the public library!
Half an hour later, I was sitting on the sand, looking at an incredibly beautiful ocean, the sun still warm on my bare arms. The princes had found a starfish. The golden boy was digging holes. The trees were bright red, yellow and pink and orange.
Perhaps I didn’t need to see the dancing mare, after all.