Check that one off the list

I don’t know why, but I’ve always wanted to visit the Escuela de Carabineros on Antonio Varas. It’s so pristine and beautiful. Also, somehow I got into my mind that there are horses there. I’m not sure if this is true, but I love horses and even the possibility of them makes me break out into a silly grin. When I was little, whenever we passed a field with horses, I would look to my parents and say, “Look! Horses!” When I was five I read this poem to my parents (that Shel Silverstien wrote just for me, duh!) so that they would buy me a pony.

Little Abigail and the Beautiful Pony
By Shel Silverstein

There was a girl named Abigail
Who was taking a drive
Through the country
With her parents
When she spied a beautiful sad-eyed
Grey and white pony.
And next to it was a sign
That said,
“Oh,” said Abigail,
“May I have that pony?
May I please?”
And her parents said,
“No you may not.”
And Abigail said,
“But I MUST have that pony.”
And her parents said,
“Well, you can have a nice butter pecan
Ice cream cone when we get home.”
And Abigail said,
“I don’t want a butter pecan
Ice cream cone,
And her parents said,
“Be quiet and stop nagging—
You’re not getting that pony.”
And Abigail began to cry and said,
“If I don’t get that pony I’ll die.”
And her parents said, “You won’t die.
No child ever died yet from not getting a pony.”
And Abigail felt so bad
That when she got home she went to bed,
And she couldn’t eat,
And she couldn’t sleep,
And her heart was broken,
And she DID die—
All because of a pony
That her parents wouldn’t buy.

(This is a good story
To read to your folks
When they won’t buy
You something you want.)

Well, they never did, but when I was ten they let me buy my own pony, which actually turned out to be a horse I named Nutmeg. And I actually did buy her all by myself. Impressive, huh?

But back to the point of the story. Today I had to sub an English class at the Escuela de Carabineros (which I should mention is the Police Academy, for all those non-Chilean Spanish speaking folks out there). It was entertaining, but exhausting. I’m glad I’m not a full-time cop-teaching machine. Because like my friend Emily said (who does teach there regularly), they are like children with testosterone. In fact, right now I feel exhausted like I used to after my children’s class. They also gave me stickers with little cartoon policemen on them, which in addition to being childish, is also super endearing. And they invited me to go out to Suecia (the barrio, not the country) with them this weekend, but I politely declined. See the mix of child plus testosterone?

But what makes me the happiest is that now I can say I’ve been in the Escuela de Carabineros, even though I didn’t see a single pony. Oh well. Maybe next time.


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