When a granddaughter calls and asks her Pa if he can make her a stick horse, it’s not long before there is sawdust flying in his workshop.
But why stop at just a stick horse when it can be a unicorn! And if you’re making one stick horse, there’s no reason not to make two, since her little brother also needs a horse to ride.
Now Grandma was planning a visit soon, so it was decided the heads could go in her suitcase and the sticks could be sent through the mail since they were too long to fit her carry-on.
After Pa cut and sanded the heads, Grandma painted the horse’s eyes and the unicorn’s horn, made horse halters from a strip of leather cut off motorcycle chaps that were too long for Pa, cut ears out of scraps of leather, and sewed yarn to strips of heavy fabric for manes.
Pa used beeswax wood polish and conditioner to retain the natural cedar coloring and then used small brads to attach the horses mane and ears. He used upholstery tacks to attach and embellish the halters.
Just before putting on the finishing touches, Pa had a brainstorm that saved postage, ensured the stick horses to arrive intact and make storage for the horse/unicorn easy on Mom and Dad. He cut and drilled handles from some leftover maple branches (see bunk beds post). The handles could then be dismantled to fit into Grandma’s suitcase for delivery and into a storage container when not being ridden around Central Park. Pa made sure the sticks fit into the handles so they were secure when ridden but easily separated. Using household wax keeps them from permanently sticking into the handle.
Here are the stick horses saying goodbye to their farm friends and heading to NYC. Maybe they will meet new friends there, like the horses who draw carriages around Central Park!