He was a comedian, always looking for a laugh. He patrolled a busy, bustling intersection: Lefferts Boulevard and Liberty Avenue in the Richmond Hill section of Queens, New York. Buses, cars, and trains, all traversed it. The imposing bay horse and his fellow policeman were always there, always keeping an eye on what was happening.
People were used to seeing them patrolling that corner of the neighborhood. Locals and tourists alike would come up to pet the horse, talk to his rider, and perhaps seize a photo opportunity.
While the cop was serious about his job, his horse wasn’t. His part of the job, he apparently felt, was to provide some levity to what could often be a serious assignment.
When a visiting couple stopped to take his photo, the officer stood next to his horse’s side, posing handsomely with his beautiful horse. Just as the couple went to snap the shot, the horse threw his head to the side, sending the cop sprawling onto the hood of an adjacent car.
Girls were forever attracted to the good-looking young policeman. While he was busy flirting with the pretty ones, his horse could go treasure hunting, nuzzling into pocketbooks, pulling out wallets, compacts, and other objects of potential interest.
Margaret Bjork, a born animal lover, never failed to stop to pet the horse on her walk to work, and invariably brought him goodies. The horse, she thought, was spectacular: so big she could almost have walked under his belly, gorgeous with his shiny cocoa brown coat and black mane and tail, and heroic with the big scar across his leg that he had garnered during his tour of duty.
Margaret worked in a nearby shoe store. On her breaks she would go to the Korean Grocer for fruits and vegetables, and come out with carrots—leafy green tops still attached—a treat she knew the horse loved.
Margaret had never missed a delivery. Every week she would cash her paycheck, select her groceries, and buy the horse his carrots. Every week he would wait expectantly for his treats.
But one week, Margaret was too busy. She didn’t have time to go shopping; she had to go straight to her job in the shoe store.
The temperature that day soared, and the shoe store soon became stifling. In the hope of some relief, Margaret opened the doors to catch any possible breezes from outside.
The horse meanwhile did not take the missing delivery well. Since his carrots had not come to him, he decided he would go to them.
Margaret was helping a customer select shoes when she heard another customer scream in terror. Running towards the doors where she’d heard the scream, she saw the huge horse in the doorway, his head, neck, and shoulders inside the store. He had squeezed in as far as he possibly could. Where were those carrots?!
And where was the policeman? How did the horse wander off, and how did he know where to find her?
Margaret laughed, escorted the horse out of the shoe store, and calmed the terrified customer.
As long as she worked at the store, she never failed to make another carrot delivery.