My Mummu (Finnish for grandmother) made him for me when I was about my daughter’s age. At one point he had a full mane and a tail made out of yellow yarn. His skin is some kind of early-80s vinyl material. His legs are apple juice cans from an era where food cans were roughly five times as thick as they really needed to be.
Apparently I was quite rough with him as a kid (as kids will be with their toys), to the point that Mummu and mother worried that I would break him. If family lore is to be believed, I responded that Trigger was tough and would never break, no matter what.
I’ve had him for as long as I can remember. I mean that literally; there isn’t a time in my living memory when he wasn’t somewhere in my house. Even as a teenager I remember where he was in the basement, although he didn’t serve much of a purpose back then. He was just Trigger, faithful horse, plain and brown and patiently waiting for someone else to ride him.
Mummu died a few months before I got married. I was making a model trebuchet for my last teacher’s college placement when my mother called. It was a sudden, massive heart-attack that killed her, not any of the slower and more painful conditions and diseases that had slowed her down in her last few years. I still consider that a minor miracle.
She would have loved my girls.
Abby found Trigger in the basement sometime last year. Now she regularly puts on her red cowboy hat, calls herself Jessie, and hops on his back, hollering, “Giddyup, Trigger!” while Nora looks on in barely concealed jealousy (she’s too little to get on him safely).
I’m usually okay, but every once in a while it makes me cry again. I love that Trigger has a new owner, and I never worry that my girls will break him, but sometimes all I can think is how much Mummu would have loved to see that old horse in use again, how much she would have fawned over my girls, how happy she would have been.