Where do we come up with these crazy phrases, phrases like, "Never look a gift horse in the mouth?" I have never found a single occasion to look any standard-issue horse in the mouth, let alone a benevolent gift horse. I must admit that until very recently I hadn't given much thought to this particular barnyard idiom. In actual fact, whenever the phrase was uttered I couldn't help but picture a nattily-dressed thoroughbred rapping at the door with a beautifully-wrapped gift box in
hand hoof. But who was this horse and on what occasion would he be obliged to give me a gift? I kind of assumed that this was vestigial phraseology, lingering long after the demise of some ancient culture whose venerated horse figure, "Father Equus," - very much akin to our Santa Claus - once a year blessed the good, little children with a bounty of gold, and frankincense, and myrrh (if it's good enough for Him, it's good enough for me), and hay. However, the question remained, why would I look in his mouth?!!
Upon reflection, I suppose the real sentiment is that when given a gift (in this case a horse), it is decidedly bad form for one to appraise the quality and value of the gift (in this case inspecting the mouth of said horse). Instead, one should simply be thankful for the generosity behind such a spectacular gift - I mean, who at some point in his life hasn't wished (in vain) for a pony? This was a full-grown horse!
|Proof that not all of my sketches skew blonde!|
Letting the fabric be my guide, I opted to make Mary a three-
piece, tiki-inspired playsuit (shorts, top, and cover-up).
|With a matching Put A Lid On It Sun Hat, of course!!!|
It was an outfit that seemed ideally suited for the scorching heat of the Viva Las Vegas car show and for her Ponyboy Magazine photo shoot.
|I thought it was a bit cheeky to feature the large flower pattern on the|
bra top which also features traditional shoulder and halter straps.
(Photo courtesy of Alexander Thompson/Ponyboy Magazine)
|After making a fully-lined top and shorts, the tablecloth fabric was running low. To subsidize it, I used a coordinating cotton in solid yellow for the body of the cover-up, binding the center front and side vents in tablecloth remnants. There was just enough material left to make patch pockets and a sash (finished with those signature yarn pom poms).|
In the end, by examining the fabric, measuring it, and determining its worth as a garment, I suppose that I am guilty of the very behavior I was so earnestly trying to avoid - looking a gift horse in the mouth. The thing is, I like what I saw and indeed it made me all the more grateful for the gift...or the horse. I really think this whole thing could be cleared up with some simple rewording; "Never look a horse gift in the mouth." "Never look in a horse's gift mouth?" "Never gift a horse's mouth without looking in it?" Shoot, when someone gives you a gift, just say "Thank you." Thank you, Charles.
Replace "Ed" with "Tiny" and it all makes so much sense...
So where do you stand on the gift/horse/mouth issue? Have you ever looked a gift horse in the mouth, yea or naaaaaaaay? Did you like what you saw?