He cut a dashing figure, astride a horse beneath the pyramids of Egypt. He loved to ride, he loved to share the trails, and he loved to share his horses.
“It was obvious that Borcan - the blustery, formidable, woman-hating, breast-biting white stallion - loved Paul, and Paul definitely doted on this blusterball - and in fact all of his horses,” I wrote in Chapter 15: My King in my book Soul Deep in Horses.
“Norwegian Paul was one of the happiest middle-aged little boys I had ever had the pleasure to know. His wife was the Norwegian ambassador to Ethiopia, and while she was away, Paul played with his beloved horses. Just ask one little question about his kids - his horses - and his eyes widened and sparkled like sapphires and his face beamed with proud delight. Pull up a chair on his porch, above his stables, and he'll serve you a great cup of Ethiopian coffee (or a good cold beer), and instead of pulling out his wallet and dropping an accordion sheet of photos, he will point to his horses in the paddocks below and tick off their accomplishments as proudly as a father giving you a blow by blow of his kids' soccer games."
I wrote of riding Paul’s blustery stallion Borcan in the Egyptian desert, and of riding his rocketship Raad, one of the most thrilling and the utterly fastest, horse rides of my life.
“She got it right!” he wrote, reviewing Soul Deep in Horses. “Being the happy owner of two of the horses featured in this book, I have to applaud her take on horses who love people who love horses! She gets it terrifically right! Thank you Merri!” I could see his face beaming as he read the stories then wrote these words.
I’m glad Paul got to see his much-loved Borcan and Raad ‘immortalized’ in the pages of my book. I’m glad he knew how much those rides meant to me.
I’d always figured on seeing him again and having more riding adventures with him next time I visit Maryanne in Egypt. But he left us unexpectedly, far too soon.
I have another tale or two to tell of riding Paul’s horses. I’m sorry he won’t read my stories about his beloved Prince. But somehow, I think he will still know, and I think he’ll be beaming, his eyes twinkling again, delighted with shared appreciation and mutual love for his horses.
And I know he’s already busy up there, riding new horses, finding new trails, telling entertaining horse stories to those who come to join him.
Farewell and Happy Trails, Paul, I’ll ride with you again one day over those new trails.