Many people ask when they come across the brand Hucklebones where the name is from and what is means. A very old word, in the past used as another name for’ jacks’ or ‘five stones’ the ancient game where five small objects are thrown up and then caught again. For me it has a very different meaning, Hucklebones has been a part my life for the most part in the form a grumpy yet loveable character who found his way to us in somewhat unusual circumstances.
In 1986 when I was four years old a group of Shetland ponies were seized from a farm during a animal welfare rescue. Most of the ponies were malnourished and in a very poor condition including a Shetland mare and foal. Sadly due to her condition the mare had to be put to sleep. Her foal however lived and needed a home. My parents were contacted by a lady working on the case and asked if they could provide a safe home for the orphaned foal, he was going to need a lot of care and careful feeding to help him gain strength and get him on the road to recovery. So the scruffy little Shetland foal came to live with us, he was named ‘Hucklebones’ after a pony out one of my fathers favourite childhood storybooks and as he grew so did his character. We found that this small and sometimes seemingly shy little pony was full of determination and had a keen sense for adventure. Not satisfied with the grazing allocated for the other ponies he lived with he would keenly squeeze (or sometimes even roll) under the fence and amble off in the search of greener pastures so to speak! He was often invited to visit us on Christmas day when he would be brought into the lounge for treats in a now familiar family tradition which probably resembles the nativity stable rather than any civilised family gathering!
Twenty six years on he is still with us and happily enjoying life as he has become accustom to. His hilariously grumpy character (we often liken him to Eeyore from Winnie-the-Pooh) which despite his best efforts to keep up is always softened by a big kiss (which he secretly loves) or by an opportunity for adventure. Leave a door or gate ajar for a second and his inquisitive nature is almost bound to get the better of him!
Hucklebones and Ché the border collie peeking through the garden gate at my parents home – January 2012.