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A Short Story for Dads
A Short Story for Dads

We know fatherhood is a busy and taxing job.  But, we encourage all fathers, especially stay at home ones, to take 10 minutes to read “Horsey” by a previous stay at home dad, Thomas Wharton.

“Horsey” tells the story of a fictional group of at-home fathers who meet weekly with their preschoolers.  Calling themselves “nestcocks,” a self-deprecating term for effeminate husbands who stay at home the dads discuss parenting issues big and small.  Of course while dealing with the small issues such as changing poopy diapers, handing out cupcakes, and so on.

The story gets its name from one get-together where father Robbie gets on all fours and gives his son his first horsey ride, it quickly becomes the pair’s favorite pastime.

This short prose is funny and touching while still being widely relate-able and easily readable.  It is a window into the modern day father which touches on issues such as emasculation, loss of freedom, and even fear about the future.  While still offering a calming peace in the willingness to surrender to the unknown that is fatherhood.  Wharton says, “I suppose I’m saying something about what it’s like to be a father: you are a beast of burden in some ways.  It can be hard for men to accept this: that once you’re a dad, your life is not just for yourself, and maybe your most important purpose on this Earth is to ‘bear’ your kids into their own lives.”

The story recently won the University of Alberta‘s 2011 Cecile Mactaggart Travel Award for Narrative Writing, reaping Wharton a prize of $12,000 to spend on a trip of his choosing.

If you would like to read “Horsey” you can do so for free here.