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Horse Laugh

Ellie Tunget
Delta, Colo.
Ellie Tunget

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Some of the best things come late in life. Maybe that is one of the rewards of getting old. My husband of almost 49 years of marriage and I have come full circle to our roots and the land. Arnold, also known as Arnie, grew up in the Olathe area and I managed to make it to adulthood in the Delta area. Our paths came together as teenagers and Arnie is still the best thing that ever happened to me.

Life was hard, but when you have a full belly and a place to sleep, life is good. Arnold worked in the onion fields with the German war prisoners and their guards, so life was a little more down to earth for him. He crawled up what he swears was a million miles, more or less, of onion rows, while I buzzed around with the bees, as my dad had an apiarian and took hives of bees every spring to the orchards to pollinate the trees.

During World War II when sugar was rationed, Mom still did things the way she always had and used honey, so life was still sweet. Now bees are becoming an endangered species and our food chain is more threatened everyday. But on the whole, life is still good.

A year or so ago we were looking for some used farm equipment and went to Rifle to check out a swather. The owner sent us on out to the field where the equipment was while he fired up his trusty new ‘steed’—an ATV.

In the field adjoining the equipment were some discontinued models, or as some people still call them, “horses.” They were fat, sassy and sooo. . . bored. While the owner of the equipment and my husband were on the other side of the fence checking out the merits of nuts and bolts and whirly things, I enjoyed the horses.

One in particular was the mischievous kind. He kept trying to chew on the leather seat of the ATV, and after being chased off half a dozen times, turned his attention to one of the other horses. He sidled up and while the other horse was dozing in the warm sun, totally oblivious to what was coming, ‘Ole Ornery’ reached over and nipped his buddy on his rear end, and then threw his head back in the biggest ‘horse laugh’ I’ve ever seen.

It still brings a smile to my face yet today and life is still good.


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