Gwen Petersen: In a Sow’s Ear 10-8-12
Thinking up “stuff” is not difficult if you are friends with the right people. No originality required of the writer … just a phone call will provide another true story. As is the case with Susan, horsewoman extraordinaire.
She was riding a young horse on behalf of her granddaughter. Yes, I said granddaughter, meaning older bones shouldn’t be taking chances. Seems Susan is boarding the mare for those weekends when her young relative comes to visit and ride. The mare needed more miles put on her to keep her coming along. She’s a biggish horse, but is sweet natured and has never offered to buck.
As mentioned, the mare is tall. Susan is short. Which means her legs don’t dangle very far down on either side of the mare. You might say she more or less perches up there.
On this particular morning, Susan started down the dirt lane that led past two houses some distance away. The cottonwood leaves were turning to gold. The air had cleared — mostly — of smoke from the on-going fires two counties away. Temperature was nice and comfy on this Indian summer day.
The mare (christened “Cherie”) trotted along, ears forward, happy to be out of the corral and going somewhere. As they approached the first dwelling down the road, Susan noticed that somebody appeared to be moving in. Two women toted boxes from a trailer to the front door and disappeared inside. Susan’s surprise occurred a moment later as she and Cherie drew opposite the house.
The screen door opened and a young woman flung out a couple of empty cardboard boxes. The mare spooked and swiveled about so fast, she spun out from under Susan who found herself hitting the ground faster than the proverbial speeding bullet. But! She hung on to a rein! If there is one thing Susan hates, it’s for a critter to learn bad habits (such as getting away). The mare, in a panic, began backing up the lane toward the safety of home. Which meant Susan got drug along for about 20-feet before Cherie quit bucking and Susan was able to stand up.
Which effort was a bit awkward as having gone scooting (backwards) on her derriere for several yards, her britches had been pulled down to her ankles. (As everyone’s mother might say, we can only hope her undergarments were clean). In any case, Susan, the Fearless Horsewoman, got her clothing adjusted and then made the mare approach the fearsome boxes to get over her fright. Once Cherie calmed down, Susan faced another challenge — getting back aboard. Fortunately, the trailer was low enough to the ground, she could climb up on that and from there remount.
At this point in the story, one would assume that all turned out satisfactorily. However, further mortification arose. It seems that across the road from the box-erupting dwelling, another house was undergoing roof repairs. Two stalwart chaps had been in the balcony position observing the entertainment. As Susan reined the mare toward home, she heard a slap-slap sound from somewhere above. The fellas were applauding. ❖
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