“A horse is a horse, of course, of course . . .” unless of course that horse is a vicious beast determined to eat you alive.
It all started one Christmas Day at the Smith household. The Smiths are an amazing family whom I’ve adopted. Or maybe they adopted me. Either way, they rock. We’ve shared holidays, birthdays, countless Sunday dinners, theatre performances, and much more. Everyone should have some Smiths in their life – they make life fun. Take Christmas for example. They have an amazing tradition of wrapping presents in a very special way. First they take your gift—let’s say a gift card—and they tie it up in a plastic grocery bag. Then they wrap a fourth a roll of packing tape around the bag. Then they roll it in newspaper. Then more tape. Then repeat at least twice—plastic bag, tape, newspaper, tape. Then eventually they progress to other packaging – brown paper bags, magazine pages, wrapping paper from 10 years ago, gift boxes they “reclaimed” from their famous neighbor, and always . . . more packing tape. Once I unwrapped a gift from them that had 50 different layers—and that’s not counting the tape. Christmas gifts cannot be opened without several tools, including pocket knives, scissors, and extreme amounts of patience. It’s genius really. First of all, it’s incredibly fun. Second, it really draws out the gift giving. Talk about teaching your kids some patience and appreciation for their gifts. Like I said– everyone should have some Smiths in their life.
Anyway, back to the vicious beast determined to eat me alive. One memorable Christmas day we had finally finished unwrapping the presents and were settling in to relax. I had the flu and so my brain was a little foggy. Therefore when my friend Rusty asked me if I wanted to go with him to feed his pet horse (whose name happened to be Orlando—not Mr. Ed) I stupidly agreed to go. We walked down the road to the stables and I watched as Rusty started the process of feeding Orlando. I reached up to pet him (the horse, not my friend), and that’s when everything went downhill. I was wearing Rusty’s jacket—which apparently smells like him. Orlando thought that meant I was there to feed him. The problem was he thought I was the food. He opened his big, ole horse mouth and chomped down on my arm. He latched on like I was the tastiest meal he’d had all week. When he finally released me I was staggering away. I was so out of it that I didn’t realize how bad it was at first. But eventually the tears began flowing. In case you’ve never been attacked by a horse, let me fill you in: it hurts. A LOT. It was dark and cold outside, so I couldn’t really examine my injury. By the time we had walked back to the house and I got the jacket off, it was clear this horse was not nearly as considerate as Mr. Ed. I had deep bruises on both sides of my arm in the shape of numerous horse teeth. It was like the horse was being fitted for a retainer and my arm was the mold they were using to get his imprint. Ah, you vicious beast.
The next year I went with a group of friends to see Rusty perform at Dixie Stampede. After the show we walked around to see him and his other horse—Ty. We decided to take a picture, and I bent down to point out the all-important sign warning visitors not to feed the horses—they bite. A truth I knew all too well. That’s when Ty leaned over his stall and tried to take a bite—of my hair.
I think I’ve learned my lesson. From now on I avoid Rusty’s horses at all costs. I have no desire to end up as horsey-chow.